Employee Feedback Leads to Workplace Improvement
The Department of Energy (DOE) has moved up the 2022 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings to 8th place from 14th the previous year, thanks in large part to its focus on employee feedback. In a recent article published on Federal News Network, Erin Moore, the DOE’s Chief Human Capital Officer, shared insights into the agency’s efforts to encourage employee feedback and create a positive workplace culture.
Encouraging Employee Feedback is Crucial
During the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) season, Energy leaders focus heavily on encouraging employees to participate, including department heads holding weekly competitions to see who has the best response rates. The DOE has also encouraged employees to set aside time during their workday to take the survey, resulting in almost 70% of eligible DOE employees participating in the 2022 FEVS – roughly double the government-wide response rate. Moore emphasized the importance of encouraging employees to speak up and provide feedback on their work environments, stating, “From our daily leaders, starting with the secretary and the deputy, on down to frontline managers and our supervisors, we promote the importance of FEVS and we actively encourage employees to participate in the survey.”
There are Benefits to Employee Feedback
The article highlights the benefits of employee feedback in creating a positive workplace culture and improving leadership. By actively seeking feedback from employees and taking action on their suggestions, the DOE has been able to create a culture of continuous improvement. The department has seen positive results in employee satisfaction and engagement scores, notably with employees responding positively to questions on supervisory support of work-life balance and information they need to do their jobs.
Leadership Development Has a Tremendous Impact
The DOE recognizes that leaders have an outsized impact on employee engagement, and Moore’s team is turning their attention to leadership development. DoE senior leadership is encouraging all of the department’s executives to participate in a new leadership development program called “Let’s Lead.” The program has a structured curriculum targeting areas such as fostering trust and respect, addressing issues, and communicating effectively. The department also has a new tool that agency leaders can use to look at specific areas of FEVS, feeding questions from FEVS into the system. Then they receive analysis on areas of focus in the FEVS results that leaders can target for improvement in years to come.
“We know an organization’s culture is set by its leadership and that leaders have an outsized impact on employee engagement…We have to lead by example.”Erin Moore, Chief Human Capital Officer at Department of Energy
The DOE’s commitment to prioritizing employee feedback serves as a valuable lesson for other federal agencies. By creating a culture of open communication and feedback, and by actively seeking and taking action on employee suggestions, the agency has set an example for best practices in the federal government. Employee feedback is essential in creating a positive workplace culture, improving leadership, and promoting fairness and equity for all employees.