The 2010 rankings of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government were released yesterday, and I am pleased to report that the Department of Transportation leads the way as the most improved large agency with a nearly 16% increase in overall employee satisfaction and commitment.
I also want to congratulate the Surface Transportation Board for ranking first among small agencies, the Federal Highway Administration for ranking 19th among 224 sub-agencies, and the Federal Aviation Administration for improving more than 19% in sub-agency overall employee satisfaction.
By now, it's no secret that I'm extremely proud of the men and women working at the Department of Transportation. Whether I'm blogging about a particular individual or about a Department achievement, everything we do at DOT is the result of the work of some or all of our 55,000+ employees.
One statistic from the rankings, compiled by the Partnership for Public Service, is "Mission Match," where employees rate their satisfaction with how their work fits into the agency's overall mission. In this important category, DOT scored a very high 78.2%, indicating that our employees have a strong sense of the many ways their work touches the lives of Americans.
And that's why it's so important to me that the Department fosters a workplace that values every employee and offers opportunities for professional growth and achievement.
So last year we made a commitment to begin addressing the issues raised by employees in the 2008 survey. Since then, we have routinely held townhall meetings at headquarters and with many DOT employees around the country, and we will continue to do so.
We also provided training for all first-line supervisors in effective leadership, empowerment, employee engagement and ethics, and this effort will also continue. Further, we included an employee satisfaction goal in our leaders' performance plans.
Our attention to front-line leadership seems to have paid dividends as DOT employees' satisfaction with their immediate supervisors increased nearly 12%.
But we've still got a long way to go. This year, we're taking the survey results to heart and focusing on three key areas:
- Encouraging innovation through IdeaHub, where more than 850 ideas were posted and discussed in the first month alone
- Improving work-life opportunities
- Establishing more fairness and consistency in performance awards
DOT's ability to lead, innovate and respond to our nation's transportation challenges depends on our employees' preparation and motivation. To do the best job possible for the American people this Department serves, we need to be able to recruit and retain the best workforce possible.
Yes, there is room for improvement, but the latest Best Places to Work results show we're moving in the right direction.