NASA Uses Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey to Improve Performance

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NASA is proud to have been named the “Best Place to Work” in the Federal Government (among large agencies) for the past four consecutive years by the Partnership for Public Service. Using the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) as a focal point for guidance, over time we have developed a positive work culture with a high level of employee engagement through deliberate, proactive initiatives.

I’ve always told our employees that their voices matter.  At NASA, it’s especially critical, as much of our work is difficult and dangerous, and sometimes lives are in the balance.  We must have a culture where speaking up and providing feedback is encouraged.  I’ve made nurturing that culture a centerpiece of my leadership, and we created a Workforce Culture Strategy to communicate and codify these values.

With some 18,000 employees at NASA, getting feedback can be daunting, and the FEVS helps provide a vehicle where people feel they can be candid and offer constructive comments without putting themselves or their jobs at risk.  We use it to help offices within our organization to improve and to share their successes. At NASA, we consider ourselves a family and, like any family, there can be some bumps in the road.  The FEVS helps us get past them.

Based on last year’s employee feedback, we focused this year on second-level performance reviews to support and encourage fairness in ratings, and we created a Leader’s Handbook to guide supervisors and employees, and to foster organizational health.

I’m still listening – and feel privileged to be working with such a talented, creative workforce.  The best part of serving as NASA Administrator continues to be witnessing how open and honest opinions and ideas have changed NASA for the better.  Our entire NASA senior leadership team sincerely cares about our workforce’s opinions and is ready to take action.

I want to thank my colleagues and their teams for using the FEVS to make progress on employee engagement. I know agencies across government are using this important tool to make similar strides. All of us need to work each and every day to make sure the talented people who work for the Federal Government feel valued, included, and engaged in their jobs.