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New Best Places to Work report compares fed engagement by mission area

February 23, 2017 (Photo Credit: Petty Officer 3rd Class Melissa E. McKenzie/Coast Guard)
The departments of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and the Interior contain agencies facing critical challenges while grappling with low employee engagement. At the same time, these departments include some agencies with the most engaged individuals.

As part of its 2016 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings, the Partnership for Public Service and partner Deloitte released a supplemental report breaking down 69 federal organizations into five mission areas: public health; law enforcement and border protection; national security; energy and environment; and infrastructure. 

These groupings allow agency leadership teams to compare employee engagement scores, gain insight from agencies with similar responsibilities and consider factors that could impact mission efficiency and the public interest.

For instance, DHS houses both the lowest- and highest-ranking subcomponents in the law enforcement and border protection category: The U.S. Coast Guard scored a 71.1, and the U.S. Secret Service scored a 32.8. 

Overall, DHS sits at the bottom in the national security category, while its agencies are both among the happiest and least satisfied in law enforcement and border protection. Citizenship and Immigration Services (70.7) takes second place, while Customs and Border Protection (46.8), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (45.2), and the Transportation Security Administration (35.5) finish out the bottom four — a fact that could inform administration and congressional priorities.

Agencies garnering a high mark for worker satisfaction include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (72.9), Federal Highway Administration (77.9), the Intelligence Community (67), and the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (85.9). 

Conversely, the Defense Health Agency (49.5), Bureau of Land Management (55.8), Department of the Army (57.8) and the National Park Service (53.8) also occupy the bottom of the charts.

Rankings are based on Office of Personnel Management’s annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, administered April 2016 to June 2016 to permanent executive branch employees, supplemented with additional survey data. Independent authorities analyzed agency missions and assigned them to the appropriate group. 

More information on the report can be found at

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