Government employees are increasingly satisfied with their jobs in the federal government, according to results in the Office of Personnel Management’s 2017 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.

The 2017 global satisfaction index for the entire government was rated at 64 governmentwide, up three points from the previous year’s score.

Individual government agencies have also seen dramatic increases in employee satisfaction. The Securities and Exchange Commission rocketed from last place among medium sized agencies in 2012 to the highest ranked in 2017.

According to SEC Chief Human Capital Officer Lacey Dingman, her agency’s success boils down to a top-to-bottom effort in improving employee engagement.

“In 2012, we probably hit our lowest point,” said Dingman. “Since then we have really worked hard to improve our engagement across the agency. I think it’s really everybody in the agency making a concerted effort.”

Dingman said that this year’s numbers are particularly telling, as a change in administration and therefore a new SEC chairman can throw off employee engagement and satisfaction numbers.

“Our scores managed to go up literally as he walked in the door,” Dingman said. “The employees have received him very well.”

On average, the different sized agencies had similar satisfaction rates, though very small agencies had both the most satisfied and least satisfied employees.

The survey also found that 64 of the questions asked had more positive responses than they did last year. Questions about the work employees did were most likely to see positive responses, while questions about pay and compensation for good work were least likely to receive positive responses.

Jessie Bur covers federal IT and management.

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