For the 12th year in a row, NASA ranked as the best place to work among large federal agencies, according to the latest rankings by the Partnership for Public Service.

There was little change from last year in this category, with the Department of Health and Human Services and the intelligence community coming in at second and third place, again. The rankings have become a widely touted badge of honor for agencies who score highly on employee engagement and satisfaction, as calculated each year by the Partnership and Boston Consulting Group.

“The top-ranked agencies have excelled at keeping their workforces engaged and motivated and, as a result, they are well positioned to deliver results for the public,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership, in a statement.

These rankings act somewhat like a Yelp review. Sourced from direct feedback from employees, the rankings show which agencies come highly recommended by their workforces based levels of satisfaction with the job and the organization.

Positive results for agencies have become a recruitment tool, while poor performers have a public, measurable incentive to improve their organization.

“Organizations that invest in their workforce reap the benefits of both engagement and productivity,” said Brooke Bollyky, leader of BCG’s public sector practice, in a statement.

Just the top 10 agencies in each size category are currently available, with full results for all 532 participating agencies yet to come. A preliminary look, however, reveals some reshuffling among smaller agencies from last year.

Here’s a look:

Midsize agencies

In the mid-size category, the National Science Foundation fell from second to eighth place this year after steadily declining in overall engagement and satisfaction the last two years. The General Services Administration climbed from fourth to second place, and there is a three-way tie between the Office of Personnel Management, Federal Trade Commission and the National Credit Union Administration for 9th place.

The Government Accountability Office yet again remained the top agency in that category for the fourth year in a row.

Small agencies

A new entrant fought their way to the top spot among agencies with 100 to 1,000 employees: the National Indian Gaming Commission, knocking out a historic favorite for this spot, the Congressional Budget Office.

The agency plays the principal role in federal regulation of gaming on tribal lands.

The National Endowment for the Humanities jumped from fourth to second place in this category, and the Selective Service System no longer holds 10th place. That spot is now occupied by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Agency subcomponents

Finally, among smaller units within the government — the most numerous category — the Office of Negotiations and Restructuring within the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation held on to first place this year.

Defense Advanced Research Project Agency came in at second after not having ranked at all last year.

GSA had three of its offices make it into the top 10 list for this category. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation each had two.

The rankings sourced data from OPM’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and additional agency surveys were done between May and November of last year.

To see last year’s results, read our story here.

Molly Weisner is a staff reporter for Federal Times where she covers labor, policy and contracting pertaining to the government workforce. She made previous stops at USA Today and McClatchy as a digital producer, and worked at The New York Times as a copy editor. Molly majored in journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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