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Press Release
September 28, 2011

National Archives Responds to 2011 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Results

Washington, DC…National Archives employees are highly dedicated and committed to their jobs, according to results of the new 2011 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (EVS). EVS is a government-wide survey administered annually by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) as part of an ongoing effort to assess and improve human capital management in the Federal Government. EVS measures Federal employees’ perceptions about how effectively agencies manage their workforces.

Approximately 500,000 full-time, permanent Federal employees were asked to respond to 95 questions in the following categories: personal work experiences; work unit; agency; supervisor/team leader; leadership; satisfaction; work/life; and demographics. National Archives employees were asked to respond to an additional nine items addressing the agency’s recent reorganization.

Over 265,000 Federal employees from 29 major Federal agencies and 54 other independent agencies responded to the survey for a government-wide response rate of 49.3%. The National Archives had a much higher response rate of 73.1%, with 1,855 respondents.

Survey Results

Overall, the National Archives 2011 EVS results are consistent with the results from previous years:

  • National Archives employees are committed and dedicated to their work. The vast majority of National Archives employees believe the work they do is important (89.7%), they like the work they do (81.4%), and they know how their work relates to the National Archives’ goals and priorities (80.5%).

  • The National Archives continues to receive high marks in the area of performance management and awards. Over 74% of National Archives staff believe their performance appraisal is a fair reflection of their performance. Nearly 83% feel they are held accountable for achieving results. Over 74% of National Archives employees indicated that in their most recent performance appraisal, they understood what was required of them to be rated at different performance levels (e.g., Fully Successful, Outstanding). This is approximately five percentage points higher than the government-wide average.

  • The National Archives continues to lag behind other Federal agencies in the areas of Leadership and Knowledge Management, Results-Oriented Performance Culture, and Overall Employee Satisfaction.

The agency’s positive response rates increased significantly from the 2010 EVS results in two areas: approximately 73% of National Archives respondents indicated that the agency has prepared employees for potential security threats, and 46% are satisfied with the agency’s telework programs. This represents increases of 12 and 5 percentage points respectively from the 2010 EVS results.

The agency’s positive response rates decreased significantly from the 2010 survey in two areas:
responding to the EVS item “Pay raises depend on how well employees perform their jobs,” 46% of National Archives participants responded negatively, compared to 27.8% in 2010. When asked “How satisfied are you with your opportunity to get a better job in your organization?” 42% of National Archives respondents answered negatively, compared to 35.8% in 2010.

“While it is clear from these results that we still have work to do to improve employee engagement and job satisfaction at the National Archives, I am encouraged by the fact that we are making some progress,” said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero. “For example, in 2010, eight of the National Archives’ EVS items had negative ratings of 35% or more; this year, that number decreased to seven items.” The Archivist added: “With over 73% participation by our staff, these results serve as a baseline to measure our progress. With our employees’ assistance, these results will help set the direction for our agency’s improvement.”

A summary of the National Archives’ agency-wide EVS results will be posted on Archives.gov by September 28, 2011. Once OPM provides the National Archives with individual program office reports and item-level data, a more detailed agency-wide report will be posted internally. Government-wide results and other agency results will be posted on the OPM survey web site (www.fedview.opm.gov).

Note: The 2011 EVS was administered prior to the National Archives recent reorganization. As a result, program office data obtained from OPM may not align with the agency’s new organizational structure. However, program offices will be expected to share the results with their staff and engage staff in updating their existing action plan (as appropriate).

The National Archives Human Capital Office will provide a detailed briefing to the National Archives Management Team on October 5. Afterwards, National Archives Executives and Staff Directors will be asked to review the results for their respective offices and modify their offices’ EVS action plans as appropriate. In accordance with OPM guidance, the National Archives develops action plans every other year in even years to address areas of concern. In odd years, the National Archives uses the EVS results to monitor progress on the goals of prior action plans and update those goals if results identify significant progress or newly emerging issues. Results from the 2011 EVS will be used to assist National Archives offices in monitoring progress from their 2010 action plans and help them revise as appropriate. National Archives employees are encouraged to offer feedback on these findings.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 202-357-5300.

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