skip navigation links
USGS - science for a changing world

Human Capital Services and Support

We Are USGS!

2010 Federal Employee Viewpoint (FEVS) USGS Best Places to Work Summary
The Best Places to Work in the Federal Governement graphic

“The Partnership for Public Service and American University’s Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation use data from the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey to rank agencies and their subcomponents. Agencies and subcomponents are ranked according to a Best Places to Work index score, which measures overall employee satisfaction, an important part of employee engagement and, ultimately, a driver of organizational performance. The Best Places to Work score is calculated both for the organization as a whole and also for specific demographic groups.”

Accessed from on April 22, 2011

USGS Best Places to Work Summary

The USGS is tied with Bonneville Power Administration and Power marketing Administration for the 50th sub-agency ranking out of a possible 224. This places the USGS within the top 25% of “Best Places to Work” with 70.2 percent of employees responding positively to questions about employee satisfaction and commitment. This score is an increase of 9.5% from the 2009 score. Chart 1 shows how USGS has scored across the years.

Men are slightly more satisfied with their work in the USGS (score of 71.8) than women (score of 70.8). The USGS ranks 72nd out of 221 government agencies in terms of satisfied male employees and 53rd out of 222 agencies for satisfied female employees.

Younger employees (under 40 years of age) are more satisfied (score of 75.7 and rank of 52 out of 204) with their USGS employment than older employees (40 years of age and older) (score of 70.8 and rank of 58 out of 223).

Individuals who categorized themselves as White reported the highest satisfaction scores (72.2) followed closely by individuals who categorized themselves as Black or African-American (72.1). Black or African Americans had the greatest increase in satisfaction, with a leap of 11 points from 2009 to 2010. Self-reported Asian’s scored 69.9 in satisfaction, the second largest increase for ethnic group between the 2009 and 2010 survey score (a 10.7 increase). Hispanic or Latino individuals also had a substantial between year increase, with a 9.6 gain from a 55.4 score in 2009 to a 65.0 score in 2010. Finally, employees who categorized themselves as Multi-racial reported a satisfaction score of 57.4 (up 3.0 from 2009). See Table 1 for full demographic report.

Table 1
Scores by Demographic Score Rank (out of
varied totals)
2009 to 2010
Female 70.8 53  of  222 7.9
Male 71.8 72  of  221 7.1
40 and over 70.8 58  of  223 7.9
Under 40 75.7 52  of  204 6.5
Asian 69.9 49  of  79 10.7
Black or African-American 72.1 43  of  193 11
Hispanic or Latino 65 80  of  133 9.6
Multi-racial 57.4 30  of  423
White 72.2 59  of  222 7.3
American Indian or Native American Not
Not Asked Not Asked

The Best Places to Work also scores and ranks agencies and sub agencies on 14 categories of worker satisfaction: [see Table 2 for USGS scores on each category]

  • Employee Skills/Mission Match: extent to which employees feel their skills and talents are used effectively; level to which employees get satisfaction from their work and understand how their jobs are relevant to the organizational mission,
  • Strategic Management: extent to which employees believe management ensure have necessary skills & abilities to do their jobs, is successful at hiring new employees with the necessary skills to help the organization, & works to achieve organizational goals with targeted personnel strategies & performance management
  • Teamwork: extent to which employees believe they communicate effectively both inside and outside of their team organizations, creating a friendly work atmosphere and producing high quality work products,
  • Effective Leadership: extent to which employees believe leadership at all levels of the organization generate motivation & commitment, encourages integrity, & manages people fairly, while promoting professional development, creativity, & empowerment of employees
    • Empowerment: extent to which employees feel empowered with respect to work processes & how satisfied they are with their involvement in decisions that affect their work,
    • Fairness: extent to which employees believe arbitrary action and personal favoritism is tolerated, and if employees feel comfortable reporting illegal activity without fear of reprisal,
    • Leaders: level of respect employees have for senior leaders, satisfaction with amount of information provided by management & perceptions about senior leaders' honesty, integrity, and ability to motivate employees,
    • Supervisors: employees' opinions about immediate supervisor's job performance, how well supervisors give employees opportunity to demonstrate leadership skills, and extent to which employees feel supervisors support employee development and provide worthwhile feedback about job performance
  • Performance Based Rewards and Advancement: extent to which employees feel they are rewarded & promoted in fair & timely manner for performance & innovative contributions to workplace
  • Training and Development: extent to which employees believe development needs are assessed and appropriate training is offered, allowing them to do their jobs effectively and improve their skills
  • Support for Diversity: extent to which employees believe that actions & policies of leadership & management promote & respect diversity
  • Family Friendly Culture and Benefits: extent to which employees believe family-friendly flexibilities are offered to them, including telecommuting & alternative work scheduling, along with personal support benefits like child care subsidies and wellness programs
  • Pay: how satisfied employees are with pay
  • Work/Life Balance: extent to which employees consider their workloads reasonable and feasible, and managers support a balance between work and life
Table 2    
Category Rank Score 2009 to 2010
Employee Skills/Mission Match 36 of 223 81.2 2.3
Strategic Management 169 of 223 54.2 1.5
Teamwork 124 of 223 65.6 -5.3
Effective Leadership 117 of 223 55.9 4.2
Effective Leadership - Empowerment 94 of 223 52.8  
Effective Leadership - Fairness 70 of 223 57.0  
Effective Leadership - Leaders 170  of  223 45.6  
Effective Leadership - Supervisors 73  of  223 67.4  
Performance Based Rewards and Advancement 44  of  223 53.7 3.9
Training and Development 69  of  223 63.8 2.0
Support for Diversity 180  of  223 54.5 -4.6
Family Friendly Culture and Benefits 93  of  223 43.4  
Pay 111  of  223 68.1 3.8
Work/Life Balance 137  of  223 61.1 1.2

Top 3 categories by score:

  • Employee Skills/Mission Match (81.2)
  • Pay (68.1)
  • Effective Leadership – Supervisors (67.4)

Bottom 3 categories by score:

  • Family Friendly Culture & Benefits (43.4)
  • Effective Leadership – Leaders (45.6)
  • Effective Leadership – Empowerment (52.8)

Top 3 categories by rank:

  • Employee Skills/Mission Match (36 out of 223) [Tied with Bureau of Indian Affairs; Office of Naval Research (Navy); Air Mobility command (Air Force)]
  • Performance Based Rewards and Advancement (44 out of 223)
  • Training and Development (69 out of 223) [Tied with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (HHS)]

Bottom 3 categories by rank:

  • Support for Diversity (180 out of 223) [Tied with Bureau of Land Management]
  • Effective Leadership – Leaders (170 out of 223) [Tied with Agricultural Research Service (USDA)]
  • Strategic Management (169 out of 223) [Tied with All Other Components (USDA)]

Top 3 categories by percent improvement:

  • Effective Leadership (up 4.2)
  • Performance Based Rewards and Advancement (up 3.9)
  • Pay (up 3.8)

Bottom 3 categories by percent improvement:

  • Teamwork (down 5.3)
  • Support for Diversity (down 4.6)
  • Work/Life Balance (up 1.2)
*Note: Questions about Family Friendly Culture and Benefits, Effective Leadership – Leaders, Effective Leadership – Empowerment, Effective Leadership – Fairness, Effective Leadership – Supervisors were not asked in a comparable way during the 2009 survey and therefore do not have a percent change score. *Note: Questions about Family Friendly Culture and Benefits, Effective Leadership – Leaders, Effective Leadership – Empowerment, Effective Leadership – Fairness, Effective Leadership – Supervisors were not asked in a comparable way during the 2009 survey and therefore do not have a percent change score.

Graph showing overall satisfaction

Graph showing USGS Category Score by Year
Graph image showing Best Places to Work Index Trends

  When to contact OD:
  • Process Challenges
  • Processing Customer or Stakeholder Feedback
  • Teambuilding
  • Discord Among Group Members
  • Lack of Clarity in Goals or Roles
  • Change Management
  • Communication Challenges
  For more information:

Please contact a member of the USGS OD Network:

Peggy Gardiner 703-648-6824
Pam Marsters 703-648-6703
Laura Rech 303-445-4684
Heather Saffoori 703-648-6825

We help you have the conversations that really matter!

Conflict Management | Employee & Career Development | Human Resources |
Organization Development | Pay & Benefits | Performance & Conduct | Staffing & Workforce

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information:
Page Last Modified: Thursday, 01-May-2014 13:46:17 EDT