Human Capital

Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) 2015

The FEVS measures government employees perceptions of whether, and to what extent, conditions that characterize successful organizations are present in an organization. Of the 98 questions, fourteen are demographic.

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2015 USGS Results
2015 USGS Summary
2015 FEVS-TTSI Results
2015 FEVS-TTSI Summary


The survey:

  • Assesses employee satisfaction with leadership policies and practices; work environment; rewards and recognition for professional accomplishment; opportunity for professional development and growth; and opportunity to contribute to achieving organizational mission.
  • Represents a snapshot in time of employees perceptions of the USGS workplace environment. The results are true and real in that they are the true and real perceptions of the respondents, which may or may not reflect the reality of the situation.
  • Measures factors that influence employees wanting to join, stay, or help the USGS meet its mission.
  • Allows managers to examine trends to determine accomplishments and identify areas for improvement.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) administers the survey to all federal agencies, typically in the spring.

OPM collects and verifies responses from the more than two hundred federal agencies before releasing the data. As a results, there are several months of lag time before the data are released. For more detailed information about the survey visit:

Once OPM releases the government-wide data, the Partnership for Public Service uses a subset of the data to create the Best Places to Work Index rankings for federal government agencies. This index includes:

  1. Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your job?
  2. Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your organization?
  3. I would recommend my organization as a good place to work.

For more information on the rankings and USGS’s standing visit:


Survey FAQ

Who participated in the survey?
The survey was administered electronically to a sample of full-time and part-time permanent USGS employees from April to June, 2015. Employees were invited via email to participate.

An internal survey, the FEVS-TTSI (Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey—Temporary, Term, Seasonal, Intermittent), was administered to USGS employees working on a temporary or term appointment or working a seasonal or intermittent work schedule. The FEVS-TTSI contained the same questions as the FEVS.

What was the response rate?
The USGS FEVS had an overall response rate of 54.3% (n=3,494), which is quite good. As a comparison, the government-wide response rate in 2015 was 49.7%. The USGS FEVS-TTSI had an overall response rate of 52.5% (n=748).

The Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey uses "weighted" data. What are "weighted" data?
When the data collected from survey respondents are adjusted to represent the population from which the sample was drawn, the resulting data are called weighted data. Because of the differing response rates among the various demographic groups completing the survey, the data aggregated at the USGS level is weighted to ensure that the results are statistically unbiased.

The weighting process involves computing and assigning a weight to each survey respondent. The weight indicates the number of employees in the survey population the respondent represents. Information about demographic characteristics such as gender, race, supervisory status, age, and agency size, are used to develop the weights. The weight does not change a respondent's answer; rather, it gives appropriate relative importance to the answer.

The FEVS-TTSI does not use weighted data.

What about confidentiality?
The protection of the identity of individual employees and the confidentiality of their responses is our highest priority. Survey participation is voluntary and all responses are confidential and anonymous. When OPM delivers the survey results, no information is provided to tie responses to individual employees.


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