Human Capital

Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) 2017

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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2017 USGS Results
2017 FEVS TTSI Results


The survey:

  • Assesses levels of employee engagement and satisfaction, and provides feedback on employee perceptions of leadership, work environment; rewards and recognition for professional accomplishment; opportunity for professional development and growth; and opportunity to contribute to achieving the organization’s mission.
  • Represents a snapshot in time of employees’ perceptions of their USGS workplace environment, which may or may not reflect reality.
  • Measures factors that influence the recruitment and retention of employees to assist USGS in meeting 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 annually to full- and part-time, permanent Federal employees, in Spring.

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 in spring 2017. Employees were invited to participate via email.

What was the response rate?
The USGS had an overall response rate of 57.1 percent (n=3,750). As a comparison, the Department of the Interior and government-wide response rates in 2016 were 55 percent and 45.5 percent, respectively.

What about temporary and term employees?
For the past three years, the USGS Office of Organizational and Employee Development (OED) has conducted a Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey of Temporary, Term, Seasonal, and Intermittent employees (FEVS-TTSI). The response rate was 49.5 percent (n= 745). FEVS-TTSI data are not included in the OPM FEVS data discussed in this guide, however, organizations with 10 or more TTSI responses will receive separate reports for that population.

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 are 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.

Note on Confidentiality
The protection of the identity of individual employees and the confidentiality of their responses are our highest priorities. 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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