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Federal Pulse Survey: Second Round of Insights Available

Headshot of Pam Coleman, Associate Director of Performance and Personnel Management, OMB

The first-ever Government-wide pulse survey pilot began in October of 2021 and is scheduled to run through late spring. Pulse surveys are a widely used tool for getting quick “pulse checks” and allow leaders to hear directly from their employees. The pilot consists of three pulse surveys - and today we announce the results of the second survey.

This January, I wrote about the preliminary insights from the pulse survey pilot, launched by the President’s Management Council (PMC), together with the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Personnel Management, and the General Services Administration.

In late January, the second pulse survey was administered to the Federal workforce. The survey was again sent to over two million employees across the CFO Act agencies. This survey received a response rate of 19%, up from 17.4% in the October 2021 survey. The themes for the questions in the second survey were the same as the October 2021 survey. Both covered topics such as workplace reentry and return to physical workplaces, employee engagement and burnout, and equity and inclusion. In this second survey round, new questions were introduced within each theme. The question “The Federal Government is the best place to work for those who want to make a difference,” was introduced as a way to measure engagement. All told, 58% of Federal employees agreed with this statement.

To make the preliminary insights for the second pulse survey available, we are publicly sharing a data dashboard, which shows the survey results Government-wide, as well as by agency and component.

The dashboard shows responses across the five-point scale ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree,” as well as average scores for each question. Trend data, critical in identifying patterns in the data, is also now available for the questions that were repeated from the first pulse survey. For example, the questions that remained constant from Pulse Survey 1 to Pulse Survey 2 saw an uptick in positive responses Government-wide.

We’re excited about what we’re learning as the pilot proceeds. For instance, the average score Government-wide to the question regarding reentry to the workplace increased from 3.4 in October 2021 to 3.6 in January 2022. This quick snapshot in time is helpful as agencies consider how their employees perceive reentry guidance.

The Federal Government can only realize our vision of being a model employer by continuously evaluating how we support our workforce and improving our engagement. The pulse survey continues to provide an opportunity to learn from our remarkable Federal public servants.

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We look forward to sharing more about this pilot. The third and final pulse survey in this pilot will be sent out this Spring, with more data available after the conclusion of the pilot. Please continue to check back at Performance.gov for further updates on the pulse survey effort.