The list of the best places to work in the federal government came out today, and Veterans Affairs isn’t the worst place to be a civil servant. It’s the second worst place.
Out of the eighteen large agencies (comprising more than 15,000 employees total) the only place that scored lower than the VA was Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS actually gained 6.2 points from last year’s ranking and the VA, well it fared slightly worse than it did last year by falling 0.6 points.
The biggest drag on VA’s score this year is leadership. The “effective leadership: supervisor” subcategory dropped 1.1 points this year. Out of the large agencies, the VA is the only one with a drop in this category. In fact, in this year’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, the only area where VA leadership didn’t take a dip was in supervisors working well with different backgrounds.
Out of the eighteen categories that the VA was scored on, only three came up neutral: senior leader’s effectiveness, pay and teamwork didn’t have any change from last year’s scores. Everything else, which includes support for diversity, work/life balance, training and development and even innovation all took a dip.
When putting all the different sized agencies together, only two had a lower effective leadership score than the VA’s 48.2, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) hit 45.4 and DHS’ 46.8 score. The difference is that while both BBG and DHS effective leadership scores are increasing (BBG up 2.3 from last year and DHS satisfaction grew 4 points) VA’s satisfaction score shrunk by half a point from last year.
For the military, the Navy came out on top with a score of 63.8. Army came in second at 62.4, but had the biggest jump from the prior year. Air Force had an overall score of 60.7, which is just under the DoD’s 61.1 satisfaction score.
NASA was the top spot to work for the government for the second year in a row. Health and Human Services, Commerce, Transportation and the Intelligence Community round out the top five. 2017 is the first year that the Department of State did not make the top five. It fell 2.8 points to the number eight spot.
The full Best Places to Work Agency Rankings list can be found here. Overall, the 61.5 out of 100 government wide employee engagement score is up 2.1 points from last year. This is the highest score since 2011’s 65.0 score.