Presidential Address - Employee Engagement in the Federal Government
Gonzalo Ferro, Ph.D.
President, PTCMWSecurities and Exchange Commission
Abstract: Employee engagement is a priority within the U.S. Federal Government; it is emphasized in the “People and Culture” portion of the President’s Management Agenda, which focuses on the need to develop and sustain and engaged, innovative, and productive Federal workforce. Engagement is assessed through the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) which is administered by the Office of Personnel Management. The FEVS has been administered to all federal employees since the early 2000s and is a valuable source of information for research. The survey is comprised of close to 80 items, and measures employees’ perceptions on a number of important organizational outcomes. OPM has created a number of indices within the FEVS that are purported to measure various constructs such as employee engagement (Employee Engagement Index), diversity and inclusion (New Inclusion Quotient), and satisfaction (Global Satisfaction Index), among others. In addition, the Partnership for Public Service ranks all federal agencies based on its Best Places to Work (BPTW) index which receives a lot of press; putting pressure on all federal agencies to improve on their BPTW rankings.
Speaker Bio: Dr. Ferro currently serves as President of PTCMW. He has served in various PTCMW Board positions since 2010 and he has over 12 years of professional experience in research and consulting. After working at PDRI for 11 years, Gonzalo joined the federal workforce by taking a position at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2014 where he managed the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) and served as Deputy Senior Accountable Officer (SAO) for Employee Engagement. He recently moved to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and has continued in both roles in his new position. His responsibilities include analyzing the agency’s FEVS data and briefing leaders and employees on Employee Engagement. Gonzalo’s interests are in identifying barriers to employee engagement and organizational performance, as well as utilizing data visualization techniques to help leaders understand and utilize FEVS data. He has been involved in interagency efforts to use FEVS data across government, most recently by co-leading an interagency working group focused on identifying ways to use data to inform efforts focused on improving employee engagement.