Federal survey highlights agency’s strengths, helps prioritize future efforts

By Kathleen T. Rhem, DLA Human Resources


DLA employees say they are willing to put in extra effort to accomplish their work and are very satisfied with the agency’s available telework options and alternative work schedules, according to the 2017 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.

The Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey is administered by the Office of Personnel Management each year. The 2017 FEVS results were released in October. More than 1,000 DLA employees took the survey when it was sent to a random sampling earlier this year. The FEVS represents a snapshot in time of federal workforce perceptions, said Tya Dammer, DLA Culture program manager in DLA Human Resources.

“It allows agencies to examine trends to determine accomplishments and identify opportunities for improvement,” she said. “DLA uses FEVS results in conjunction with results of the DLA Culture/Climate Survey to help evaluate and improve our results-oriented performance culture.”

Of the 84 response areas in this year’s FEVS, DLA employees responded favorably to a majority. OPM considers an area a “strength” for an agency if it has a positive rating of 65 percent or higher. 

DLA’s five highest ratings from the 2017 survey are:

  • Ninety-five percent of respondents say they are willing to put in the extra effort when needed to get a job done.
  • Ninety-four percent are satisfied with alternate work schedules available to them.
  • Ninety-three percent are satisfied with agency-provided health and wellness programs.
  • Ninety-two percent indicate they are constantly looking for ways to do their jobs better.
  • Eighty-eight percent believe the work they do is important.

Only two areas were identified by OPM as “challenges,” meaning they had a negative rating of 35 percent or higher. “Creativity and innovation are rewarded” had a negative rating of 43 percent, and “In my work unit, steps are taken to deal with poor performers who cannot or will not improve” had a negative rating of 37 percent.

Agency responses were also compared to average responses for the Defense Department, with DLA scoring better than the rest of the department on 67 survey items. The most notable difference between DLA and the rest of DoD is with respondent perceptions of telework and other work/life programs. For example, 75 percent of DoD respondents indicated they are satisfied with the telework program compared to 86 percent of DLA respondents. Sixty-one percent of DoD respondents indicated senior leaders demonstrate support for work/life programs compared to 71 percent of DLA respondents. Finally, only 38 percent of DoD respondents indicated they believe the FEVS results will be used to make the agency a better place to work compared to 48 percent of DLA respondents.

Consistently high or trending upward scores on surveys like this show DLA is meeting its goals as an employer of choice in the federal government, DLA Human Resources Director Brad Bunn said.

“These results tell us our employees are committed to their jobs, mission and customers and that they’re resilient,” he said.

He added that such surveys help DLA leaders prioritize efforts to improve the organization.

“Where we see a need for improvement or to address less-than-positive perceptions, we will continue to work those areas into our Culture Action Planning process,” he said.