Department of Homeland Security: DHS's Efforts to Improve Employee Morale and Fill Senior Leadership Vacancies

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In September 2012, GAO reported that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees identified having lower average morale than the average for the rest of the federal government, but morale varied across components. Specifically, GAO found that, according to the Office of Personnel Management's 2011 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), DHS employees had 4.5 percentage points lower job satisfaction and 7.0 percentage point lower engagement--the extent to which employees are immersed in their work and spending extra effort on job performance. Several components with lower morale, such as the ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. December 12, 2013.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In September 2012, GAO reported that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees identified having lower average morale than the average for the rest of the federal government, but morale varied across components. Specifically, GAO found that, according to the Office of Personnel Management's 2011 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), DHS employees had 4.5 percentage points lower job satisfaction and 7.0 percentage point lower engagement--the extent to which employees are immersed in their work and spending extra effort on job performance. Several components with lower morale, such as the Transportation Security Administration, made up a substantial share of FEVS respondents at DHS and accounted for a significant portion of the overall difference between the department and other agencies. In September 2012, GAO recommended that DHS take action to better determine the root cause of low employee morale, and where absent, add benchmarking against similar organizations, among other things. Since September 2012, DHS has taken a number of actions intended to improve employee morale, such as directing component human capital officials to reevaluate their action plans to ensure that metrics of success are clear and measurable. In December 2013, GAO found that DHS has actions underway to address GAO's recommendations but DHS has not fully implemented them. It will be important to do so, as DHS employee job satisfaction declined in fiscal years 2012 and 2013 FEVS results. Specifically, 2013 FEVS data show that DHS employee satisfaction decreased 7 percentage points since 2011, which is more than the government-wide decrease of 4 percentage points over the same time period. As a result, the gap between average DHS employee satisfaction and the government-wide average widened to 7 percentage points. DHS has also consistently scored lower than the government-wide average on the FEVS Leadership and Knowledge Management index, which indicates the extent to which employees hold their leadership in high regard. Since 2011, DHS's scores for this index have decreased 5 percentage points, widening the gap between the DHS average and the government-wide average to 9 percentage points."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • December 12, 2013

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Department of Homeland Security: DHS's Efforts to Improve Employee Morale and Fill Senior Leadership Vacancies, text, December 12, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc300051/: accessed July 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.