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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

It’s that time again! The Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) will be administered later this spring. As you are well aware, the FEVS continues to be one of the most powerful platforms for employees to share their opinions and perceptions regarding their work experiences. FEVS responses provide bedrock data for informing agency policy, your improvement efforts, and for advancing governmentwide human capital management and research goals. Through the survey, you will have access to valuable feedback from your full and part-time, non-seasonal, permanent employees.

Success Depends Upon Leadership Communications

To ensure the best data possible for decision makers requires that we collectively support the FEVS. The quality of the information you receive is improved when you encourage participation in the survey and demonstrate how results from previous years have been used for agency improvements. Employees are more likely to share their opinions when they hear from leaders that their feedback is valued and used. The findings of one particular survey item - “I believe the results of this survey will be used to make my agency a better place to work” – are instructive. Only 4 in 10 employees agree with this statement. It is clear more needs to be done to demonstrate to employees that their feedback is taken seriously and utilized for agency improvements. 

FEVS Timeline

The survey will be provided to employees in two waves, beginning the first week of May. Each agency’s survey will be open for six weeks, with the last surveys closing in late June. OPM will continue to provide component reports at the lowest levels within agencies to drive improvement. The rollout of findings will be provided to agencies starting this August.

As we near the 2018 FEVS, please show your employees how you support the survey. If you haven’t done so already, please share past results of the FEVS. Tell employees about steps being taken based on the findings within your agencies and what the outcomes of those efforts have been. In addition to sharing information, providing official time to complete the survey can help increase participation rates. Finally, remember to continue to stress that leadership values employee opinions.

Improving for the Future

In 2018, every eligible employee will have a voice in the survey and will receive the FEVS. As part of OPM’s continuous effort to ensure that you have the best possible data for decision-making and agency development, some of your employees will be invited to participate in a pilot of an improved form of the FEVS. Improvements include: (1) clarifications to definitions (e.g., leadership), (2) item modifications for clarity and to ensure that they are actionable, and (3) new items intended to update topics shown to be essential to agency performance (e.g., performance confidence, agency resilience, and customer service).  The pilot test will not influence your reporting or scoring in any way.

Improvements are based on recommendations from agency stakeholders and aligned with our goal of strengthening and modernizing the FEVS to ensure you have the best information to support workforce development in years to come. Leadership messaging encouraging your employees to take the time to complete the FEVS is especially essential this year as we strive to improve the survey.   

If you are interested in seeing results from the 2017 FEVS, and supplementary reports using the FEVS data, you can click on the following link:

Thank you for your assistance in helping to make the FEVS a success. If you have any questions about the upcoming survey, please contact Dr. Kim Wells, Survey Analysis Manager, at or 202-606-9088.