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FCC Morale Continues to Improve According to Survey


Long time readers will recall that the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government program has been a recurring theme here. This was a Bush (43) Administration initiative that was ignored by the FCC leadership during that period. Since morale was high during the Powell chairmanship that is puzzling, but it is clear why the Martin chairmanship did not want any attention on employee attitudes.

FCC started participating in the 2009 survey and it is clear that there is a strong positive trend even though government-wide scores are decreasing:


FCC is considered a “mid-size agency” and now ranks 7 out of 23 such agencies. FCC was singled out for special praise this year in the report:

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the most improved mid-size agency in the 2013 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government® rankings, moving from 10th of 22 agencies to 7th place out of 23.

The FCC, which regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable, has a Best Places to Work job and workplace satisfaction and commitment score of 71.3 out of 100, an increase of 4.6 points since last year.

In addition to increasing its overall score, the FCC improved employee satisfaction in seven of the 10 separate workplace categories that were measured.

The biggest gain was a 4.7-point increase in strategic management, which measures the extent to which employees believe management ensures they have the necessary skills and abilities to do their jobs. The FCC also jumped 3.8 points in its effective leadership score, which measures the extent to which employees believe leadership generates motivation and commitment, encourages integrity and manages people fairly.

My wife’s former employer, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, used to be #1 government wide, but is now tied for 4th and is only slightly ahead of FCC in the mid-size category. FDIC with a score of 82.3 is the clear leader in the mid-size category, but #2 - #7, the group that includes FCC, has a relatively small spread in score between 77.2 and 71.3 . (In all fairness, FDIC is not your standard federal agency as it receives no appropriation and is supported directly by bank insurance fees. I believe that it has more discretion for internal spending that more normal agencies and thus may account for its higher score.)

Congratulations to the FCC leadership for continuing the improvement in employee morale and let’s hope they beat NRC next time!


Actually a non-update. In view of the nice words said about FCC in the report that are quoted above and its recognition of FCC’s as “most improved mid-size agency”, we are surprised there is no mention of the report on the FCC’s home page or its blog as of today 12/19/13.


A January 2, 2014 Washington Post article entitled “Tips from federal agencies with happy employees” has this additional information:

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also made positive strides, winning the ‘Best Places to Work’ most improved mid-size agency award in 2013, and moving from 10th out of 22 agencies to 7th out of 23 in the rankings.

After studying the federal survey used to compile the ‘Best Places to Work’ rankings, the FCC placed added emphasis on finding ways for management to better communicate with its more than 1,700 employees. The stepped-up communications included emails from the chairman and town hall meetings in various bureaus to highlight what the commission is doing and the valuable role played by employees. During performance reviews, managers also have talked about the importance of the mission and their workers’ contribution.

Oddly, as of the date of this article FCC has never said anything on its website or blog about this award. But then again, as we have written, FCC may just have an odd view to all awards!

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