Best Places to Work in the Federal Government 2018 Awards

It’s that time again, when everyone starts to reflect on the year’s accomplishments and needs for improvement.

The Partnership for Public Service did just that during its annual awards breakfast on Dec. 12, which highlighted the organization’s 2018 “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government”rankings. The annual ranking is largely based on the Office of Personnel Management’s annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, and it reinforced overarching sentiments based on the views of more than 847,000 civil servants from 488 federal organizations.

One of the major themes that came out of the survey was that government employees are highly focused on the mission but desire stronger leadership.

“This year’s rankings tell the tale of two governments,” said Max Stier, the president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service. “One part of our government has agencies with committed leaders who are fostering high and improving levels of employee engagement. The other part of our government is handicapped by a lack of leadership that has led to static or declining employee engagement.”

The 2018 governmentwide Best Places to Work employee engagementscore is 62.2 points out of 100, compared with the private sector score of 77.1. “Federal leaders should understand that the government competes with the private sector for the best talent, and they should endeavor to meet or exceed employee engagement levels seen in the best private sector companies,” according to the Partnership. “The best private-sector organizations understand that improved employee engagement leads to better performance and improved outcomes.

Similar to past years, the Best Places to Work index score is based responses to three question in the larger survey:

  • I recommend my organization as a good place to work.
  • Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your job?
  • Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your organization?

“Ninety percent of federal workers believe the work they do is important,” said Margaret Weichart, Acting Director at the Office of Personnel Management and Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget. “It’s not just about leaders leading and managers managing, but people participating”.

During the awards event, Stier honored the top five agencies in the following categories: subcomponents, small agencies, mid-sized agencies and large agencies, along with the most improved agency in each respected category.

The top five agencies in each category are:


#1 Office of Inspector General (TVA) (tie)
#2 Office of the General Counsel (FERC) (tie)
#3 Bureau of Consumer Protection (FTC)
#4 Bureau of Competition (FTC)
#5 Office of General Counsel (SEC)

Most Improved: United States Secret Service (DHS)

Small Agencies

#1 Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
#2 U.S International Trade Commission
#3 Congressional Budget Office
#4 Farm Credit Administration
#5 Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

Most Improved: Federal Election Commission

Mid-Size Agencies

#1 Federal Trade Commission
#2 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
#3 Securities and Exchange Commission
#4 Government Accountability Office
#5 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Most Improved: Federal Trade Commission (tie)
Small Business Administration (tie)

Large Agencies

#1 National Aeronautics and Space Administration
#2 Department of Health and Human Services
#3 Department of Commerce
#4 Department of Transportation
#5 Intelligence Community

Most Improved: Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff, Defense Agencies, and Department of Defense Field Activities

According to Weichart engagement in the federal workplace is not as high as it should be, and the workforce isn’t the problem in government, it’s the solution. So, while the rankings for 2018 show great improvement there is still a lot of progress that needs to be done.

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