Government-wide Analysis

Category Findings


As part of the Best Places to Work analysis, the Partnership and BCG measure views on 10 aspects of the employee experience and provide a government-wide score and individual agency scores for those specific issues. The 10 workplace categories are effective leadership, employee skills-mission match, satisfaction with pay, strategic management, teamwork, innovation, training and development, work-life balance, leadership’s support for diversity and how employees are recognized for performance.

The 2019 data shows small increases in eight out of the 10 workplace categories. The largest increases are in training and development, and performance-based rewards and advancement. Support for diversity and pay were the two areas where employee satisfaction slightly declined, with scores falling by 0.2 and 0.4 points respectively. As it has been since the start of the rankings, employee skills-mission match is government’s highest scoring category in 2019.

Leaders have a big impact on employee engagement

Many issues influence employee engagement, but effective leadership continues to be the key driver for federal employees as it has been every year since the Best Places to Work rankings were first launched in 2003. This category encompasses employee views on supervisors, fairness, empowerment and senior leaders.

While the government’s effective leadership score increased by 0.3 points to 56.7 out of 100 in 2019, it remains the second-lowest category score after performance-based rewards and advancement.

Two other key factors that influence engagement are how well employees believe their skills are matched to their agency mission and pay. On employee skills-mission match, the government-wide score increased by 0.2 points to 77.5. On satisfaction with pay, the government-wide score fell by 0.4 points to 59.5, the largest category score decrease in 2019.


Government-wide Scores by Category (out of 100)

Click on the column headings to sort by change or scores by year. Click the links below to view agency rankings by category.

Category 2019* 2018* 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2007 2005 2003
Effective Leadership 56.7 56.4 54.8 53.0 51.6 50.4 51.8 52.8 54.9 54.5 52.7 51.5 51.5 49.1
Effective Leadership: Empowerment 49.4 49.2 47.6 45.6 44.1 42.8 43.8 45.8 48.5 49.1 48.6 47.9 47.4 45.4
Effective Leadership: Fairness 58.0 57.6 56.1 54.1 52.5 51.9 52.6 53.0 54.3 53.3 49.1 46.6 47.5 46.4
Effective Leadership: Senior Leaders 48.6 48.4 47.1 45.3 43.8 42.4 45.4 46.7 49.3 49.0 47.3 45.6 45.3 42.7
Effective Leadership: Supervisors 67.7 67.5 65.3 63.7 62.8 61.5 61.8 62.3 63.9 63.3 61.9 61.5 61.8 61.7
Employee Skills–Mission Match 77.5 77.3 77.0 76.0 75.2 74.4 75.2 77.3 78.6 78.9 78.8 78.1 77.9 78.8
Pay 59.5 59.9 57.4 55.4 54.2 52.5 50.3 55.0 59.1 63.0 60.4 61.3
Strategic Management 58.0 57.6 54.6 53.3 52.3 51.2 52.6 54.7 56.8 56.4 57.2 56.0 56.4 58.1
Teamwork 68.3 67.8 66.3 64.6 63.7 62.9 63.9 64.4 65.3 65.3 71.2 70.2 71.0 67.9
Innovation 64.4 63.8 62.6 61.1 60.0 58.9 59.4 61.5 63.2 63.3
Training and Development 61.8 61.0 60.1 58.5 57.5 55.7 56.1 59.3 60.7 61.1 61.5 59.8 60.8 57.7
Work–Life Balance 61.9 61.4 60.9 59.6 59.1 58.2 58.2 60.0 60.2 60.7 62.1 61.4 62.9 63.6
Support for Diversity 59.9 60.1 59.1 56.8 55.6 55.0 54.8 55.5 57.8 56.9 60.5 58.0 58.6 60.4
Performance-Based Rewards and Advancement 47.9 47.1 45.4 43.5 42.4 40.8 41.2 43.4 45.9 46.4 45.6 44.4 43.8 42.9

*Because the Department of Veterans Affairs did not participate in the 2018 or 2019 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and instead decided to administer its own internal survey, they are not included in 2018 federal government-wide category scores. Therefore, 2018 and 2019 scores should not be compared to scores from previous years.