Government Employees Say An Increased Focus on Employee Wellbeing Would Help Strengthen Agency Culture
Seventy percent of government employees in the U.S. say the culture at their agency impacts their will to do their best work, and 69 percent indicate that culture drives their productivity and efficiency, according to new nationwide research from Eagle Hill Consulting. Another 60 percent of government employees say agency culture impacts their ability to best serve customers, while 57 percent say it drives innovation and creativity. This research comes as governments continue to face a workforce crisis, struggling to hire and retain employees to deliver essential public services.
When asked what about the most important elements of an ideal organizational culture, workers said it’s respect (79 percent), integrity (67 percent), ethical treatment (56 percent), stability (55 percent), and employee wellbeing (52 percent).
The research also finds low trust for agency leaders. When asked who they trust most in their workplace, 51 percent of government employees say they most trust their colleagues, 41 percent most trust their boss, and only eight percent most trust leadership. Yet, 69 percent say leadership is responsible for organizational culture.
These findings are from the 2023 Eagle Hill Consulting Culture Survey conducted by Ipsos from July 25-28, 2023. The survey included 1315 respondents from a random sample of employees across the U.S., including 515 government employees.
“The aftermath of the pandemic hasn’t been easy for government agencies and employees,” said Melissa Jezior, president and chief executive officer of Eagle Hill Consulting. “Agencies still face large worker shortages and the demand for public services only continues to grow. The good news from our new research is that 63 percent of government employees say they would recommend their organization to future workers based on its culture, and that’s a clear signal governments must continue to invest in their culture. A strong culture helps government leaders attract and keep workers, and it drives government employees’ performance, innovation, and customer service.”
“Agencies are best able to meet their mission when leaders are intentional about their culture and employee wellbeing,” Jezior said. “Government leaders who are most successful define their culture, actively manage and monitor it, and model the behaviors they want to see across their agency. And when culture isn’t a high priority, agencies struggle to deliver on their mission and face recruitment and attrition problems.”