Evaluation 2017: From Learning to Action

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“Empowering Employees. Inspiring Change”: Informing Decision Making through the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey

Session Number: 2429
Track: Government Evaluation
Session Type: Multipaper
Tags: government evaluation
Session Chair: Maria Elena Raviele [Program Analyst - U.S. Office of Personnel Management]
Discussant: Kimberly Wells [Supervisory Research Psychologist - U.S. Office of Personnel Management]
Presenter 1: Maria Elena Raviele [Program Analyst - U.S. Office of Personnel Management]
Presenter 2: Naomi Yount [Senior Study Director - Westat]
Presenter 3: Taylor H Lewis [Senior Data Scientist - U.S. Office of Personnel Management]
Presenter 4: Corey Adams [Human Resourse Specialist - U.S. Office of Personnel Management]
Presenter 5: Karlease Kelly [Provost - USDA]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Michael Sean Hornbostel [Senior Project Manager - Westat]
Presentation 3 Additional Author: T. Lorraine Latimore Jones [Program Analyst - US Office of Personnel Management]
Presentation 4 Additional Author: Jeanessa Gantt [Personnel Psychologist - U.S. Office of Personnel Management]
Presentation 4 Additional Author: Shirley Adelstein [Analyst - U.S. Office of Personnel Management ]
Time: Nov 11, 2017 (08:00 AM - 09:00 AM)
Room: Roosevelt 2

Abstract 1 Title: A Brief Overview of the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey
Presentation Abstract 1:

This paper will provide a brief overview of the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.  The history of the survey, along with an overview of overall trend results will be provided as context for subsequent papers in the session.


Abstract 2 Title: Improving Access to FEVS Data to Explore and Help Uncover Successes and Areas for Improvement
Presentation Abstract 2:

Every year, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) administers the FEVS to obtain Federal employees’ perceptions regarding satisfaction, engagement, leadership, organizational effectiveness, and more.  The resulting data provide agencies and subagencies information critical to organizational performance.  Agencies receive seven types of reports that include percentages for every item and response option, subagency percentages in comparison to their agency and/or governmentwide, item trends, key drivers of engagement, results by demographics, and results for custom survey items added by the agency.  While the reports are plentiful, agencies may wish to drill down further into their data to examine relationships among items and/or indices to help better uncover differences and define areas for improvement.  This presentation provides details on the online analysis tool that allow agencies to perform these drill-downs and how they can help uncover interesting relationships and new ways to explore their data to identify areas for improvements.


Abstract 3 Title: Releasing Partially Synthetic Data for Increased Respondent Confidentiality Protection
Presentation Abstract 3:

At the conclusion of a multi-month rollout of myriad reports disseminating aggregated results from Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), a public-release data file (PRDF) containing microdata, or individual-level survey responses, is made available on the FEVS website.  In producing the PRDF, it is essential to uphold confidentiality assurances made to respondents in the Privacy Act statement they navigate through prior to beginning the Web-based survey.  Traditionally, this has been achieved by dropping sensitive variables, collapsing the categories of observable variables, and, in some cases, masking (i.e., deleting) certain values.  Naturally, this results in a loss of information and hampers the overall analytic utility of the data.  In this presentation, we summarize research recently undertaken to evaluate the feasibility of a new approach based on the increasingly popular methodology of generating synthetic data, which we argue can improve data utility while also increasing respondent confidentiality protections.


Abstract 4 Title: Improving Assessment of Work-Life Needs in the Federal Workforce: Results from the Federal Work-Life Survey
Presentation Abstract 4:

As the nation’s largest employer, the Federal government is positioned to serve as a leader in creating a 21st century workplace through the implementation of work-life programs such as workplace flexibilities, support for family and dependent care, worksite health and wellness programs, and employee assistance programs. Many agencies have relied on data from the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) to inform assessments of work-life programs, despite the limited availability of relevant variables. Consequently, systematic assessment of work-life needs across the federal government has been limited. This paper will present results from both the FEVS and the Federal Work-Life Survey, which was administered to nearly 200,000 employees in 2017 to more comprehensively assess work-life needs, program utilization, and associated outcomes. The results will speak to the potential of improved data collection to complement the annual FEVS and inform agency efforts to understand and meet employee work-life needs.


Abstract 5 Title: How A Large Organization Used Data From the Federal Employee Viewpoint to Transform Its Culture
Presentation Abstract 5:

Data from the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey can be a powerful resource for driving positive change.  When used in combination with focus groups, action planning, and goal setting, the data can be instrumental in driving measurable results.  Learn how a large, geographically dispersed organization leveraged information from the survey to move from one that was ranked near the bottom of the “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government,” to being recognized as “most improved” in the top ten.  The effort involved sharing the survey data at the lowest levels of the organization, gaining leadership participation and buy in, establishing clarity in priorities, providing employee empowerment, and ensuring better communication across the organization.


Theme: Learning to Enhance Evaluation
Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

The Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) is an annual survey of Executive Branch Federal employees. First administered in 2004, the FEVS enables Federal employees to provide feedback on 6 topics related to their work environment: their work experience, their agency, their supervisor, agency/department leadership, their satisfaction, and work/life programs. The FEVS provides consistent, reliable, and actionable information to all levels of government.  FEVS data are used not only by agencies but also academics, private and public sector researchers, and other organizations. Among many different topics, FEVS data has informed work on diversity and inclusion issues, work/life programs, workforce planning, engagement, and performance. In this session participants will discuss improvements made to data accessibility, decision making practices, policy, and planning and assessment.



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Cancellation Policy: Refunds less a $50 fee will be granted for requests received in writing prior to 11:59 PM EDT October 16, 2017. Email cancellation requests to registration@eval.org. Fax request to (202) 367-2173. All refunds are processed after the meeting. After October 16, 2017 all sales are final. For Evaluation 2017, international attendees and presenters who encounter complications due to the international travel environment will have up to 30 days after the event to request a refund and submit appropriate documentation. No administrative fee will apply for the international requests. The $50 fee will be waived for registrants who planned to travel into the US and experienced international travel issues.