recommended reading

Six Agencies You Don't Want to Work For if You're a High Performer


Just four in 10 federal employees believe that performing well at their jobs will earn them a performance-based reward or a promotion, according to a new report.

The latest Best Places to Work in the Federal Government snapshot by the Partnership for Public Service found that federal workers ranked performance-based awards and advancement last out of the 10 workplace categories included in the annual Best Places to Work rankings, with a score of just 43.4 on a scale of 100. The score in that category dropped 2.5 points between 2011 and 2012.

The worst agencies to work for in terms of performance recognition and promotions were the Transportation, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security departments, as well as the National Archives and Records Administration, the Broadcasting Board of Governors and the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to the report.

“With limited ability to increase compensation or to provide other monetary rewards, managers must rethink how they define rewards and recognition,” the report states. “This could involve a number of low-cost or even cost-free steps, including greater acknowledgement for doing a good job, opportunities for career development, greater responsibilities and new experiences.”

While the report is not specific to the federal IT workforce, the findings hold implications for the federal government’s ability to recruit and retain IT workers, many of whom have said more interesting or challenging assignments as well as promotions or new titles are key factors in their recruitment and retention.  

In addition, relating these issues to the federal IT workforce becomes even more critical when comparing the government’s results in the rewards and promotions category to those in the private sector. Private sector employees ranked their employers 9 points higher than feds when asked about the recognition they receive for doing a good job, and 14 points higher when asked about promotion opportunities, the Partnership found.

Still, despite the low score on promotions and rewards for the federal government overall, some agencies continue to stand out. Among large agencies, NASA, the Intelligence community and the Commerce Department ranked highest, while the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Trade Commission and Nuclear Regulatory Commission were on top among mid-size agencies.

Threatwatch Alert

Stolen credentials

Hackers Steal $31M from Russian Central Bank

See threatwatch report


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.