Senior Execs Have a Rosier View of Their Jobs

Survey shows gaps in how top managers and rank-and-file employees view their work.

If you’re a federal employee on the General Schedule pay scale, chances are your job satisfaction is significantly lower than that of your senior leaders.

That’s according to a new report by the Partnership for Public Service and Deloitte, which found a gap of nearly 19 percent in satisfaction levels between federal employees and their senior leaders. For example, job satisfaction among senior leaders was 82.6 on a scale of 100, compared to a score of 64 for all other federal employees.

The report is based on analysis of the Office of Personnel Management’s 2012 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. 

In addition, four of the 10 workplace categories measured by the Partnership and Deloitte had gaps of 20 points or more between the general employee population and their senior leaders. Performance-based rewards and advancement, for example, showed a gap of nearly 29 between the two groups, while fairness issues like favoritism showed a gap of 31, the study found.

The general employee population and senior executives were more in line when it came to issues like work/life balance, however. On questions like workload and having sufficient resources to get the job done, employees had slightly (1.5 points) more favorable scores than SES members. There also was a small gap when it came to pay satisfaction between the two groups, with SES members having slightly higher (5.1 points) satisfaction with their pay.

The report noted that it’s understandable that senior executives have more positive views of the federal workplace, particularly since they have advanced to the highest levels of the organization and are the ones making the day-to-day decisions. But this also could mean that employees see problems that senior executives do not, the report states.

“If this is the case, senior executives may be missing opportunities to improve employee engagement and job performance, overlooking innovative ideas and hindering efforts to increase employee productivity,” it says. 

Are there disparities in the way you and your senior leaders feel about work? Is this disparity stifling creativity and innovation at your agency?  

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