Archivist David Ferriero works to improve employee morale after bad poll results

” It can’t be easy to acknowledge to the public and your employees that morale at your agency has hit the skids. But David S. Ferriero, the U.S. Archivist, did just that after the National Archives tied with the Department of Housing and Urban Development last week as the lowest-ranked large federal agencies in a survey of federal employees’ views about their jobs.

Ferriero released a lengthy press release — something more commonly used for self-congratulation — on the heels of the closely watched “Best Places to Work” rankings by the Partnership for Public Service.

He said that he encouraged the Archives’ 3,200 employees across the country to respond to the survey, and 82 percent did — the highest participation rate in the government.

Ferriero, who arrived nine months ago, said in an interview that one of the biggest problems with morale is a sense that employees do not have a clearly defined career path, and many feel stuck.

“I want all of our employees, regardless of where in the agency they work, to feel valued and have pride in this agency,” Ferriero wrote in his release. “We are on the path to change.”

He said that he has been on a listening tour of 21 Archives offices across the country. Last week, he sent all employees a follow-up survey that solicited suggestions on how to improve the agency’s work environment. “Within the first day, we had received 342 responses,” he wrote. And he said that he has set up a task force in the agency to sort through the ideas and implement them. …..”
Washington Post, 8.9.2010

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