Army civilian survey yields high response
November 10, 2010
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 10, 2010) -- For the first time in four years, the Army Civilian Attitude Survey, the Army's primary attitude and opinion poll of its civilians workforce, has opened up to employees worldwide.
The online survey, which closes Nov. 19, aims to tackle tough questions on job satisfaction, performance management, and other topics confidentially.
"Using the survey method is one of the few ways a commander can gauge the pulse of what's going on in [his or her] command workforce," said Murray Mack, chief of Plans and Strategic Analysis, Army Civilian Personnel Evaluation Agency. "This survey really fills a great need."
Administered every few years since 1977, in the past the Army could only poll a small random sample of the civilian workforce due to the cost of facilitating the survey. Using new technology first implemented in 2001 though, the entire Army civilian workforce, more than 280,000 personnel, is now invited to participate through Army Knowledge Online.
So far about 90,000 employees have already responded, up from 45,000 in 2006.
Mack said the higher response level this year may be due to the many changes within the civilian workforce such as the latest round of Base Realignment and Closure relocations, and conversion back to the General Schedule pay scale from the National Security Personnel System. More employees this year might want to have their opinions heard, he said.
However, Mack said that while the answers about employees' work environments may give commanders insight into opinions, it is up to commanders and senior leaders to make changes when necessary. Mack said leaders often use the information learned from the surveys to hold focus groups with their employees to obtain additional attitudes.
"A survey can't tell you why people responded the way they did, it will only tell you how they responded," he said.
Survey rated statements include, "I am satisfied with the career progression opportunities available to me," and "my work gives me a feeling of personal accomplishment."
The survey has a core set of questions that have been relatively unchanged since the 1970s in order to track employee trends over time, but questions pertaining to current issues are added during each iteration.
"If you want to track job satisfaction since 1977, we can show you," said Susan Duncan, assistant G-1 for Civilian Personnel, in a press release. "Years ago, it cost a lot of money to put out a survey. Now, using web technology, we can reach all Army employees at a fraction of the cost."
The survey's results will be posted in January, and commanders are encouraged to make them available to employees on installation websites.
If you did not receive an e-mail invitation to take the survey, but believe you are eligible, visit <a href="https://surveys.us.army.mil"target=_blank> https://surveys.us.army.mil</a> and logon using your AKO username and password.