REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s “People First” initiative’s effectiveness was proved by the command’s employees through a nation-wide survey that shows even though the command has been a great place to work, it just keeps getting better.
The Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results, released in April, showed the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command has an Employee Engagement Index of 80.3%, tying for the U.S. Army’s third best score, making it the top ranking participating Army organization on Redstone Arsenal.
The EEI uses questions from the survey to measure conditions that can lead to the state of engagement described as an employee’s sense of purpose that is evident in their display of dedication, persistence, and effort in their work or overall attachment to their organization and its mission.
“USASMDC cannot carry out our wide-ranging, no-fail, national security missions without the dedication of our greatest asset—our people,” said Lt. Gen. Daniel L. Karbler, commanding general, USASMDC. “We place ‘People First’ as we recruit, train, and develop Army space and missile defense professionals. Here, you are part of the SMDC family and SMDC team. I refer to our folks as teammates -- not employees or workforce. I believe if you feel you are part of a family or team, it engenders a sense of belonging, purpose and working for the greater good.”
USASMDC achieved another FEVS milestone in The Best Places to Work findings, released June 29 by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service and global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group. In their scoring, USASMDC ranked fifth among the U.S. Army’s participating organizations, again making the command the top ranking Army organization on Redstone Arsenal.
The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings offer an assessment of how federal public servants view their jobs and workplaces, providing employee perspectives on leadership, pay, innovation, work-life balance and other issues.
“Overall, in either ranking, we offer a really competitive workplace,” Karbler said. “I am intensely focused on continuing to raise our level of engagement and making SMDC an even better place to work!”
OPM’s EEI and the Best Places to Work’s engagement score are calculated using very different methods. The data used to develop both scores and rankings was collected by the Office of Personnel Management’s annual FEVS, which was administered from Sept. 14 to Nov. 5, 2020.
The EEI is composed of three sub-indices (Intrinsic Work Experience, Supervisors and Leaders Lead), each containing five equally weighted questions. The Best Places to Work overall engagement score is calculated using a proprietary weighted formula that looks at responses to three different questions in the FEVS: 1) I recommend my organization as a good place to work.; 2) Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your job?; 3) Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your organization?
USASMDC scored a 76.9 engagement score, up from 67.4 in 2019. While the Partnership changed how it calculates the percentage of positive responses to the FEVS questions in 2020 making 2019 scores not directly comparable to 2020 scores, USASMDC’s scores still increased in every one of the 10 repeat categories. In the five new COVID-19-specific categories, the command scored higher than 90%.
“Despite the many challenges created by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic throughout the past year, our professionals remained focused on providing space and missile defense capabilities that enable multi-domain operations so combatant commanders can effectively maneuver and win,” Karbler said.
In 2017, the command received the Best Places to Work award as the "Most Improved" Sub-Agency Organization in the federal government, moving from a score of 49.0 in 2016 to 67.8 in 2017.
“That was a great accomplishment, and leadership listened to the workforce’s feedback and worked toward a better version of ourselves,” Karbler said. “This has been a work in progress, and we are striving to accomplish even more positive improvements. Let's keep making progress toward being number one in the Army.”
The Best Places to Work data shows that effective leadership remains the key driver of employee engagement. The 2020 government-wide effective leadership score is 64.2, with senior leaders registering a score of 57.8. USASMDC scored an effective leadership score of 76.0, up from 64.6 in 2019 and 48.5 in 2016.
***The OPM FEVS has provided a resource for federal employees to express how management practices and policies influence their workplace experiences, shaping service to the American people. It provides federal agency leadership with critical information to assess whether, and to what extent, workplace conditions characterizing successful organizations are present in federal agencies.
***The annual analysis by the Partnership for Public Service and Boston Consulting Group offers insights into the federal employee experience, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the workforce and provides lessons about the future of federal work.
***Information included in this release about the survey was pulled from a Partnership for Public Service press release and OPM’s 2020 FEVS report.