SDDC takes action on FEVS results

By Laura MarshallMarch 28, 2024

During a town hall on March 14, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's Deputy to the Commanding General, Tara O'Brien, briefed the results of the 2023 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and shared the command's action...
During a town hall on March 14, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's Deputy to the Commanding General, Tara O'Brien, briefed the results of the 2023 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and shared the command's action plan based on the responses. (Photo Credit: Photo by Kimberly Spinner) VIEW ORIGINAL

SCOTT AFB, IL -- During a recent organizational town hall meeting, leaders from the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command discussed the results from the 2023 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and revealed their plan going forward to address employees’ concerns.

“First off, I want to thank everyone that took the time to participate in the survey,” said Maj. Gen. Gavin Lawrence, SDDC commanding general. “It’s important that we get your feedback.”

FEVS is an annual survey administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. It is a tool that measures Federal Government employees' perceptions of whether, and to what extent, conditions characterizing successful organizations are present in their agencies.

“The more feedback we get back, the better the data for us to focus and take action,” said SDDC Deputy to the Commanding General, Kristina O’Brien. “That’s why we encourage everyone to take the survey. We can see those areas we are doing right, and we want to maintain that, but we can also see those areas that we need to work on.”

According to the survey results, SDDC’s employees have high levels of satisfaction with their work and how it contributes to the command’s mission. They also believe the organization effectively meets the needs of its customers and accomplishes its mission very well.

The results also showed, however, that employees have several concerns, including areas such as employee recognition, transparent communication, and doubt that the command would actually take action based on the results of the survey.

Lawrence called upon O’Brien to explain the command’s plan for turning employee feedback into tangible action that will improve the organization.

“It’s important to show this action plan because we want people to know we do listen,” said O’Brien.

To address these issues, explained O’Brien, areas of improvement have been broken down into three sections – Leadership and Management Development, Workforce Development and Workforce Communication.

In efforts to improve Leadership and Management Development, the command took several actions this year. Supervisor training increased from quarterly to bi-monthly. An online collaboration site for supervisors was established as well as a survey to help determine topics that should be discussed.

The command also initiated a new mentorship program and has scheduled specialized training for military supervisors of civilians, quarterly career field forums and brigade deputy to the commanders’ forums to help address some of the concerns from the FEVS survey.

“We want to give people the necessary tools needed to succeed,” said O’Brien. “It can be overwhelming for a military member to supervise a civilian because everything is different. And that was something specifically mentioned in the feedback we got from the survey.”

The goal for Workforce Development is to promote fair and equitable opportunities for career development across the command. So far, SDDC has already developed an internal portal site to showcase employee developmental opportunities within the command. Additionally, a new careers website can be found on the command’s public website that showcases career opportunities in various locations.

The command is also developing informational dashboards that provide supervisors and employees with detailed FEVS data from specific sections so leaders and supervisors can see where they stand and what they can improve.

“These sites are intended to increase the transparency and visibility of opportunities,” said O’Brien. “Hopefully they can spark conversations regarding our employees’ careers.”

Lastly, in Workforce Communication, a survey will be sent to everyone to determine the best methods of providing and receiving information.

“We’ll be monitoring this plan over the course of the year,” said O’Brien. “Pretty soon the 2024 FEVS survey will be sent out, so we hope to see more participation and get more feedback about how we can make SDDC even better.”

“I think everyone wants to have a positive work environment,” said Lawrence. “That is what this survey is about, to get tangible data so we can make the workplace better.”