DOINews: Secretary's Priority Message - Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Results

Last edited 09/05/2019

October 5, 2011

Dear Interior Team:

As I meet with employees in the Washington, DC area and elsewhere around the Country, I see first-hand the exemplary job that you do on a daily basis. I appreciate the pride you take in your work and the enthusiasm you bring to accomplishing Interior's important missions. I also note the many changes we have made over the past few years as a result of input from employees, such as the input that comes from the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. This year's survey will be no different.

The 2011 survey was issued to approximately 13,600 Interior employees, of whom 52 percent responded. Thanks to those of you who took the opportunity to share your opinions; the results will help us as we strive to make Interior the best place to work in the Federal Government. The results include a brief high-level summary (pages 3-9) and are posted on oneINTERIOR at:

We have worked to make improvements in several key areas based on your comments from last year's survey. We have, for example, moved ahead quickly with our diversity and inclusion program, which has required a number of changes throughout the Department. As part of this program, I issued an Inclusive Workplace Strategy to ensure that agencies adopt strategies for encouraging diversity. I also instructed leadership to maximize their efforts to recruit and hire exceptional individuals from every background and every community, and to keep America's best talent at Interior.

Because of your suggestions, we have also implemented a Diversity Change Agent program that is overseen by Mr. John Burden, the Department's first Chief Diversity Officer. Diversity change agents complete a 5-day training course in educating the workforce about diversity – what it is, why it is important, and how to guide people toward achieving it. Currently there are 100 diversity change agents throughout Interior, and we are scheduled to add an additional 150 over the next 6 months.

I was not surprised to see in this year's survey results that many of you like the work you do, feel it is important, and constantly look for ways to do your job better. Many of you say you feel valued by your supervisor and feel the quality of the work your office performed was very good. That means many of our programs are performing as designed, and the benefit – satisfied employees – is clear.

The survey results also show that there's room for improvement. A percentage of you do not feel that promotions and opportunities in your respective offices are handled in a fair manner. I believe that Interior employees should be recognized and rewarded for their achievements and to help ensure that is the practice, we will emphasize that topic in our training sessions and briefings to senior managers.

Others indicated that you feel you do not have sufficient resources to do your job well. In today's economic climate, there continues to be challenges surrounding the level and timing of our appropriations. Know that I will continue to fight for adequate resources and funding for this Department. And we must all work together to effectively manage our programs and find efficiencies wherever they exist.

Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey. Your opinions matter as we continue our efforts to make the Department of the Interior the best place to work in the Federal Government.

Best regards,

Ken Salazar /s/

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