Interior Jumps into the Top Ten Best Places to Work

Last edited 09/29/2021

Date: December 6, 2017

WASHINGTON – Last night, the Partnership for Public Service announced its yearly report titled "The Best Places to Work." In the first year under U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, the Department of the Interior (DOI) has improved from 11th place to 9th place among all the large agencies. Secretary Zinke has made improving the work experience a priority while at the Department, and the numbers from the report show a significant jump towards reaching that goal. 

"Interior should be hands-down the best place to work in the federal government, and we're going to get there," said Secretary Ryan Zinke. "What kid growing up doesn't look at a Park Ranger, a law enforcement officer, or a paleontologist and say, 'I want to do that when I grow up!'? During my confirmation hearing I pledged to make Interior the best place to work, and I'm happy to see we are already making progress. In the years to come we will reorganize the force to push more resources to the front lines and clean up the culture of harassment and discrimination. Moving from 11th to 9th is a nice step, but I won't be satisfied until we're No. 1."

Federal employee engagement government-wide rose 2.1 points from 2016 for an overall score of 61.5 out of 100—the largest increase in the history of the rankings. These results build on a 2.5-point improvement the previous two years, demonstrating a concerted effort by agencies across government to improve how employees view their leaders and their jobs.

According to, here are a few data points about the Department of the Interior this year:

  • The Department of the Interior's 2017 employee engagement score is 63.9 out of 100, placing DOI at 9 out of 18 large agencies.
  • The Department of the Interior's employee engagement score improved by 2.9 points since last year. The government-wide engagement score is 61.5, up 2.1 points from last year. DOI's 2017 score is 2.4 points higher than the government-wide score.
  • Many issues – from pay to teamwork to strategic management – influence how employees view their workplaces and rate their engagement. Effective leadership was once again the key driver of employee engagement across government in 2017. Employees gave leadership at your agency a score of 55.1 out of 100.
  • One important question to pay attention to as you review your data is whether your employees think the survey results will be used to make the organization better. At DOI, 34.4 percent of employees believe the results will be used to make improvements.

The website is a subsidiary of the Partnership for Public Service. The group website states that, "The annual Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings are produced by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service. The 2016 rankings include the views of more than 421,000 civil servants from 379 federal organizations on a wide range of workplace topics. Since the first rankings were released in 2003, they have provided a mechanism to hold agency leaders accountable for the health of their organizations; serve as an early warning sign for agencies in trouble; and offer a road-map for improvement." 

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