DHS Employee Survey Results – Employees Matter

The results of the survey reflect improvement over the 2006 survey in two of the four Human Capital Assessment and Accountability Framework indices:
Leadership & Knowledge Management, from 46% to 48% positive responses
Results-Oriented Performance Culture, from 42% to 44% positive responses
Talent Management, remains at 49% positive responses
Job Satisfaction, remains at 58% positive responses
The survey results provide insight into our employee’s experiences and perceptions, and I am encouraged by the positive progress in areas addressed by a number of recent initiatives and programs such as the Performance Management and Leadership Development and Training. This is especially heartening given the length of time it can take to effect change in such a large and diverse organization such as DHS. It’s important to recognize that it takes time to turn around a battleship. Ours is still a young department – the newest in the federal government – and as we mature and continue to resolve some natural growing pains, I expect employee morale and satisfaction will improve accordingly.

Through the survey results, managers and employees alike delivered an unambiguous message that leadership has heard loud and clear. I find it gratifying to note the percentage of survey respondents who would recommend DHS as a place to work rose from 51% in 2006 to 54% in 2007.

When evaluating these figures, we must take an honest look at our current situation. For example, instead of a central headquarters location that promotes unity and makes simple things like meetings easier, we have incongruent offices spread out across the National Capital Region. Many of our employees have gone through a number of reorganizations since the Department stood up, the most recent of which was last year. While these are not excuses for low morale, as a DHS employee, I can honestly say I see the challenges first-hand.

More than 140,000 employees were surveyed and more than 65,000 responded; representing all levels of the workforce across components. In addition, 91% of survey respondents believe that the work that they do is important, and 80% indicated that they understand how the work relates to the agency’s goals and priorities; an increase from 76 percent in 2006.

The bottom line is that our 208,000 employees are the backbone of this Department and their service is invaluable in keeping our country secure. They deserve the best we have to offer; and as we continue to make our own improvements, I encourage Journal readers to avoid a quick rush to judgment. Instead, assess our performance based on what we have accomplished in five short years.

You can see more information on the 2007 DHS All Employee Survey.

Elaine C. Duke
Deputy Under Secretary for Management

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