ATO-Wide Workforce Engagement Survey Results Released
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Workforce Engagement has released the ATO-wide Gallup survey results, setting the stage for action to improve engagement.
The 15-question survey, taken in December, received more than 21,000 responses and sets a benchmark for ATO engagement. Response rates were strong across the ATO, creating a call to action.
The ATO-wide effort, supported by NATCA and management, is designed to create a better workplace by making positive changes at the local level.
According to the survey, workforce engagement in the ATO is low; however, these results are typical of government agencies in the first year of the engagement efforts, according to Gallup.
The ATO's overall engagement is at the 31st percentile in Gallup's 2010 U.S. Government Q12 database. The database contains responses for all government employees who participated in the Q12 Gallup survey from 2008 to 2010. The database encompasses more than 100,000 government employees from multiple agencies. ATO results are ranked against the Gallup database.
“The executive summary of the data shows that the ATO does indeed have a lot of work to do if it wants a truly engaged workforce,” NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said. “The Gallup analysis supports several areas needing improvement that NATCA had already addressed with the Agency, and now we have over 21,000 people asking for those same improvements. We look forward to working with the ATO to make it a better place to work for all employees, and hope the rest of the FAA will be joining WE very soon."
Said ATO Chief Operating Officer Hank Krakowski: “The strong response to the Gallup survey shows employees' commitment to improving the workplace and actively shaping the future of the ATO. The scores show we have a lot of hard work to do to improve the ATO as a place to work. But the ATO leadership is fully committed to the success of Workforce Engagement–an engaged workforce is essential to the FAA's future success."
According to Gallup data, 21 percent of the ATO workforce is considered engaged, meaning employees and managers are personally committed to the success of their team and organization and invest their best efforts in their work every day. A larger proportion, 26 percent, is actively disengaged, meaning employees and managers do the minimum work to survive and often demonstrate a negative attitude. And 53 percent are not engaged, meaning they get the job done but don't go beyond defined responsibilities, may offer suggestions if asked, and see work primarily as a way to make a living.
The ATO's highest performing attribute is "Opportunity to do what I do best," scoring at the 45th percentile of Gallup's U.S. Government Q12 database. The lowest performing attribute, "My opinions count," scores at the 27th percentile. Overall, employees are more engaged than satisfied with the organization. This is a promising statistic because it means the workforce wants to see change and is not satisfied with the way things are, according to Gallup.
"While the survey results give the organization early indications of where it stands in terms of workforce engagement, it's less important to focus on the actual numbers and more important to focus on what can be done to improve local workplaces," said Rick Wallace, director of the Office of Organizational Effectiveness.
Over the next few months, managers and their labor counterparts will be trained in how to interpret their workgroup-level results.
Within 30 days of training, managers and labor representatives are expected to hold a joint meeting with employees to discuss their workgroup engagement results. As a team, the workgroup will celebrate successes and identify areas for improvement. The workgroup will write a plan of action, known as an impact plan, which outlines how the team will make local improvements.
In order to improve the success rate of these WE team meetings this first year, NATCA and the ATO are going to run a pilot of the training and the initial team meetings. This will push back the nationwide rollout to mid June. The larger trends and segments of the data will be reported publicly in the meantime.
“I'm convinced this pilot is a good decision, even though everybody is very anxious to get started,” said NATCA’s Workforce Engagement Coordinator Russ Miller. “All parties involved feel like the 60 percent response rate means expectations are very high. We want to do all we can to honor those expectations by delivering a good product to work with.”
Part of the pilot will include a major city, like DFW or Seattle, where all workforce segments of the ATO are represented within its handful of facilities.
More information on training will be distributed soon.