Keeping Government Employees Engaged

Employee satisfaction fell nearly 60 percent within federal agencies last year, according to the “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” rankings.

While many factors play a part in employee satisfaction – the report, for instance, named high-profile leadership turnover as a primary factor – federal agencies want to keep employees engaged and inspired as they would be in any workplace. With the economy booming and unemployment at its lowest rate in 50 years, employees today may be more apt to switch jobs if the fit is not perfect.

Control the Controllable

To help keep employees satisfied, federal agencies want to ensure they control as many factors as possible, especially those that employees may find negative or see as cause for finding another job. During our more than 20 years in helping public and private sector organizations, we’ve directly seen how not fulfilling employee accommodation requests or neglecting workplace grievances can lower employee morale.

Yes, things like salary, workplace culture and commuting all play a major role in how employees feel about their jobs. However, what if an employee asked for a special chair after back surgery and that request never got filled? The employee would be angry that those needs were not met. That could make them not feel valued and lead them to look for another job.

The same can be said for grievances. If an employee filed a complaint about a co-worker making jokes and comments that made them uncomfortable and that complaint never received a proper response, the employee could feel disenfranchised about their job. That is not because the agency leaders do not want to meet these demands.

The problem simply comes in the workplace bandwidth of human resources and EEOC compliance staff. With a large number of employees and a growing backlog of requests and complaints, many government offices cannot process these requests fast enough with current tools. Too many agencies still rely on outdated systems - using programs like Excel and SharePoint - to manage these processes. The end result is a lengthy process that can leave employees frustrated. 

Instant Improvement

The good thing is that government agencies, and all workplaces, can improve these processes with our Accommodate and Advocate platforms. Both of these systems are tailored for quickly and efficiently manage accommodations and employee complaints. These systems take the process away from spreadsheets and SharePoint and move them into a centralized and secure cloud-based system.

With these tools, human resources employees have a way to better track these cases. Our systems provide alerts when action is needed, follow up with stakeholders with reminders and updates, and completely ensures that nothing gets lost in the administrative shuffle. As a result, employees can feel secure that their accommodations requests are being handled quickly, while employees that filed complaints know their problems are being given the respect that they deserve.

Workplace satisfaction can be tough to measure. Every employee has different needs and concerns. The goal for every agency should be to handle each of these processes in a timely way. In the end, employees will know their issues are being taken care of and, hopefully, are helping to keep valuable employees engaged and happy.

For those interested in learning more, email

Complaint Management, Recruiting, Accommodation Requests