U.S. Archivist acknowledges morale problems at his agency
By The Post's Lisa Rein
It can't be easy to acknowledge to the public and your employees that morale at your agency has hit the skids. But David S. Ferriero, the U.S. Archivist, did just that after the National Archives emerged last week as the lowest-ranked large federal agency in a survey of federal employees' views about their job.
Ferriero put out a lengthy press release --something more commonly used for self-congratulation -- on the heels of the closely watched "Best Places to Work" rankings by the Partnership for Public Service. He noted that he encouraged the Archives' 3,200 employees across the country to respond to the survey, and 82 percent did -- the highest participation rate in the government.
Ferriero, who arrived nine months ago, acknowledged in an interview that one of the biggest problems with morale is a sense that employees do not have a clearly defined career path, and many feel stuck.
"I want all of our employees, regardless of where in the agency they work, to feel valued and have pride in this agency," Ferriero wrote in his release. "We are on the path to change."
He noted that he has been on a listening tour of 21 Archives offices around the country to meet the staff and hear their concerns. Last week he sent all employees a follow-up survey that solicited suggestions on how to improve the agency's work environment.
"Within the first day we received 343 responses," he wrote. And he said that he has set up a task force in the agency to sort through the ideas and implement them.
In other news:
• The FDA considers approving a genetically modified animal, a salmon for human consumption.
• A council created by the new financial reform law has a big mission.
• NTSB renews its call for small children to have their own seats on airplanes, in the wake of a deadly crash in Montana.
| September 7, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: Agencies and Departments, Ask Your Government, Eye Opener
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