Social Security Is The Worst Government Agency To Work For, Says Survey

( — On Monday May 20, the nonprofit organization Partnership for Public Service released the results of their 2023 poll on employee satisfaction in federal workplaces. They found that government employees rate the Social Security Administration as the worst agency to work at.

The group has been conducting surveys designed to understand and improve government agencies and programs for about 20 years. Early focus was on the public’s perception of federal government, and that is still an important part of their mission. They believe their polling data can be integral to building a better government and a stronger democracy.

The new polling data included 532 federal agencies and agency components and indicated some improvement from 2020. However, about a third of employees at federal offices rated their department poorly. The Social Security Administration (SSA) was the lowest rated agency in the large agencies category, with a satisfaction score of 52.1. The score is a slight improvement over their 2022 score of 53.9, although they were also the lowest rated that year. New SSA commissioner Martin O’Malley commented just last month that the agency has been experiencing a customer service crisis.

In stark contrast to the SSA, NASA has topped the chart for the twelfth consecutive year with a score of 82.5, although it was higher in 2022 at 84.3. NASA administrator Bill Nelson cheered on his staff with an inspiring message that with the “world’s finest workforce,” they can reach for the stars. While NASA has been consistently high scoring, the Department of Homeland Security showed the most improvement. While still in the bottom tier of the list, they went from 54.9 in 2022 to 60.8 in 2023. That still gives them a rating of D- for workplace satisfaction but the jump suggests they are making efforts to improve.

Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, sees the improvements in many federal workplaces as a promising sign. He went on to explain that a motivated federal workforce is critical to a functioning government and to the success of the United States.

It is interesting to note that some smaller agencies have even greater workplace satisfaction than NASA. The National Indian Gaming Commission Acting Chair, Sharon M. Avery, expressed her pride that they had received a 93.6 score, placing them at the top of the small agency list. Avery said that they foster a collaborative environment in which everyone feels valued.

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