Thomas Brading | Army News Service

WASHINGTON — The results are in, and the Army clenched the title of top civilian employer across the Defense Department — and ranks seventh among large federal agencies — according to the 2019 Best Places to Work rankings.

The Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey is intended to empower federal employees with an outlet to candidly provide feedback on their experiences, organizations, workforce management, and more, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which administers the annual study.

The Army’s results laid out how its employees feel valued, and are making an impact on the mission, officials said. Leaders will continue to examine the satisfaction data to provide meaningful work to best use talents.

This year — with the Army’s highest numbers in a decade — 68 percent of respondents said they would recommend the service to others, said Dr. Casey Wardynski, assistant secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. He added that’s a two-point bump from last year’s survey.

“Our biggest gain was in that key measure,” Wardynski said. “That’s kind of a litmus test. If you wouldn’t (recommend the Army to friends and family), that’s not a good sign. The share of our employees who would has gone up and that’s a key driver of this best places to work index.

“This input is very important because we want the Army to be the employer of choice in the federal government and frankly, we’d like to stack up well against the industry as well,” Wardynski said.

Within a year, the Army moved up four places among large government agencies and has moved up nine places since 2016.

More specifically, the Army ranked among the top five agencies for effective leadership, employee skills-mission match and innovation.

The 85-item survey gives unique, detailed insight to leaders about overall employee satisfaction at their agencies, and offers an idea of what adjustments can be made to optimize their respective workplaces.

With more than 300,000 civilian employees, the Army is the largest workforce in the Defense Department.

Family and friends are recommended to work for the Army because of the culture created within it, by both the people “who work here and those who lead it,” Wardynski said.

“The Army has put a good bit of effort into developing its leaders and creating an environment in which they support the development of their subordinates,” he said. “This has made a strong growth between both employees and supervisors.”

A representation of this, Wardynski said, is found within the lines of the Army’s Civilian Creed, which states how the Army’s civilians, “provide leadership, stability, and continuity during war and peace.”

“We’re after No. 1,” Wardynski said, regarding all government agencies. “But, there’s more work to do to go from No. 7 of 17 to No. 1 of 17.”

To be No. 1, senior leaders will communicate their goals and priorities more clearly within the Army, Wardynski said. A step in this direction occured last year when Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. James McConville and Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy signed the Army People Strategy.

The APS is a plan of action Army leaders will use in order to build a 21st-century talent-based personnel management system, reform essential quality-of-life programs, and build cohesive teams that are ready, professional, diverse and integrated into the joint force, according to a news release.

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