In accordance with Annual Employee Survey (AES) regulations (5 CFR Part 250; Subpart C - Employee Surveys), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) posts annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) results and this brief evaluation describing our employee engagement data and strategic approach.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) administers the FEVS, which measures employees' perceptions of the work environment. In partnership with DOL’s FEVS/Engagement Community of Practice, the Division of Worklife and Engagement within the Office of Human Resources works with DOL leaders to review and analyze results to identify DOL's strengths and challenges; communicate results to all levels within the Department; provide guidance for the completion of Agency Employee Engagement Action Plans; and determine a DOL-wide engagement strategy for maximum organizational effectiveness and enhancements.

In 2020, to be responsive to changing needs and gain insights about managing during a crisis, OPM streamlined the core content of the FEVS and shifted the survey to focus on 38 core questions, worklife questions, and new COVID-19 related questions focused on employees' use of worklife supports and technology/collaboration tools, and Departmental/Agency health and safety actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.

Results Highlights

OPM administered the 2020 FEVS between September 17th and October 29th to all eligible (N = 13,573) full-time and part-time permanent DOL employees onboard as of 10/31/19. A total of 7,187 surveys were completed, yielding a response rate of 56%, outpacing the Government-wide response rate by 12%.

DOL vs. Government FEVS Response Rates

Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Year






DOL Response Rate






Government Response Rate






As demonstrated by DOL’s Annual Employee Survey (AES) Results Report, in comparison with DOL’s 2019 FEVS results, our 2020 results show that 25 survey items were identified as “Strengths” by OPM, with positive responses of 65% or higher and no items were identified as “Challenges” by OPM, with negative responses of 35% or higher.  In 2020, 37 items increased in positive responses since 2019 and no items decreased.

The consistent increase in positive responses to FEVS questions over the past few years, especially from 2019 to 2020, indicate that DOL is on the right path to ensuring the Department is a good place to work and that employees are satisfied with their jobs, and recognize the work that they do is important to fulfilling the mission of the Department and their agencies. Further, the 2020 results indicate that employees are seeking ways to improve performance and are held accountable for achieving results, which are positive indicators of an engaging workforce environment.


DOL continues to focus on strategies to strengthen and improve Employee Engagement and Global Satisfaction within the Department and tracks progress on its Performance Culture Index, which measures the impact of performance, recognition, training and development, and communication efforts. DOL remains committed to proactive employee engagement action planning and implementation focused on three main areas: Training & Development; Performance & Recognition; and Communication.

As DOL continues to use survey results to support improvement strategies, both at the Departmental and the agency levels, an environment of excellence that supports all workers and allows each to contribute to their fullest potential should flourish. Additionally, continued close collaboration with the DOL Engagement/FEVS Community of Practice and partnerships with other Departmental groups such as the DOL Employee Affinity Groups and the Unions will continue to be leveraged to promote employee development, diversity and inclusion, and engagement.

Emphasis on actions taken as a result of employee input and encouragement of employee participation in improving the workplace will help to build on the strengths of the DOL workforce and fuel improved performance in execution of DOL’s mission. DOL leadership is committed to improving employee engagement and culture throughout our organizations and value everyone’s efforts in continuing to make DOL a best place to work.