Improved Job Design and Reward System can Better Motivate Federal Employees, MSPB Finds

Most federal employees report feeling highly motivated in their jobs, according to a new Merit Systems Protection Board report.

MSPB found that 70 percent of surveyed federal employees agreed with the statement, “I feel highly motivated in my work,” according to MSPB’s report Federal Employee Engagement: The Motivating Potential of Job Characteristics and Rewards. The report looks at motivation levels across federal agencies and discusses what federal agencies can do to increase employees’ motivation and output levels.

“One key is to give employees meaningful work and the autonomy, support and feedback they need to succeed,” said MSPB Chairman Susan Grundmann. “Often, significant improvements can be made on a cost-neutral basis.”

Two steps agencies can take to increase motivation and performance within their workforce are improving job design by making the position meaningful, autonomous and interesting and developing a reward system for good performance.

“Federal agencies must make sure that the federal employees see the results of their efforts and receive positive reinforcement for achieving goals and results,” Grundmann said. “To ensure that recognition efforts are effective and use scarce resources wisely, federal agencies and managers need to learn what rewards employees value most and design their programs accordingly.”

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