By law, the U.S. Access Board is required to conduct the Annual Employee Survey and make these survey results available to the public on its website. In 2009, the U.S. Access Board administered the Annual Employee (AES) to its employees. Below the 2009 survey results are presented, along with the survey methodology.

Background on the Annual Employee Survey

In the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (Public Law 108-136, November 24, 2003, 117 STAT. 1641), Congress established a requirement for agencies to conduct an annual survey of their employees to assess employee satisfaction as well as leadership and management practices that contribute to agency performance. As required by the Act, OPM issued final regulations implementing mandatory employee survey, as subpart C, Employee Surveys, of 5 Code of Federal Regulations, part 250, Personnel Management in Agencies. The final regulations, which are effective as of 2007, prescribe survey questions that must appear on each agency’s employee survey. These items constitute the Annual Employee Survey, which is what the Access Board administered in 2009.

Survey Process

In 2009, the Access Board partnered with the Office of Personnel Management’s Center for Talent Services (CTS) which provides a variety of human resources services to federal agencies. CTS administered the AES to the Access Board employees. Data collection was done in a secure online environment. In early October, a senior official of the U.S. Access Board e-mailed all employees, notifying the upcoming survey and inviting their participation. Following that, all employees received an initial invitation from CTS via email. Employees were allowed to participate in the online survey over a period of two and a half weeks. A participation reminder was sent by CTS to employees a week prior to the closing of the survey. Any assistance requested by an employee was handled by CTS via e-mail.

U.S. Access Board Survey Methodology

The total survey population at the U.S. Access Board is 28 employees (as of October, 2009). Of the 28 employees, 26 responded; therefore, the total response rate was 93%. (This high response rate seems to be possible, largely due to the introduction of the fully-accessible online survey for all employees including those with visual impairments.)

Because of the small population size of the US Access Board, employees were not asked any demographic questions. This is a standard procedure for agencies with less than 800 employees. Any demographic breakouts in a population of only 28 employees would be too small to be statistically relevant, regardless of the response rate. In addition, the exclusion of the demographic questions helped to preserve the confidentiality of the employee’s responses.

Survey Findings

The 2009 Annual Employee Survey shows that the agency scored very high (i.e., greater than 65% favorable – Strongly Agree/Agree or Very Satisfied/Satisfied) on the majority of the items for questions measuring satisfaction with: (i) personal work experiences; (ii) recruitment, development, and retention; as well as (iii) leadership. The employees are highly satisfied with their work; they think that managers communicate the goals and priorities of the agency; and they understand well how their work is related to the agency’s goals and priorities. On the other hand, the lowest scores were obtained on the items measuring performance culture, especially on the items concerning management of poor and high performers. A couple of items on training and promotion opportunity had low favorability ratings, as well. However, this year’s scores for training and performance management are an improvement over comparable questions included in last year’s survey. Training and performance management are the areas that the agency’s senior leadership plans to address in the upcoming year.

U.S. Access Board
2009 Annual Employee Survey Results
(Survey Administration Period 10/13/2009 – 10/31/2009)
Surveys Sent: 28; Response Rate: 93%
Prescribed Questions: Personal Work Experiences
Item Text Strongly AgreeAgreeNeitherDisagreeStrongly Disagree Total
1. The people I work with cooperate to get the job done. Frequencies 9 13 2 2 0 26
Percentages 34.6% 50.0% 7.7% 7.7% 0.0% 100.0%
2. I am given a real opportunity to improve my skills in my organization. Frequencies 7 8 8 3 0 26
Percentages 26.9% 30.8% 30.8% 11.5% 0.0% 100.0%
3. My work gives me a feeling of personal accomplishment. Frequencies 11 10 3 1 0 25
Percentages 44.0% 40.0% 12.0% 4.0% 0.0% 100.0%
4. I like the kind of work I do. Frequencies 10 11 2 1 0 24
Percentages 41.7% 45.8% 8.3% 4.2% 0.0% 100.0%
5. I have trust and confidence in my supervisor. Frequencies 10 11 3 1 0 25
Percentages 40.0% 44.0% 12.0% 4.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Item Text Very GoodGoodFairPoorVery Poor Total
6. Overall, how good a job do you feel is being done by your immediate supervisor/team leader? Frequencies 11 7 6 0 1 25
Percentages 44.0% 28.0% 24.0% 0.0% 4.0% 100.0%
Prescribed Questions: Recruitment, Development, & Retention
Item Text Strongly AgreeAgreeNeitherDisagreeStrongly DisagreeDo Not KnowTotal
7. The workforce has the job-relevant knowledge and skills necessary to accomplish organizational goals. Frequencies 7 14 2 3 0 0 26
Percentages 26.9% 53.8% 7.7% 11.5% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
8. My work unit is able to recruit people with the right skills. Frequencies 5 6 6 5 1 2 25
Percentages 20.0% 24.0% 24.0% 20.0% 4.0% 8.0% 100.0%
9. I know how my work relates to the agency’s goals and priorities. Frequencies 13 12 1 0 0 0 26
Percentages 50.0% 46.2% 3.8% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
10. The work I do is important. Frequencies 14 11 1 0 0 0 26
Percentages 53.8% 42.3% 3.8% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
11. Physical conditions (for example, noise level, temperature, lighting, cleanliness in the workplace) allow employees to perform their jobs well. Frequencies 9 13 2 0 1 0 25
Percentages 36.0% 52.0% 8.0% 0.0% 4.0% 0.0% 100.0%
12. Supervisors/team leaders in my work unit support employee development. Frequencies 6 11 6 1 0 1 25
Percentages 24.0% 44.0% 24.0% 4.0% 0.0% 4.0% 100.0%
13. My talents are used well in the workplace. Frequencies 8 7 6 4 0 0 25
Percentages 32.0% 28.0% 24.0% 16.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
14. My training needs are assessed. Frequencies 2 8 9 6 0 0 25
Percentages 8.0% 32.0% 36.0% 24.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Prescribed Questions: Performance Culture
Item Text Strongly AgreeAgreeNeitherDisagreeStrongly DisagreeDo Not KnowTotal
15. Promotions in my work unit are based on merit. Frequencies 3 6 6 6 0 3 24
Percentages 12.5% 25.0% 25.0% 25.0% 0.0% 12.5% 100.0%
16. In my work unit, steps are taken to deal with a poor performer who cannot or will not improve. Frequencies 3 3 7 7 2 2 24
Percentages 12.5% 12.5% 29.2% 29.2% 8.3% 8.3% 100.0%
17. Creativity and innovation are rewarded. Frequencies 5 9 6 2 1 2 25
Percentages 20.0% 36.0% 24.0% 8.0% 4.0% 8.0% 100.0%
Item Text Strongly AgreeAgreeNeitherDisagreeStrongly DisagreeNo Basis to JudgeTotal
18. In my most recent performance appraisal, I understood what I had to do to be rated at different performance levels (e.g., Fully Successful, Outstanding). Frequencies 5 9 5 3 2 0 24
Percentages 20.8% 37.5% 20.8% 12.5% 8.3% 0.0% 100.0%
Item Text Strongly AgreeAgreeNeitherDisagreeStrongly DisagreeDo Not KnowTotal
19. In my work unit, differences in performance are recognized in a meaningful way. Frequencies 3 4 8 6 1 2 24
Percentages 12.5% 16.7% 33.3% 25.0% 4.2% 8.3% 100.0%
20. Pay raises depend on how well employees perform their jobs. Frequencies 3 7 7 4 1 1 23
Percentages 13.0% 30.4% 30.4% 17.4% 4.3% 4.3% 100.0%
21. My performance appraisal is a fair reflection of my performance. Frequencies 6 13 3 1 1 0 24
Percentages 25.0% 54.2% 12.5% 4.2% 4.2% 0.0% 100.0%
22. Discussions with my supervisor/ team leader about my performance are worthwhile. Frequencies 4 12 5 0 1 2 24
Percentages 16.7% 50.0% 20.8% 0.0% 4.2% 8.3% 100.0%
23. Managers/supervisors/team leaders work well with employees of different backgrounds. Frequencies 5 10 7 0 1 0 23
Percentages 21.7% 43.5% 30.4% 0.0% 4.3% 0.0% 100.0%
24. My supervisor supports my need to balance work and family issues. Frequencies 15 8 1 0 0 0 24
Percentages 62.5% 33.3% 4.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Prescribed Questions: Leadership
Item Text Strongly AgreeAgreeNeitherDisagreeStrongly DisagreeDo Not KnowTotal
25. I have a high level of respect for my organization’s senior leaders. Frequencies 9 10 5 1 0 0 25
Percentages 36.0% 40.0% 20.0% 4.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
26. In my organization, leaders generate high levels of motivation and commitment in the workforce. Frequencies 5 12 6 1 1 0 25
Percentages 20.0% 48.0% 24.0% 4.0% 4.0% 0.0% 100.0%
27. Managers review and evaluate the organization’s progress toward meeting its goals and objectives. Frequencies 5 12 6 0 0 1 24
Percentages 20.8% 50.0% 25.0% 0.0% 0.0% 4.2% 100.0%
28. Employees are protected from health and safety hazards on the job. Frequencies 11 9 2 1 1 0 24
Percentages 45.8% 37.5% 8.3% 4.2% 4.2% 0.0% 100.0%
29. Employees have a feeling of personal empowerment with respect to work processes. Frequencies 7 8 4 3 2 0 24
Percentages 29.2% 33.3% 16.7% 12.5% 8.3% 0.0% 100.0%
30. My workload is reasonable. Frequencies 6 8 6 3 1 0 24
Percentages 25.0% 33.3% 25.0% 12.5% 4.2% 0.0% 100.0%
31. Managers communicate the goals and priorities of the organization. Frequencies 9 12 2 1 0 0 24
Percentages 37.5% 50.0% 8.3% 4.2% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
32. My organization has prepared employees for potential security threats. Frequencies 3 11 9 0 1 0 24
Percentages 12.5% 45.8% 37.5% 0.0% 4.2% 0.0% 100.0%
Prescribed Questions: Job Satisfaction
Item Text Very SatisfiedSatisfiedNeitherDis­satisfiedVery Dis­satisfied Total
33. How satisfied are you with the information you receive from management on what’s going on in your organization? Frequencies 7 8 6 3 0 24
Percentages 29.2% 33.3% 25.0% 12.5% 0.0% 100.0%
34. How satisfied are you with your involvement in decisions that affect your work? Frequencies 7 9 5 2 1 24
Percentages 29.2% 37.5% 20.8% 8.3% 4.2% 100.0%
35. How satisfied are you with your opportunity to get a better job in your organization? Frequencies 3 4 12 3 2 24
Percentages 12.5% 16.7% 50.0% 12.5% 8.3% 100.0%
36. How satisfied are you with the recognition you receive for doing a good job? Frequencies 7 9 4 4 0 24
Percentages 29.2% 37.5% 16.7% 16.7% 0.0% 100.0%
37. How satisfied are you with the policies and practices of your senior leaders? Frequencies 4 9 8 2 0 23
Percentages 17.4% 39.1% 34.8% 8.7% 0.0% 100.0%
38. How satisfied are you with the training you receive for your present job? Frequencies 3 10 7 4 0 24
Percentages 12.5% 41.7% 29.2% 16.7% 0.0% 100.0%
39. Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your job? Frequencies 8 10 3 0 1 22
Percentages 36.4% 45.5% 13.6% 0.0% 4.5% 100.0%
40. Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your pay? Frequencies 9 12 1 2 0 24
Percentages 37.5% 50.0% 4.2% 8.3% 0.0% 100.0%