BBG Watch Guest Commentary
BBG Watch occasionally publishes guest commentaries. This one is from a current Voice of America journalist who prefers to remain anonymous.
Views expressed here are only those of the authors and not of BBG Watch, its volunteers, or sponsors.
We invite those with opposing views and others who want to comment on this or other issues followed by BBG Watch to submit their op-eds for consideration.
Questions from a Voice of America Journalist
By A Voice of America Journalist
Do the Agency’s leaders believe employees’ poor morale affects the Agency’s ability to complete its mission, or do they think it is not essential to the Agency and is something that does not need to be addressed in order for the Agency to be successful?
Do the Agency’s leaders believe poor morale affects recruiting and retention?
Is it possible that the Agency’s senior leaders have been operating for so long in a low-morale environment that they have come to accept it as the norm and they do not believe that morale will or can ever improve?
Is it possible for morale to improve in the Agency when it continues to be led by people who have either perpetrated a dysfunctional system or are its beneficiaries?
Who drove this Agency into the ditch? How are we going to get out of it?
Why should we believe the Agency’s senior leaders are serious about solving morale problems when they let the process for addressing the problem lose momentum? There was the CR, the sequester, all the budget upheaval, snowstorms, etc., but aren’t those just excuses? I mean, if you really want to do something you’ll find a way; if you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. Doesn’t the fact that the process has stalled prove that early critics were right when they said that putting senior leaders at the head of the (now-defunct) change committees was a mistake? Doesn’t this give credence to early critics that this push to improve morale would soon be killed by the bureaucracy as they waited out this latest project?
What have the Agency’s leaders been doing to help morale? Have there been attempts to upgrade certain GS-12 positions to GS-13? Have there been efforts at getting some employees QSIs? Have they been goven day-off awards?
As pertains to accountability, has any senior leader been fired in the past few years? If so, who and for what reason?
Why does the Agency not have a leadership training program? The HR department says it has a series of questions that are asked during job interviews for supervisor positions that can determine whether someone will be a good leader, even if they have no record of leadership. Does the agency put its faith in these questions? Should someone be promoted to a position of leadership without first having been tested as a potential leader? A member of VOA’s senior staff has said in open meetings that GS-13s often apply for GS-14 positions just to get a raise and not because they want to lead others. This senior staff member has also said “We promote people into leadership positions who have never led others and just hope for the best.”
In 2013, the Montgomery County school superintendent reached an agreement with its teachers union that included official teacher evaluations being based in part on the evaluations of a teacher by her or his students. The idea of a 360 evaluation has been mentioned often in the past few years in the Agency. When will it be implemented?
Are agency leaders evaluated in part by the morale level of the people they supervise?
Why are people promoted to lead a Branch when they have never led others? Shouldn’t there be a tiered system of Branches, where people are promoted from smaller Branches to larger (or not promoted) based on their performance?
Has any new manager ever been removed from their position during the probation period?
Significant Declines in OPM 2014 Employee Survey for BBG Senior Leaders’ Skills and Agency Management (Federal Government Entities Only)
I recommend my organization as a good place to work. 6.36% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
In my organization, senior leaders generate high levels of motivation and commitment in the workforce. 2.89% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
My organization’s leaders maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. 4.79% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
I have a high level of respect for my organization’s senior leaders. 6.22% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
How satisfied are you with your involvement in decisions that affect your work? 6.78% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
How satisfied are you with the information you receive from management on what’s going on in your organization? 2.27% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
How satisfied are you with the recognition you receive for doing a good job? 5.96% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
How satisfied are you with the policies and practices of your senior leaders? 3.9% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your job? 5.16% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
I have sufficient resources (for example, people, materials, budget) to get my job done. 2014 Percent Positive: 29.60%. 2013 Percent Positive: 35.12% 5.52% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
Promotions in my work are based on merit. 2014 Percent Positive: 28.15%. 2013 Percent Positive: 28.52% 0.37% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
Creativity and innovation are rewarded. 2014 Percent Positive: 28.47%. 2013 Percent Positive: 30.11% 1.64% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
In my work unit, steps are taken yo deal with a poor performer who cannot or will not improve. 2014 Percent Positive: 23.85%. 2013 Percent Positive: 25.28% 1.43% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
I can disclose a suspected violation of any law, rule or regulation without fear of reprisal. 2014 Percent Positive: 45.20%. 2013 Percent Positive: 46.69% 1.49% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
Pay raises depend on how well employees perform their jobs. 2014 Percent Positive: 14.61%. 2013 Percent Positive: 15.38% 0.77% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
BROADCASTING BOARD OF GOVERNORS
2013 AND 2014 FEDERAL EMPLOYEE VIEWPOINT SURVEY RESULTS COMPARED
Recommend Organization As A Good Place to Work
6.36% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
Commitment Of Senior Leaders To Workforce
2.89% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
High Standards Of Honesty And Integrity By Organization’s Leaders
4.79% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
Respect for Senior Leaders
6.22% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
6.78% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
Information Sharing By Management
2.27% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
Management Recognition of Employee Achievement
5.96% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
Employee Satisfaction With Policies and Practices of Senior Leaders
3.9% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
Employee Job Satisfaction
5.16% Decline Between 2013 and 2014
Employee Satisfaction With Organization
5.07% Decline Between 2013 and 2014