Tuesday, April 3, 2007

A new survey of U.S. intelligence agencies’ staff finds them slightly more positive than average federal employees about their work.

The survey, which included civilian and military employees of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies and the office of the new Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell, was conducted in October. The 50 questions were derived from the governmentwide survey conducted by the White House Office of Personnel Management. The results were compared with the rest of the federal government.

The survey asked employees about cooperation and leadership in the workplace, their treatment by management and whether they liked and valued the work they did.

In most categories related to job satisfaction, performance and leadership, intelligence staff rated themselves as high as or slightly higher than federal employees as a whole.

The results put the intelligence agencies in the top 10 among all federal government employers in those three categories and in the top five for job satisfaction.

But the staff also was asked some questions not in the governmentwide survey, regarding the effects and goals of the intelligence-reform process started by Congress in 2004 in an effort to break down barriers between different agencies and impose a single leadership on them.

According to the summary, the questions were designed to gauge “whether employees feel a sense of community” — defined as “shared mission and values” — between different agencies, and whether and how closely they work with the staff of other agencies.

“Employees clearly understand that [their] mission depends upon sharing knowledge and collaborating across agencies,” states the summary, “However, only a minority report it is easy to work with those outside their agency.

“There is much room for improvement,” it concludes.

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