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USDA Announces Ranking as “Most Improved” Agency in the 2022 Best Place to Work Rankings

USDA receives high response rate in 2022 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Results

Washington, DC, April 12, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it has received the recognition for being “Most Improved” for very large Federal agencies in the Partnership for Public Service’s 2022 Best Places to Work Rankings. This continues USDA’s path of steady improvement towards becoming a Great Place to Work for Everyone, with the Department now ranked at 12th among very large agencies in the Best Places to Work Rankings, up from the 16th place ranking in 2020.

Additionally, USDA today highlighted the high response rate received in the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), which was administered at USDA between May and July of 2022. The Department’s final adjusted response rate outpaced large agency peers and government-wide percentages by double-digits.

“At USDA, we are committed to reaching new heights by cultivating a workplace environment that is collaborative, service-oriented, mission-centered, healthy, and inclusive,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “I am pleased to see these results as we strive to live up to our moniker as ‘the People’s Department,’ and we will continue to move forward with a strong commitment to making improvements on behalf of all employees, attracting talent that represents the diversity of America, and putting people at the center of everything we do.”

These positive results reflect the culmination of a persistent, multi-year effort by staff across the Mission Areas, staff offices and agencies, the Office of Human Resources (OHRM), and the USDA’s leadership team working together to create an environment that engages employees and cultivates an exceptional workforce representative of the diverse communities and cultures we serve.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA leadership has spearheaded efforts to help improve the Department’s OPM FEVS results and support for the strategic priority to make USDA a best place to work. This includes the establishment of several employee engagement initiatives like the Executive Leadership Forums, the Employee Health and Wellness Council, and the Frontline Workers Council. This has also included all-employee town halls, and the creation of the OneUSDA FEVS website. Mission Areas, agencies, and staff offices are also working to create FEVS action plans to facilitate FEVS improvements across the Department. Underpinning these activities is a commitment to listen to USDA’s employees and develop policies and practices that build an inclusive, healthy and responsive culture.

How the Survey was Conducted

The 2022 OPM FEVS was a census conducted at USDA for 6 weeks starting the week of May 30th and closing on July 15th. All non-political, full-time, and part-time permanent and intermittent Federal employees onboard as of November 2021 were invited to participate. The results of the FEVS help identify USDA’s strengths and challenges and are used to guide improvement efforts.

Number of Employees Surveyed

OPM sent 86,568 USDA employees a survey invitation and 43,332 employees responded, resulting in a nearly 4% increase to the 2022 final adjusted response rate (50.06%) compared to the 2021 final adjusted response rate (46.40%).

Notable results include:

  • The USDA received recognition by the Partnership for Public Service for being “Most Improved” for very large agencies.
  • The USDA now ranks 12th among very large agencies in the Best Places to Work rankings. This is a significant improvement from the 16th place ranking in 2020.
  • USDA received a 1% increase in OPM’s Employee Engagement – Leaders Lead sub-index, which measures employees’ perceptions of integrity of leadership and leadership behaviors such as communication and workforce motivation.

Learn more about USDA’s 2022 FEVS results.


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