DHS Gets Low Marks for Employee Satisfaction, Again

By Carlton Purvis

Once again, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), ranked among the lowest agencies when it comes to employee job satisfaction and commitment. DHS ranked 31 of 33, according to results of the annual Partnership for Public Service survey. Lawmakers want to know what is causing low morale at DHS and what they can do to counter it. 

“The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings draw on responses from more than 266,000 civil servants to produce a detailed view of employee satisfaction and commitment across 308 federal agencies and subcomponents,” according the Partnership for Public Service Web site. “Employee satisfaction and commitment are two necessary ingredients in developing high-performing organizations and attracting top talent.”

DHS ranked 28th or lower in most categories. It ranked 28th for employees satisfied with their level of pay, 30th for employees who feel like the agency has a family friendly culture and benefits, 30th for effective leadership, and 29th for fairness.

“This is unacceptable,” said Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the Oversight, Investigations, and Management Subcommittee of the Homeland Security Committee, in a prepared statement. “Secretary Napolitano wants to build ‘One DHS.’ She cannot accomplish this while the Department consistently ranks as one of the lowest in employee morale in the U.S. Government."

DHS employs around 216,000 people, in a wide range of jobs from law enforcement to mission support services that include medical, human resources, facilities, science and technology, training, intelligence, and civil rights.

The Oversight, Investigations, and Management subcommittee will hear testimony on Thursday from witnesses, including former Commandant of the Coast Guard Thad Allen, who will examine factors leading to low morale within the ranks of DHS and discuss steps to fix the problem.

♦ Photo of DHS Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano from Medill DC/flickr


View Recent News (by day)


Beyond Print

SM Online

See all the latest links and resources that supplement the current issue of Security Management magazine.