Employees at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) feel safer, more valued and empowered in their roles at the department. This is according to the 2023 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) that tracks the sentiment of federal employees across the government.
“The FEVS, which is the largest annual employer survey in the country, tracks how federal employees view their current work environment, including workforce management, policies, and new initiatives,” HUD said in an announcement of the results.
Survey results indicate that HUD employees feel more protected in their roles and empowered, and also found that HUD employees have more “dedication to the common good, leadership’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.”
“The Employee Engagement Index score, which increased to HUD’s highest-ever score – 77% positive overall – saw positive increases in the integrity of leadership, relationships between worker and supervisor, and employees’ feelings of motivation and competency,” the agency said.
In prepared remarks, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said that improving morale was a priority entering 2023.
“Today’s results show us that we have made serious progress in our efforts to make sure HUD employees feel valued, safe, and included on our team while also ensuring accessibility and diversity in the workplace,” Fudge said.
Other results highlighted include more satisfaction with pay, organization and likelihood to recommend HUD as a good workplace.
“The Global Satisfaction Index score, which measures employee satisfaction overall, increased to 72%,” HUD said in a statement. “This includes increases in satisfaction of one’s job, pay, organization, and a 3.6-point increase in employees’ recommendation of HUD as a good place to work.”
The improvement in morale, as measured internally, stands in contrast to what the Biden administration inherited. Upon her confirmation as Secretary in 2021, morale at HUD was described as very low due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and a slew of retirements from career officials.
“HUD’s ranks have been gutted, morale has never been lower, and the challenges to HUD’s constituents have never been higher,” said David Dworkin, National Housing Conference (NHC) president and CEO in a report from Politico published shortly after Fudge was confirmed for her role by the U.S. Senate.
In a White House briefing room appearance shortly after being confirmed in 2021, Fudge told reporters that she had an opportunity to speak with the president about the state of morale at HUD, and that she had vowed “to make some major changes, and very quickly.”
By that summer, indications had shown that HUD had begun addressing long-standing staff shortages. To further address new post-pandemic challenges, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) also saw a boost to its budget from a congressional omnibus spending package.