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SEA Releases Report on Results from Member Survey on FY 2013 Performance Appraisal Process

The Senior Executives Association is releasing a report of the results of its February member survey of Senior Executives (SES) and Senior Professionals (SP) from across the government regarding their agencies' FY 2013 performance appraisal process and outcomes. The survey provided a wide variety of information on the status, outcomes, issues and concerns surrounding performance management in their agencies.

Click here for the full report.

A majority (51%) of survey respondents rated overall morale among Senior Executives and Senior Professionals at their agencies as "low or very low." Moreover, just over a third (34%) reported being "not satisfied" with their agencies' FY 2013 performance appraisal and rating processes, with more than twice as many opining that the FY 2013 process was not as good as the FY 2012 process (as opposed to being better).

Respondents were encouraged to provide written comments on a variety of issues, including satisfaction with their agencies' performance management process and outcomes, how such processes can be improved, and what additionally SEA can do to promote improved executive performance appraisal processes and outcomes across the government. The survey also asked employees to assess and comment on the overall state of morale among executives in their agencies.

Included among the topics reflected most prominently in the comments were the following issues and concerns:

• Deteriorating pay for performance is unfair and causing big problems
• Pay Compression and pay overlap is getting out of hand and is adversely impacting SES retention
• Lack of respect and appreciation for career executives is hurting morale and agency performance
• SES performance appraisal processes are seen as slow, burdensome and not transparent
• SEA is seen as a force for positive change and for protecting career SES and SPs from further denigration

In reviewing the results SEA President Carol Bonosaro remarked, "The survey provides rich insights into current challenges and concerns facing the career executive corps, not only in the pay and performance management arena but more broadly in other areas impacting agencies' ability to recruit, retain and motivate career leaders. We urge the Administration and Congress to carefully consider the impact of current, shortsighted pay for performance practices on career leadership – the very leadership which is essential to efficient, effective management and to innovation in these challenging times. We can't afford a system which is essentially broken and highly demoralizing."

The Senior Executives Association (SEA) is a professional association representing Senior Executive Service members and other career federal executives. Founded in 1980, SEA's goals are: to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and productivity of the federal government; to advance the professionalism and advocate the interests of career federal executives; and to enhance public recognition of their contributions. The SEA Professional Development League (PDL) is a nonprofit educational organization committed to advancing the professionalism of career federal executives through the sponsorship of training, recognition, and research activities.