In its 2001 review of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the National Research Council (NRC, p. 126) cautioned that ?high-quality personnel are essential for developing high-quality science information? and urged the USGS to ?devote substantial efforts to recruiting and retaining excellent staff.?
Recognizing the importance of the NRC recommendation, the USGS has committed time and resources to create a rewarding work environment with the goal of achieving the following valued outcomes:
? USGS science vitality
? Customer satisfaction with USGS products and services
? Employee perceptions of the USGS as a rewarding place to work
? Heightened employee morale and commitment
? The ability to recruit and retain employees with critical skills
To determine whether this investment of time and resources was proving to be successful, the USGS Human Resources Office conducted a Rewarding Environment Culture Study to answer the following four questions.
? Question 1: Does a rewarding work environment lead to the valued outcomes (identified above) that the USGS is seeking?
? Question 2: Which management, supervisory, and leadership behaviors contribute most to creating a rewarding work environment and to achieving the valued outcomes that the USGS is seeking?
? Question 3: Do USGS employees perceive that the USGS is a rewarding place to work?
? Question 4: What actions can and should be taken to enhance the USGS work environment?
To begin the study, a conceptual model of a rewarding USGS environment was developed to test assumptions about a rewarding work environment. The Rewarding Environment model identifies the key components that are thought to contribute to a rewarding work environment and the valued outcomes that are thought to result from having a rewarding work environment. The 2002 Organizational Assessment Survey (OAS) was used as the primary data source for the study because it provided the most readily available data. Additional survey data were included as they became available
The dividends of creating a rewarding work environment can be great. As the results of the USGS Rewarding Environment Culture Study of 2002 indicate, creating a rewarding work environment is an investment that can have an important impact on the outcomes that the USGS values?the vitality of our science, the satisfaction of our customers, and the morale, commitment, and performance of our employees.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
U.S. Geological Survey Rewarding Environment Culture Study, 2002