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Survey 2020: FCC Staffers Cite Colleagues' 'Underperformance' as Issue

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(Image credit: FCC)

New acting chair Jessica Rosenworcel may have inherited an underperformance issue at the agency, either perception or reality, that she can work on improving, though about half the FCC's employees polled for a government staffer survey may not believe change will happen if there is a problem.

That's according to the results of the 2020 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey conducted by the Office of Personnel Management among FCC employees Sept. 22-Nov. 3, 2020. A similar survey is required of each executive agency annually.

Of the 38 statements posed, there were majority positive responses to 36 of them, including a high of 89.3% positive responses to the statement: "I know how my work relates to the agency's goals."

Staffers generally said they were encouraged to come up with better ways to do things, that there workload was reasonable--even in a pandemic--and their co-workers worked cooperatively with them. Almost 80% said they would recommend the agency as a good place to work.

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The only two statements that did not draw positive responses were: "In my work unit, steps are taken to deal with a poor performer who cannot or will not improve," which drew only 43.9% positives, and "I believe the results of this survey will be used to make my agency a better place to work," with only about half (49.4%) saying that would be the case.

According to the responses to a statement about what usually happens to poor performers in their work unit, 40.4% of staffers said they tend to remain in the unit and continue to underperform, while only 19.7% said their performance improves over time if they remain in the unit.

The Web-based survey was offered to of all permanent FCC employees (1,339), of which 622 or 46.5% participated.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.