Consumer bureau workers like their jobs, value agency mission – but not necessarily ‘senior leadership’ policies, integrity

More than four in every five of the workers at the federal consumer financial protection agency acknowledge that the work they do is important (and a similar number say they like the work that they do), but more than half of workers think little of the agency’s senior leadership – and fewer than one in four say they are satisfied with the policies and practices of their senior leaders, according to the results of an agency workforce survey.

Results of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB, formerly known as BCFP) annual employee survey, released late Friday, show that 83.2% of respondents to the survey – conducted online Aug. 6-31, and filled out by 72% of the agency’s “employee population” of 1,540 full-time equivalent employees – agree or agree strongly with the statement that “The work I do is important.” At the same time, 83% also agreed or agreed strongly with the statement “I like the kind of work I do,” according to the results.

However, the results also showed a considerable amount of unease with the agency’s senior leadership. Less than one-fourth (24.9%) of the respondents said that they agreed or agreed strongly with the statement that, “In my organization, senior leaders generate high levels of motivation and commitment in the workforce.” About the same percentage (24.6%) expressed satisfaction (both “satisfied” and “very satisfied”) with the statement “How satisfied are you with the policies and practices of your senior leaders?”

On the other hand, 54.3% said that they disagreed or strongly disagreed with the first statement about generation of high levels of motivation and commitment by senior leaders. And 48.4% expressed dissatisfaction (both “dissatisfied” and “very dissatisfied”) with senior leaders’ policies.

“Of the 77 items included in the survey, 41 items were rated favorably (agree/satisfied or strongly agree/very satisfied) by 65% or more of respondent employees; these items are considered strengths,” according to the survey’s introduction. “Eleven (11) items were identified as challenges with percent unfavorable results (percent of respondents who disagree/strongly disagree or are dissatisfied/very dissatisfied) greater than 35%,” the introduction adds.

The agency noted that CFPB leaders use feedback from tools such as the annual employee survey “to develop strategies to better meet employee needs,” according to the report on the survey – the seventh such appraisal conducted by the agency. “Survey results are shared across the organization to encourage leaders to actively seek and respond to opportunities to improve the employee work experience. BCFP continues to develop as an organization and is actively leveraging employee feedback to inform organizational goals and activity,” the survey stated.

In many cases, results of the survey tended to reflect responses of “agree” or “strongly agree” or “satisfied” or “very satisfied” to the questions grouped in nine areas. Those areas are:

  • Work experience;
  • My work unit;
  • My agency;
  • My supervisor;
  • Leadership;
  • Rewards and recognition: Work unit;
  • Rewards and recognition: Agency;
  • Diversity and inclusion; and
  • Overall satisfaction.

However, the fifth area (on “Leadership”) displayed a divergence from that trend, particularly with regard to “senior leadership,” the focus of the last four questions in the section. To none of those four did more than 33% respond that they agreed or agreed strongly (or were “satisfied” or “very satisfied”) with the statement presented. Those statements (and the percentage of agreement, including “strongly” or “very”) were:

  • My organization’s senior leaders maintain high standards of honesty and integrity (32.8%);
  • In my organization, senior leaders generate high levels of motivation and commitment in the workforce (24.9%);
  • I have a high level of respect for my organization’s senior leaders (29.2%);
  • How satisfied are you with the policies and practices of your senior leaders? (24.6% said they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied.”)

Some softness in attitudes was also displayed in the areas of pay and upward mobility (although overall job satisfaction rated highly).

Only 20.5% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that “Pay raises depend on how well employees perform their jobs.” At the same time, only 30% said they were “satisfied“ or “very satisfied” with the statement, “How satisfied are you with your opportunity to get a better job in your organization?”

In overall satisfaction, nearly two-thirds (64.9%) said they were “satisfied“ or “very satisfied” in response to the question, “considering everything, how satisfied are you with your job?”

2018 BCFP Annual Employee Survey Results