Survey shows most CFPB employees value their jobs and bureau’s mission; senior leaders’ policies, not so much

A high percentage of employees of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) responding to the agency’s latest employee survey said they like the kind of work they do and that their work is important, but less than a third feel motivated by senior leaders there.

In the survey, conducted online between Aug. 19 and Sept. 13, 2019, 929 of the 1,424 employees surveyed responded, for a response rate of 65.2%; that’s down from 72% in 2018.

Overall, the survey results show that most bureau employees like and believe in their work, and most have favorable views of their supervisors. They are less likely, though, to trust or feel inspired by senior leaders in the agency or to favor those leaders’ policies and practices.

According to the CFPB, the 2019 survey results show that a majority of its employees identify strongly with the bureau’s mission and workforce. “Of the 77 items included in the survey, 46 items were rated favorably (agree/satisfied or strongly agree/very satisfied) by 65% or more of respondent employees; these items are considered strengths,” the bureau said in its report. “Nine (9) items were identified as challenges with percent unfavorable results (percent of respondents who disagree/strongly disagree or are dissatisfied/very dissatisfied) greater than 35%.”

Here’s a look at a few of the more positive responses:

  • 75.3% agreed or strongly agreed that they have enough information to do their jobs well.
  • 83.7% said they agreed/strongly agreed that they like the work they do.
  • 79.6% said they agreed/strongly agreed that they know how their work relates to the agency’s goals.
  • 46.3% agreed/strongly agreed that they have sufficient resources (for example, people, materials, budget) to get their jobs done.
  • 85.3% agreed/strongly agreed that the work they do is important.
  • 80.8% agreed/strongly agreed that they have trust and confidence in their supervisor.

Respondents’ views of higher management were less glowing. Regarding senior leaders, just 39.5% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the bureau’s senior leaders maintain high standards of honesty and integrity; 32.9% disagreed or strongly disagreed with that statement, and the rest either responded “neither” or “do not know.”

Below are some of the not-so-favorable numbers:

  • 29.3% said they agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that senior leaders generate high levels of motivation and commitment in the workforce; 45.3% disagreed or strongly disagreed.
  • 33.9% said they agreed/strongly agreed with the statement that they had a high level of respect for the organization’s senior leaders; 37.3% disagreed/strongly disagreed.
  • 30.3% said they were satisfied or very satisfied with senior leaders’ policies and practices, while 39.3% said they were dissatisfied/very dissatisfied.

“Bureau leaders use feedback from tools like the annual employee survey to develop strategies to promote a more inclusive, effective, and efficient organization,” according to the report. “Survey results are shared across the organization to encourage leaders to actively seek and respond to opportunities to improve the employee work experience.”

The survey also addresses performance reviews, supervisory feedback, training, and more.

CFPB’s 2019 employee survey results