Nearly half of government workers only receive feedback on an annual or semi-annual basis, new Eagle Hill Research finds

Yet, 62 percent of public workers want more “in the moment” feedback 
Telework government employees say getting feedback is challenging

Arlington, VA., August 25, 2022 – New research finds a disconnect between government employees’ need for performance feedback and how much feedback they receive. About half of government workers (43 percent) say they receive feedback only on annual or semi-annual basis, while 11 percent say they never receive feedback on their work, according to new research from Eagle Hill Consulting

Yet, 62 percent of public workers want more immediate “in the moment” feedback on their work performance. This sentiment is higher for younger government workers (69 percent for those aged 18 to 34) compared to midcareer (60 percent for those aged 35 to 54) and older workers (52 percent for those aged 55 and older). 

When it comes to remote work, those government employees working in fully remote and hybrid environments are more likely to say that getting constructive feedback is a challenge. More than a third (36 percent) of hybrid workers said getting feedback was a challenge, while 30 percent of fully remote and 25 percent of in-person workers reported feedback as a challenge. 

“In the early days of the pandemic, government agencies were forced to move many employees into telework environments. Now, government leaders see that telework is working, with upsides for both workers and employers. One challenge in a telework environment, though, is finding new ways to provide employees with the feedback they need to get the job done and advance in their careers,” says Melissa Jezior, president and chief executive officer of Eagle Hill Consulting.

“For example, our research indicates that about half of government employees are receiving feedback only once or twice a year, and that’s a red flag. Providing employees with regular constructive feedback sets them up for success and helps agencies achieve their mission. And, government employees say they want more feedback, especially younger workers who are early in their career. This means government leaders and managers should establish more frequent mechanisms for feedback while fostering a culture that encourages more “in the moment” dialogues about performance,” Jezior explained. 

This nationwide poll of U.S. government workers also finds:

  • 80 percent say they feel valued when someone takes time to provide feedback. 
  • 78 percent indicate that feedback is important to their professional development. 
  • 67 percent agree their organization creates a supportive, comfortable environment for delivering, soliciting, and receiving feedback in the workplace. 
  • 59 percent say they receive the same level of feedback during the past two years despite proliferation of hybrid/remote work. 
  • When asked what they need to succeed in their work environment, 35 percent of fully remote government workers said it’s more forums to gather feedback from team leads. Thirty-three percent of hybrid workers held this sentiment, as did 20 percent of in-person employees. 
  • During discussions with managers, government employees say it is helpful to align on realistic goals/priorities (43 percent); set goals (22 percent); review performance as it relates to promotion (19 percent); and discuss career development (16 percent). 

The findings are based upon The Eagle Hill Performance Management and Feedback Survey 2022, conducted by Ipsos from May 10-12, 2022. The nationally representative survey included 1,001 adults in the U.S. aged 18 and older who are employed full-time or part-time. The survey polled respondents on aspects of performance management and feedback.

Eagle Hill Consulting LLC is a woman-owned business that provides unconventional management consulting services in the areas of Strategy & Performance, Talent, and Change. The company’s expertise in delivering innovative solutions to unique challenges spans across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. A leading authority on employee sentiment, Eagle Hill is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, with employees across the U.S. and offices in Boston and Seattle. More information is available at www.eaglehillconsulting.com.

Media Contact: 
Susan Nealon | 703.229.8600 | snealon@eaglehillconsulting.com | @WeAreEagleHill