National Endowment for the Humanities Named a Best Place to Work

photo: Carole Watson, Jim Leach, Tony Mitchell of NEH, 2012 Best Places to Work
Photo caption

Carole Watson, NEH Deputy Chairman, Jim Leach, NEH Chairman, and Anthony Mitchell, Director of NEH's Office of Human Resources accept a 2012 Best Places to Work award

Chris Flynn/ NEH
(December 13, 2012)

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is the fifth best place to work among small federal agencies, according to the annual Best Places to Work rankings released today by Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that seeks to measure and promote leadership and innovation in government. 

These rankings are based on survey responses collected from 700,000 federal workers on their satisfaction in areas such as agency leadership, opportunities for training and professional development, workforce diversity, and work-life balance. The 2012 survey was the largest sampling to date of the 2.1 million person federal workforce, with participation from 362 federal agencies and subcomponents.

The National Endowment for the Humanities rose from 9th to 5th place in overall employee satisfaction and commitment among federal agencies with fewer than 1,000 full-time permanent employees in the 2012 Best Places to Work results, ranking behind the Peace Corps, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, the Congressional Budget Office, and the Surface Transportation Board.

These results come amid a general decline in morale across the government workforce. Analysis of the 98-question federal employee viewpoint survey from which Best Places to Work is compiled found a 5% drop in overall levels of government employee satisfaction and commitment, the largest change since the rankings were first published in 2003. By contrast, employee satisfaction in the private sector remained constant, according to a comparable analysis of private sector employee engagement by the Hay Group.

The 2012 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government report also included agency rankings within ten workplace categories such as effective leadership, teamwork, pay, and performance-based rewards and advancement. The National Endowment for the Humanities rated second among small agencies for employee’s satisfaction with the match between agency mission and employee skills, and placed third in the categories of strategic management and effective supervisor leadership.

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure” said Max Stier, President of the Partnership for Public Service at a Washington, D.C. ceremony honoring top-performing agencies, noting that greater employee engagement translates into better workplace performance. The Best Places to Workrankings, said Stier, “recognize great achievement as a means of encouraging more achievement.”

Complete rankings and data from the 2012 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government, produced by the Partnership for Public Service and Deloitte, are available at:

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