December 12, 2012
Archivist of the United States Responds to EVS Report
Washington, DC…Our employees have a right to personal and professional satisfaction with their work, and in the Archives as a whole. We are a large organization, with a wide spectrum of jobs, and with a broad variety of workplace needs. To meet those needs, our management makes significant effort to listen, to provide for, and to motivate our people. This effort must continue, and it must grow.
The National Archives is in the midst of a major agency Transformation – reinvisioning and revitalizing how we do our work. One of the core values of this Transformation is specifically “To Make the National Archives a Great Place to Work”. Of course, change takes time. While we feel as though progress is being made, the Transformation remains a work in progress. We are not resting and watching this data – we are taking action and moving forward. National Archives management has joined with the Union (AFGE Council 260) to form a true labor-management partnership to address the challenges in our workplace and identify and execute actions that will have tangible impact on staff satisfaction. This partnership will include regular labor-management forums to identify, address, and resolve issues. The group will collectively decide which actions to implement, and staff will be able to raise concerns before final decisions are made. Managers and supervisors - including myself and my managers - will be held accountable for following through on these actions. Progress will be shared with staff on a monthly basis.
We have already solicited employee feedback, both written and through an interactive online forum, gathering suggestions in the areas of Leadership, Supervision, and Overall Workplace Experience. This forum allowed employees to share their views honestly and confidentially. Hundreds of comments and suggestions were received.
The labor-management team identified and will work together to implement a number of agency-wide initiatives from providing more career development opportunities to improving the skills of managers and supervisors to providing tools to make it easier for staff to do its work. These are meaningful and concrete ideas, originated from staff, that will make a difference in making the National Archives a Great Place to Work.
This year we are especially focusing on the specific things which NARA staff feels are most important to improve NARA. We will continue to explore both cross agency initiatives and specific measures for different organizational units and facilities nationwide.
The National Archives implemented many changes after last year's survey results - but this year's results show we need to do much more. It is encouraging that the survey results year after year, show the vast majority of National Archives employees continue to believe the work they do is important, like the work they do, and know how their work relates to the agency's goals and priorities. We are hopeful that the heightened focus will have positive impacts on our staff.
We will continue our efforts to ensure that everyone at NARA knows that they and the work they do is valued.
DAVID S. FERRIERO
ARCHIVIST OF THE UNITED STATES
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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 202-357-5300.