5.1 Engage Commerce Employees

Why is employee engagement important?

The Department of Commerce engages employees in initiatives and training that improve service and their job satisfaction. Employee engagement is critical to the success of the Department of Commerce. When Commerce employees contribute to the design and implementation of service improvements, they are more committed to the success of programs and projects. 

Strategic Objective 5.1 Progress Update

During 2019, the Department's senior executive cadre focused on improving the factors that influence employee perception about the following statement: "In my organization, senior leaders generate high levels of motivation and commitment in the workforce." Additionally, the Department strengthened its special emphasis programs and commemorative month observance activities our culture of inclusion. In September, 2019, the Department hosted the inaugural “First Generation Professionals” Summit. This first of its kind federal event highlighted people who are the first in their immediate families to enter the professional work environment (i.e. their parents held traditional blue-collar positions or those that did not require a college degree).
Improving Federal Employee Engagement 
The Department is focused on improving employee engagement because attracting and retaining a talented workforce is the fundamental driver to achieve our mission. Department of Commerce employees share their opinions on our work environment through the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS). Progress on this objective is tracked using the survey results.  In 2019, the Department exceeded its target by achieving a 73% positive score on the "engagement index", a composite of three subfactors (Leaders Lead, Supervisors, and Intrinsic Work Experience) that assess the critical conditions conducive for employee engagement.
The responses on individual questions and results for bureaus are used to develop strategies to improve the quality of our work and our work-life balance.
New Inclusion Quotient
Another key indicator of engagement is the New Inclusion Quotient (New IQ). It is based on the concept that individual behaviors, repeated over time, form the habits that create the essential building blocks of an inclusive environment. The New IQ metric consists of 20 items that are related to inclusive environments. These 20 items are grouped into “5 Habits of Inclusion”: Fair, Open, Cooperative, Supportive, and Empowering.
The results of the FEVS show there is a positive correlation between employee engagement and the level of diversity and inclusion in the workforce. As one increases, so does the other. Both indexes have been steadily improving for the last several years. 

Picture of Department of Commerce Inclusion campaign logo
Commerce "Inclusion is on US Campaign"
The Department of Commerce's Office of Civil Rights manages the "Inclusion is on US" campaign to help realize Commerce’s EEO and Diversity and Inclusion goals by offering a variety of events, such as special emphasis programs, lunch and learn events, vignettes, and other EEO-related training. The goal of these initiatives is not only to prevent illegal discrimination and improve equity in the workplace, but to promote an organizational culture that respects, values, welcomes, and engages ALL employees, regardless of their primary diversity dimensions.
First Generation Professionals Summit
The Summit showcased a fireside chat with the Chairman of Securities and Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton, and our keynote speaker, Madam Treasurer Jovita Carranza, where she spoke about her climb from a night-shift box handler at UPS to the highest-ranking Latina in the history of that company, and now the Treasurer of the United States.
Picture of Department of Commerce First-Generation Professionals Summit logo

I Want To Know More...
About Employee Engagement Programs
www.commerce.gov/cr - The Department of Commerce's Office of Civil Rights
About Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey
OPM- about the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS)