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48

JANUARY FEBRUARY 2015

|

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

All Quiet on Set. Ready. Action?

The results of the 2014

Employee Viewpoint Survey,

as it relates to the Foreign

Commercial Service’s new

parent agency, Global Markets,

are in. The news is not good.

Indeed, they should be cause

for concern.

The U.S. OŸce of Person-

nel Management released its

agency-level reports on Oct.

24. Deputy Under Secretary

of Commerce for International

Trade Ken Hyatt emailed them

to employees a few days later.

Hyatt stated that there

was “no improvement in the

International Trade Adminis-

tration’s scores over last year.”

That may be true. However,

when comparing this year’s

Global Market scores to last

year’s Commercial Service

scores, a di“erent picture

emerges.

Negative ratings were up in

more than half the 71 work-

related categories surveyed.

(Work-life balance results

were roughly the same as last

year.) Comparatively, only

eight negative ratings went

down somewhat from a year

ago. The remaining 27 work-

related survey results were,

e“ectively, the same (within

two to three percentage

points) as last year.

Negative responses

increased most in the areas of

dealing with poor performers

and awards and recognition.

By contrast, one area that

drew an increased number of

positive responses was oŸce-

space improvements (noise

levels, temperature, lighting,

etc.).

The area with the highest

overall negative rating was

“resources.” Fully 58 percent,

(virtually no change from last

year) responded that they

still did not have suŸcient

resources to get the job done.

Two areas did see a sig-

nificant increase in negative

scores: whether employees

felt a sense of empowerment

and whether respondents

believed the survey results will

be used to make the agency a

better place to work.

This last data point is

especially troubling, given the

inspector general’s prelimi-

FCS VP VOICE

| BY STEVE MORRISON

AFSA NEWS

Views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the AFSA FCS VP.

Contact:

steve.morrison@trade.gov

or (202) 482-9088

nary report on ITA consoli-

dation. Fifty percent more

respondents felt management

would not successfully act

on employee feedback than

thought it would.

As Ken Hyatt reported

two years ago, there is “much

room for improvement.”More

recently, he has stated that

“our future depends very

much on what you think about

ITA and how we go about

accomplishing our mission.”

Under Secretary of Commerce

for International Trade Stefan

Selig’s “Dare to Be Great”

challenge is partly designed to

help in that regard.

The questions are,

“Is it enough?” and “What’s

next?”

n

DEADL I NE FOR NOMI NAT I ONS

APPROACH I NG : CONSTRUCT I VE

D I SSENT AWARDS

Nominate someone—or yourself!— for an AFSACon-

structive Dissent Award. The nomination deadline is

Feb. 28

. AFSA proudly recognizes constructive dissent

within the systemwith four separate awards:

The

W. Averell Harriman Award

is for entry-level

(FS-6 through FS-4) oŸcers; the

William R. Rivkin

Award

is for mid-level (FS-3 through FS-1) oŸcers; the

Christian A. Herter Award

is for Senior Foreign Service

oŸcers; and the

F. Allen “Tex” Harris Award

is for For-

eign Service specialists.

Recipients receive prize money and are honored at a

ceremony in June in the Benjamin Franklin Diplomatic

Reception Room at the State Department.

For more details on the awards and to file a nomina-

tion online, visit

www.afsa.org/dissent.

Please contact

Special Awards and Outreach Coordinator Perri Green

at

green@afsa.org

or (202) 719-9700 for more informa-

tion.

ANNOUNCEMENT

DEADL I NES APPROACH I NG

FOR AFSA YOUTH

SCHOLARSH I PS

The children of active duty or retired AFSA

members can apply for college aid. Graduating

high school seniors can apply for $2,500 aca-

demic and art merit awards, while incoming/

current undergraduates can apply for need-

based financial aid scholarships ranging from

$3,000 to $5,000.

The merit award program submission

deadline is

Feb. 6

, and the need-based finan-

cial aid scholarship submission deadline is

March 6

.

Not all who submit an application will

receive an award.

Visit

www.afsa.org/scholar

for details, or

contact AFSAScholarship Director Lori Dec at

dec@afsa.org

or (202) 944-5504.

ANNOUNCEMENT