We the Partnership

Celebrating top performers in the 2020 Best Places to Work rankings

By Greg Arcuri | July 2, 2021

In photo above: Partnership Executive Vice President James-Christian Blockwood announcing the top five midsize agencies in the 2020 Best Places to Work rankings release event.

On Tuesday, June 29, the Partnership for Public Service and Boston Consulting Group released the 2020 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government® rankings. The rankings are the most comprehensive and authoritative rating of employee engagement in the federal government, measuring employee perspectives on leadership, teamwork, recognition and more. This year’s rankings also featured a COVID-19 category. 

The event was attended by members of the general public, the federal government and the private sector. James-Christian Blockwood, the Partnership’s executive vice president, moderated the event. He was joined by Brooke Bollyky, managing director and partner at Boston Consulting Group. 

“We want to learn about your formula for success,” Blockwood told representatives from the top-ranked agencies. “We want to share with others the specific data, examples and stories that demonstrate how a good employee experience drives your agency’s mission.” 

2020 Best Places to Work

Results show positive scores for agencies during the pandemic

Federal agencies scored 86 out of 100 in the new 2020 Best Places to Work COVID-19 category, which measures the extent to which employees believe their agency carried out its mission, prioritized their well-being, communicated effectively and provided them with critical work resources during the pandemic.

Bollyky lauded agencies’ resilience in the face of challenging circumstances. “During the deadliest health crisis in a century,” she said, “federal leaders found creative ways to engage their employees, laying the foundation for critical innovations that promise to improve the federal work experience and transform the way government serves the public.”

View the rankings

Federal leaders reflect on their agencies’ successes

For the ninth year in a row, NASA finished number one in the Best Places to Work large agency category. The agency’s administrator, Bill Nelson, attributed this consistency to employees’ passion for their jobs and the NASA mission.

“NASA has a workforce that loves their jobs, and when you have that condition, it’s not work, it’s a joy,” he said. “That is what causes NASA to be a place with high morale and a can-do spirit.”

The Government Accountability Office, the nation’s chief federal watchdog agency, finished first in the Best Places to Work midsize agency category. Karl Maschino, the agency’s chief accountability officer, discussed GAO’s efforts to build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace.

“We think diversity, equity and inclusion is integral to our success at our agency,” he said. “We’re committed to promoting a supportive workplace where every employee is valued, respected and treated fairly. It brings out the best in our people and produces the best work products.”

The top-ranked small agency was the Congressional Budget Office. Phillip Swagel, the agency’s director, said that mission-driven employees have helped CBO build a vibrant and productive workplace.

“CBO provides objective, nonpartisan information to Congress,” he said. “Staying focused on our mission helps us recruit talented people who want to make a contribution, and helps us build a culture that encourages everyone to innovate and improve.”

Agency leaders from across the federal government paid tribute to the tireless work of public servants in a video commemorating the 2020 Best Places to Work rankings release.

Watch (or rewatch) the recording

Miss all the action? A recording of the event is available on the Partnership’s YouTube channel. Watch or rewatch the event and share the recording with friends and colleagues.

Greg Arcuri is an intern on the Partnership’s Communications team.


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