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Tim McManus, chief operating officer at the Partnership for Public Service, discusses how distance from HQ can impact morale at agencies.

The Partnership for Public Service regularly ranks agencies to determine which is the absolute ‘best place to work’ in the federal government. However, these ranking don’t tell the whole story. 85% of federal workers are based beyond the beltway. According to a new report, some satellite offices aren’t feeling as much love as they should. Tim McManus, chief operating officer at the Partnership for Public Service, says that the data shows all employees need to have greater engagement with their higher-ups.


“Ultimately all employees, if they are at headquarters or afar, their engagement will have a direct correlation with their agency performance [and that] down the stream will also have an impact on the services that they are providing to the American people. It is in all of our best interest that everyone is engaged, regardless of where they are. Better engagement, better delivery of services to the American people,” McManus said. “Some of the challenges that we actually found in this is that folks from afar don’t feel like they are necessarily involved in decision-making. Because of distance, because of communication, they don’t feel connection to the leaders, especially the more senior leaders within the organization. There’s also another issue that’s at stake as well. They don’t feel as they are recognized as much as their colleagues in D.C. for the great work that they are doing. Out of sight out of mind mentality may be a little bit in play here.”

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