Can Morale Working Group improve morale at BBG faster than a change of leadership would?
Employee Survey. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) conducted the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey from April 9 through May 18. Preliminary participation rate for the Broadcasting Board of Governors was 48%, a significant drop from the previous year when the BBG’s International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) senior executive staff tried to improve participation and skew results in favor of the management by hosting pizza parties. No pizza parties were held this year, we were told. OPM will announce survey results in October. Despite pizza parties last year, the BBG was still rated dead last among all federal agencies in leadership and management knowledge.
Morale Working Group. The Morale Working Group was formed from the union-management forum, and includes representatives from the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), Voice of America (VOA) and the unions representing employees of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). VOA director David Ensor and IBB director Richard Lobo met with the group in April to hear from each group member their highest priority concerns and to discuss recommendations for improving morale, BBG Watch was told. We also learned that the group traveled to several federal agencies that made significant improvement in their employee survey results to identify actions that worked for them that we can adopt for our workforce.
We are wondering whether the Morale Working Group can achieve any results or would a major change in leadership positions at BBG, IBB, and VOA produce a faster and more dramatic improvement?
We might point out that Director Lobo inherited but then kept the management team that has been responsible for the BBG’s dismal low ratings in the OPM surveys for as long as we can remember. Furthermore, he rewarded them with bonuses, perhaps for RIFing and wanting to RIF dozens of journalists and broadcasters year after year while senior executives staffers collected their high salaries and bonuses, hired more bureaucrats, and gave out lucrative contracts.
We should also point out that the BBG’s AFGE Local 1812 union has withdrawn in protest from the Union-Management Forum. We’re wondering whether Director Lobo has informed BBG members about this fact.
We have a suggestion for the Morale Working Group: suggest replacing the whole senior executive team with leaders who value employees, understand U.S. international broadcasting, and know how to work with the union for the common good.