Very good news for all of us

Many Iowans are very familiar with the many things the U.S. Department of Agriculture does extremely well. Most of us, however, don’t have any direct knowledge of how the agency is viewed by the civil servants who work there.

The Partnership for Public Service and Deloitte jointly have collected the opinions of a cross-section of the nearly one half million federal government employees in 200 organizations regarding how they feel about working for their agencies. Using a complicated algorithm, they have developed a listing for 2016 of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government.

The USDA was in the top 10 according to this calculation. It ranked No. 7.

Upon learning of this high ranking, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued a statement expressing his delight at how positively the folks who work in the department he heads view being employed there.

“Our high-quality USDA employees work hard every day to provide the best possible services to our customers: the farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers of American agriculture,”Perdue said. “It’s our shared goal to be the most effective, most efficient, most customer-focused department in the entire federal government. And this year’s rankings show that USDA is also a great place to work and is improving every day. It is an honor to work alongside such dedicated professionals who make coming to work such a pleasure.”

Some organizations achieve their goals while others do not. Analysts who study why that occurs say that employee satisfaction with their workplace tends to correlate positively with organizational success. Consequently, one of the reasons that many USDA programs are seen as success stories by Iowans who are part of the agricultural world may well be that the department has a happy, satisfied workforce.

The Times-Republican congratulates the leaders at USDA for creating a work environment that the department’s employees rate highly. To the extent that those satisfied workers help the agency better fulfill its mission, that’s very good news for all of us.