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Mental Fitness

Boosting Federal Employee Engagement: The Crucial Need for Mental Fitness in the Public Sector

Mental fitness for U.S. federal employee wellness

Published December 05, 2023
by Positive Intelligence

As demands on federal employees increase, the need for a comprehensive mental fitness program is evident.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) unveiled the results of its 2023 federal employee survey. The survey shows an underwhelming 1% improvement in engagement levels within the federal workforce.

This increase in engagement, although slight, reveals that federal employees remain committed to their important missions.

However, with a mental fitness program, federal employees could experience profound improvements in engagement, performance, resilience, and overall job satisfaction.

What Is Mental Fitness and Why Does it Matter in the Federal Workforce?

“Mental fitness is the key to unleashing your true potential at work and in life,” says Shirzad Chamine, founder and CEO of Positive Intelligence.

Mental fitness is your state of mental wellbeing — it represents your ability to make decisions, your awareness, and how you respond to life’s challenges. It involves developing core psychological resources and becoming aware of how you think, behave, and feel.

If you’re not physically fit, you’ll feel physical stress as you climb a steep hill. If you’re not mentally fit, you’ll feel mental stress, such as anxiety, frustration, or unhappiness, when faced with challenges — which come quickly and often in public sector work. 

Federal employees who are mentally fit can lean into challenges, navigate change, and manage stress amid shifting priorities, policy changes, and increasing demands.

In the dynamic landscape of the public sector workforce, mental fitness is a critical cornerstone of individual, team, and organizational success.

Key Findings From the 2023 FEVS

The 2023 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) provides a comprehensive overview of the state of the federal workforce, highlighting critical areas of improvement.

The 2023 FEVS report underscores a slight increase in engagement levels and feelings of motivation among federal employees.

  • Federal employee engagement increased one percentage point to 72%, tying the five-year high set in 2020. According to Gallup, employee engagement for the total U.S. workforce has declined over the past three years.
  • Federal employees’ perception of the integrity of leadership increased by two percentage points to 61%.
  • Federal employees’ feelings of motivation and competency in the workplace increased by one percentage point to 74%.

The findings show that federal employees remain committed to their roles despite the challenges posed by the public service landscape.

However, the findings also reveal a critical need to foster a more positive and productive work environment within the federal workforce.

The Positive Intelligence® (PQ) Mental Fitness Program: A Catalyst for Change

The PQ Program systematically builds the pillars of mental fitness to create sustained improvements in performance, engagement, wellbeing, and relationships while establishing a growth mindset.

For federal employees, the PQ Program provides critical skills for tackling the challenges of public sector work.

1. Improved Employee Engagement

The PQ Program cultivates a positive mindset, enabling greater enthusiasm and commitment to the mission. A stronger sense of purpose and accomplishment contributes to heightened levels of engagement, ultimately translating to better performance.

2. Enhanced Resilience

Resilience is a key factor in navigating the challenges that accompany public service. The PQ Program provides federal employees with tools to develop resilience in adversity. Through the program, employees build a mental toolkit that enables them to bounce back from setbacks and maintain focus on their objectives.

3. Strengthened Teamwork and Collaboration

Collaboration is a cornerstone of effective government operations. The PQ Program improves communication skills and promotes empathy to foster a more collaborative work environment where teams thrive.

4. Effective Stress Management

The demanding nature of public sector work leads to heightened stress levels. The PQ Program addresses this challenge head-on by providing practical stress management strategies to use inside and outside the workplace.

Develop Mental Fitness for Peak Performance and Wellbeing

Building mental fitness through access to coaching and a structured program can be the difference between a surviving and a thriving federal workforce.

Federal employees must be mentally fit to achieve peak performance and wellbeing to accomplish their important missions. 

The PQ Program for mental fitness fosters a culture of resilience, engagement, and collaboration that benefits individual employees, teams, and the broader public sector workforce.

Visit this page to learn more about the power of the PQ Program for government organizations.

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