As many of you have taken my SES workshop – “Managing the Maze – Your Senior Executive Service Application” – you know that I recommend reviewing the Senior Executive Association’s (SEA) survey regarding the SES. Reviewing the results of this survey can help you in making an assessment when considering if an SES position is really the next best career move!

The SEA has just released an updated survey (see link below). The survey provided a wide variety of information on the status, outcomes, issues and concerns surrounding performance management in their agencies. The survey articulates a sad picture of today’s SES cadre – a demoralized executive corps that is dissatisfied with the execution of pay-for-performance strategies, as well as how agencies manage (or not) SES performance management.

Of note are several key findings:

  • The survey found that 51% of respondents rated the morale of the senior executives and professionals at their organization with “low or very low” morale, with only 13% reporting “high or very high” morale.
  • Over a third (34%) reported being “not satisfied” with the FY2013 performance appraisal and rating process at their agency, with a greater percentage saying the process became worse from FY2012 to FY2013.

There are several key themes that the survey surfaces regarding the “state of the SES”, which are:

  • Deteriorating pay for performance is unfair and causing big problems
  • Pay compression and pay overlap is getting out of hand and is adversely impacting SES retention
  • Lack of respect and appreciation for career executives is hurting morale and agency performance
  • SES performance appraisal processes are seen as slow, burdensome and not transparent
  • SEA is seen as a force for positive change and for protecting career SES and SPs from further denigration

To review the entire survey, please follow the link below:

If you are still interested in achieving an SES position, please see our website for information on our SES services and publications!