Well-being may seem like an intangible idea – something to strive for, but not a metric to be measured. One NNSA program manager, a one-time political management professor and former George Washington University deputy director who has published multiple books, would disagree.
Dr. Beatriz Cuartas currently helps run multiple programs within NNSA’s Office of Management and Budget. She is passionate about quality of life not just for herself and her NNSA colleagues, but for workers around the world.
“Workplace satisfaction is directly related to human well-being and what makes a person's life worth living. Finding purpose, meaning, and enjoyment at work is essential to employee satisfaction, retention, and success,” said Cuartas.
The Organization of American States, an institution dedicated to democracy, human rights, security, and development, recently invited Dr. Cuartas to speak at their Inter-American Council for Integral Development meeting in Washington, D.C. She discussed her extensive research into the science behind analyzing a population’s quality of life and well-being, including empirical results and relevant variables, while also speaking to the possible policy implications of her findings.
In her position within NNSA, Dr. Cuartas seeks to attract and maintain highly qualified professionals and then maximize their potential in every way. She manages the NNSA Graduate Fellowship Program, a highly successful recruitment mechanism, as well as the NNSA First Year Program, which ensures onboarding for new employees is as effective as possible. Her collaboration with the Office of Empowerment sets team members up for success – allowing them to quickly become productive and confident in their role supporting the missions of NNSA.
“My work effectively helps to improve the organization overall, raise FEVS scores, and move NNSA closer to being the ‘best place to work’ in government. Right now, I’m working on an innovative employee satisfaction collaboration originating at the Office of Employee Empowerment, to be piloted at Los Alamos Field office,” said Cuartas.
The Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) allows government employees to share their opinions about various aspects of their jobs, including: work-life balance, leadership effectiveness, and salary. The results provide valuable insight to federal agencies as they work to better the employee experience.
The response rate for NNSA employees is consistently higher than the overall government average, and the global satisfaction index score has steadily climbed from 52 percent in 2014 to 68 percent in 2017. In a rewarding reveal for the agency, the 2017 results also showed that 97 percent of NNSA employees who responded are willing to put in extra effort and 93 percent feel the work they do is important. Still, much work remains to be done!