12/30/2014 12:25 pm ET Updated Mar 01, 2015

How Federal Leaders Can Use the 'Best Places to Work' Rankings

The 2014 "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government" rankings will be released on Tuesday, providing leaders and managers of Cabinet departments, their subcomponents and independent agencies with a wide array of information regarding how employees view their jobs and workplaces.

The rankings come at a time when the Obama administration is making a point of holding agency leaders and senior managers more accountable for improving employee engagement and productivity, in hopes of achieving better outcomes for the public.

The "Best Places to Work" list, produced by the Partnership for Public Service and Deloitte, is based on the Office of Personnel Management's Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. The rankings measure employee satisfaction and commitment, both government-wide and at individual agencies. They also provide more specific data on 10 workplace issues -- including effective leadership, alignment between agency mission and employee skills, pay, teamwork and work-life balance.

The data can give you insight into the health of your organization, serve as a warning sign of trouble and provide a roadmap for improvement. But acting on the data to create a more satisfied and productive workforce takes commitment. It involves setting goals, engaging employees, taking concrete steps to bring about change and then striving for continuous improvement.

This post was originally featured on the Washington Post's website.