U.S. Spies Have Serious Job Gripes, Survey Finds


cia.jpg

The shadow world of intelligence portrayed in the movies bears little resemblance to reality. Need proof? Just reference the third annual Intelligence Community Employee Climate Survey (.pdf) released Tuesday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). If the halls of the CIA really are full of Jack Ryans, you’d think the survey results would be a little more positive. Instead, they show that the nation’s spooks aren’t that different from you and me—they suffer the same office politics and bureaucratic inflexibility that have bedeviled workers since time began.

The ODNI puts a positive spin on the survey results, highlighting that some 88 percent of respondents agreed with the statement “the work I do is important,” and 81 percent acknowledged “I like the kind of work I do.” But lest we are overly encouraged by such statements (after all, many people like the kind of work they do even if they hate their jobs), a deeper look at the survey results shows serious issues with how intelligence employees perceive things like performance incentives, job training, recruitment, and the competence of their colleagues.

Some choice data points:

  • Percentage who agree that steps are taken to deal with poor job performers who cannot or will not improve: 28
  • Percentage who say pay raises reflect job performance: 28
  • Percentage who say promotions are based on merit: 41
  • Percentage satisfied with ability to advance: 46
  • Percentage who say that leaders generate motivation and commitment in workers: 45
  • Percentage satisfied with policies and practices of senior leaders: 47
  • Photo used under a Creative Commons license from ford.

    FACT:

    Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

    Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

    We Recommend

    Latest

    Sign up for our newsletters

    Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

    Get our award-winning magazine

    Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

    Subscribe

    Support our journalism

    Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

    Donate