We the Partnership

Four ways to make this year’s Public Service Recognition Week stand out

By Martha Reilly
May 3, 2019 | Updated on July 1, 2021

Days away from the start of the 35th annual Public Service Recognition Week, let’s not forget the way this year began for many government employees—with a partial government shutdown for nearly 400,000 federal employees. This is a good week to honor the tireless work of public servants and keep working to repair whatever damage remains.

Here are some suggestions.

1. Demonstrate your gratitude

When the shutdown officially ended, you may have greeted employees with enthusiasm—and maybe breakfast—upon their return to work. Have you continued to show appreciation? Next week, set aside time to write thank-you notes and emails demonstrating that your employees’ work is vital all year long.

2. Bring people together

To make your employees feel more connected to their colleagues, consider having a team lunch or taking a group walk to show everyone the culture of your agency matters to you.

3. Gather employee feedback

Collecting feedback—either through surveys or one-on-one discussions—will give you a better idea of how your employees are feeling and what they need to feel supported by agency leadership. You’ll learn if there’s something you could be doing to help.

4. Publicize PSRW

Make sure to acknowledge and promote Public Service Recognition Week. Consider writing a blog post, if your agency has a blog, or draft a blurb for your agency’s newsletter, if that’s an option. Find ways to publicize PSRW. Whatever you do, be sure to take the time to recognize your employees’ important contributions to the success of your agency’s mission.

Martha Reilly is a former intern on the Partnership’s Communications team.