By: Eileen Kent, Federal Sales Sherpa
When was the last time you thanked a federal employee for their service?
Do you have any idea what it is like to work at an organization which involves over three million employees handling the needs of an entire nation as well as other nations?
Besides the constant scrutiny of the media, federal employees have to live with the fact that they’re a walking target at work and amongst friends. How would you like to go to work every day with that momentary thought of “is it going to happen today?” question crossing your mind as you go through security in your building? Besides the safety factor, what about the finger pointing by the public? “You’re paid too much, you don’t work hard enough, you didn’t help ME first……you’re an empty suit doing time…….you’re behind the times…..you’re sitting pretty in that cushy federal job…” Can you imagine having to face your family and friends after a politically fueled, so-called “scandal” happens at your agency — causing your entire leadership to be fired and then you have to answer for it in social gatherings – even though it happened thousands of miles away?
How in the world can these employees function with the constant threats – day in, day out, year after year after year?
How are they motivated to get out of bed – let alone show up for work?
A sense of service and pride of doing the right thing for us, the American people. It’s in their DNA.
I was born the last of nine in a military family where my father served three wars and six of the nine of us kids served in some capacity. It was part of our family culture that we had to serve at some point in some capacity. The three who did not serve, have provided service to their community in other capacities outside of government, but they have served just the same. My clients are federal employees and a number of my friends are government employees.
It’s time to put a face to the federal employee. They are hard working, focused, educated, dedicated, passionate people who all have a sense of service. They want to do the right thing and they do everything they can – to do the right thing. They face the scrutiny and the danger effortlessly because their sense of service – embedded in their spirits — overrides all threats.
They receive commendations and awards and medals from their co-workers and their superiors – but they hardly ever receive a thank you from US – the people they serve.
So, in the wake of the terrible incident at the Navy Yard, do something good. Take a moment and say thank you – in an email – in a letter – in a phone call – to a federal government employee. They’ve Earned It.