05/16/2014 10:22 am ET Updated Jul 16, 2014

Go On, Thank a Federal Worker

This year's theme for Public Service Recognition Week is "Proud to Serve," a fitting reminder that federal employees are highly motivated and dedicated to serving the America people and the interests of the nation. A number of federal leaders have been making a special effort this week (May 4-10) to publicly express their appreciation and support, and to articulate their own views on the value of public service.

While all these words and gestures don't change the political dynamic in Washington, or make up for budget cuts and three years of pay freezes, it is important for employees to hear from their leaders that they are valued, that their work is important and that they are contributing to a larger mission that benefits the nation.

Such praise should come more than once a year, and should play into a broader plan to motivate the workforce and improve employee commitment. Here are highlights from the week so far -- which hopefully will prompt more federal leaders, at all agencies and levels, to realize that even modest gestures can have a big impact on their workforce.