For VA to prosper in its mission of serving our nation’s Veterans, the department must continue to cultivate an inclusive work environment that enables employees to have a voice while sharing their knowledge and contributing their talents and abilities.
The vast majority of employees choose to work at VA in order to serve our Veterans and their families. In fact, more than a third of VA’s employees are Veterans and have a passion to serve others who have similarly chosen to defend their country. Encouraging a work environment that supports this passion and promotes high levels of performance is our responsibility. We in the Office of Resolution Management/Office of Diversity and Inclusion understand that diversity and inclusion yield high organizational performance.It is through employee engagement that employees are empowered to perform to their highest potential so that our nation’s Veterans receive the benefits and services efficiently and in a way that says “thank you for your service.” One of the easiest and most powerful ways to foster inclusion and engagement in the workplace is through employee recognition.
Employee recognition validates an employees’ hard work, connects them to the VA mission and boosts morale. While recognition should occur in the workplace throughout the year, one of the most important times we can acknowledge our employees is during Public Service Recognition Week. This week is an annual celebration honoring all the women and men serving our nation as federal, state, county and local government employees. At VA, Public Service Recognition Week is the perfect platform to thank and honor all our employees, from our senior executives to our nurses aides, environmental technicians, customer service specialists, grounds crews, benefits specialists and all the other VA staff for what they do every single day to advance the VA mission.
This year, Public Service Recognition Week occurs the week of May 6 to 12. Please take time during this week to thank our VA employees for their service to our nation’s Veterans.
About the author: Harvey Johnson is the deputy assistant secretary for Office of Resolution Management and the executive in charge of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.