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Federal workers get beat up a lot. They haven't had raises to keep up with inflation in two years, likely won't get them for at least one more years, and Congress continually bashes feds. (It's not fun when your bosses constantly critique you). However, this isn't an "oh it's so tough" post. Others, like state and local govies, have it worse and have for a longer time.

Rather, I'm trying to point out that one of the ways to raise morale --  award shows -- are jokes. Think of all the photos you've ever seen of someone getting an award. How many did you actually care about? Be honest. I don't care about any of them.

Award shows are often viewed as just slaps on the backs for everyone congratulating each other. Your typical rank and file employee just doesn't care. In reality, I don't think award shows actually raise morale except for senior management, and rank and file feds need a real morale boost now more than management does.

And I'm not blaming management either. Award shows have infected, even diseased, their way into mainstream thinking. You know what works better than an award show? Lots of thank yous in your department. Sure, having the organization head thank you a nice, but a lot more good is done by the department head thanking people in small groups.

So here's a solution -- next time someone proposes an award show, thank people in small groups, don't go, or just don't let them take cheesy photos. After all, not seeing anymore of those awkward photos makes me smile.



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Tags: career, human resources, leadership

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Comment by Kevin Lanahan on February 24, 2012 at 12:14pm

Lately, government employment has been more like a reality game show. I'm thinking "Survivor: Capitol City"

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