They respond to feedback surveys on websites, provide submissions to consultations, share agency updates on Twitter and Facebook, participate in government-run online groups, provide tips and case studies to help government campaigns help others, create blog posts, websites and pages supporting government activities and even develop apps that add value to government data.
Much of this is done out of passion and interest in supporting the community, not for direct financial or personal benefit.
So wouldn't it be nice for agencies to sometimes say 'thank you' to the citizens that support public servants to do their jobs serving the government of the day and community?
I know several institutions that have learnt the art of saying 'thanks'.
There's appreciation of the efforts of teams in government operated hackathons, the Victorian State Library has invited its largest online supporters to 'meet the team' events at the Library to recognise their selfless activities and the National Library has recognised the largest contributors to Trove in several ways.
However there's many agencies who still forget the simple art of saying thank you to people outside their own walls.
Whether it is physical get-togethers, certificates or letters signed by the Minister or Secretary, a personal email from the online team, public recognition online in a Facebook group or some other method, saying thank you is one of the most important, and human, gestures that can be made to create a positive lasting relationship.
My wife and I will always treasure this simple thank you from the WSPCA last year.
The NAB has taken another route with the video below.
So think about it. When was the last time your agency thanked citizens for giving up their valuable time to help your agency? What can you do more of to recognise their support, and encourage more of it in the future?