Adorned in insignia, ribbons, rank, and medals, the military soldier can be likened to a walking resume. Every major milestone — promotions, awards and number of combat tours — is neatly displayed across the soldier’s uniform as a marker of achievement for all to see. The military holds formal recognition as a sacred rite of passage. Such a culture of honor is unrivaled upon leaving the service. Though not a single Veteran would expect such fanfare in the civilian sector, there are still plenty of ways your company can honor Veterans in the workplace. Here are five ways to honor them in your workplace:
- Give a “Salute Package” — A package of goodies that says “Thank you” to your former service-members will go a long way in making them feel appreciated. Package contents can be anything you want, but here are some suggestions to get you brainstorming:
- One healthy food item plus one sweet treat
- A gift certificate to the local movie theatre
- Company swag such as a branded T-Shirt, hat, or a high-quality mug
- A handwritten note from their manager or the CEO
- Organize a Morning Coffee Hour — Organize a morning get-together to honor Veterans in the workplace with a good cup of joe, donuts, and a chance to interact with coworkers and fellow veterans in a relaxed setting. Be sure to put up signs that make it clear for what, and whom, you’re celebrating.
- Wave the Flag — For Veteran-specific holidays, put small flags all around the exterior sidewalks of your office building, along with flags throughout the inside. If your company has a Veteran’s club or a group of Vets, get them involved with this. It’s a great way to give them a break from the daily grind while getting them excited for upcoming Veteran celebrations.
- Letters of Appreciation — Encourage your staff to write letters of appreciation to their Veteran coworkers. A note coming from a manager and CEO is great, but coming from a coworker can be even more meaningful. This unexpected act of kindness can go a long way in making the Veteran feel appreciated for both his past service and his current position.
Publication Highlight — Does your company have a newsletter? This could be a way to share the military background of your Veteran employees with the rest of your company. If there’s no newsletter, ask your CEO to send a company-wide email spotlighting the Vets and addressing each by name.