Veterans Day is on November 11th and is a time to honor and thank those who have served in the U.S. military. But what about the veterans who work in your organization? Do you know who they are, and do you show them appreciation and support throughout the year?
In this article, we will explore several options on how to celebrate Veterans Day at work.
Who are your Veterans in your Workplace?
Veterans are not only heroes who have served and defended our country, they also bring a wealth of skills and qualities that are beneficial for any workplace, such as leadership, teamwork, adaptability, discipline, and integrity.
These are just some of the reasons why veterans make great employees. They can also bring specialized knowledge and experience in various fields, such as technology, engineering, health care, security, and more.
You may not always know if your employees are veterans, especially if they don’t wear their service on their sleeves. Some veterans may not disclose their military background for various reasons, such as privacy, stigma, or trauma. Others may not think it’s relevant or important for their civilian jobs.
However, if you want to recognize your veteran employees, you may need to find out who they are first. The simplest way to identify veteran employees is to ask them personally. Be respectful and sensitive when asking about their service and don’t pry into details that they may not want to share.
How to recognize your Veteran employees on Veteran’s Day
One way to recognize veteran employees is to organize and host events that honor them. These events can be formal or informal, large or small, depending on your budget and preferences. Some examples of recognition events are:
Create a Veterans Day bulletin board or wall of honor.
You can ask your veteran employees to share their photos, stories, and memorabilia from their service and display them on a bulletin board or wall in a visible area. You can also invite other employees to write thank-you notes or messages of appreciation and add them to the board or wall. Then reveal the board or wall of honor at a special event.
Create a Veterans Day video or podcast.
You can produce a video or podcast featuring your veteran employees and highlighting their stories, achievements, and contributions to your organization. You can share this video or podcast on your website, social media, or internal communication channels and encourage your audience to watch or listen and leave comments.
Breakfast or Lunch
Provide some breakfast or lunch and ask your veterans to stand up to be recognized for their service. Remember that some will, and some won’t. Then thank them for their service. Or, invite your veteran employees to a special lunch, ceremony, or party. You can also invite guest speakers, such as veteran leaders, advocates, or celebrities, to share their stories and insights.
You can also Feature them on your website, newsletter, or social media. You can also showcase their projects, products, or testimonials from their customers or colleagues.
Give a Bag of Goods:
You can also give some items to them in a gift box or bag. Often a simple gift bag along with recognizing them for their service shows your appreciation for their service. Here is a list of items that they may appreciate:
It will be Stars and Stripes forever when you make a branded gift or giveaway of this stylish and patriotic cap. Made of chino twill with a mesh back, this medium profile six-panel cap features a screen-printed American flag, a fabric strap and a two-piece hook and loop closure to fit most people. A great item for July 4th, Veterans and Memorial Days, Flag Day, parades, politics, military functions and much more. Choose from four great styles featuring the look of RealTree(TM) camouflage and add your logo or message to customize.
Engraved Color Dog Tag Necklace
This is a classic and stylish necklace that features a metal dog tag with a color enamel fill. It can be engraved with your company name, logo, or message on one or both sides.
Need affordable non-woven bags without overseas transit times? This new 100 GSM non-woven tote is proudly made and stocked in the USA. It is constructed of 20% recycled post-industrial polypropylene. Choose from five colors. It features 1 1/4″ wide x 19″ long handles, an embossed “Made in USA” handle, and our embossed logo handle patch.
Patriotic Stress Ball
This is a fun and useful item that can help your veteran employees relieve some stress and tension. This ball is made from polyurethane foam and has a patriotic stars and stripes design. It can be imprinted with your company name or logo on one or both sides
USA Flag Tumbler
This is a durable and insulated tumbler that can keep your veteran employees’ drinks hot or cold for hours. This tumbler has a stainless-steel exterior and a plastic interior with a USA flag wraparound design. It has a spill-resistant slide action lid and a 16 oz capacity. It can be laser engraved with your company name or logo on one or both sides.
USA Flag Flashlight
This is a powerful and handy flashlight that your veteran employees can use in dark or emergency situations. This flashlight has an aluminum body with a USA flag design and nine bright white LED lights. It has an easy push button on/off switch and comes with three AAA batteries. It can be laser engraved with your company name or logo on the barrel.
USA Flag Bottle Opener
This is a fun and functional bottle opener that your veteran employees can use to open their favorite beverages. This opener features a metal USA flag design with an epoxy dome coating. It has a split ring attachment and comes in an individual polybag. It can be imprinted with your company name or logo on the back of the opener.
USA Flag T-Shirt
This is a comfortable and fashionable t-shirt that your veteran employees can wear to show their patriotism and pride. This t-shirt is made from 100% cotton and has a USA flag design on the front. It has a crew neck, short sleeves, and a unisex fit. It can be imprinted with your company name or logo on the back or sleeve.
USA Flag Bluetooth Speaker
This is a high-quality and portable Bluetooth speaker that your veteran employees can use to listen to their favorite music or podcasts. This speaker features a plastic body with a USA flag design and a built-in microphone. It has a wireless range of up to 33 feet and a play time of up to 2 hours. It comes with a micro-USB charging cable and an instruction manual. It can be imprinted with your company name or logo on the front.
USA Flag Blanket
This is a cozy and warm blanket that your veteran employees can use to snuggle up on the couch or bed. This blanket features a fleece USA flag design with whipstitch edges. It has a 50 inch by 60-inch size and comes in bulk packaging. It can be embroidered with your company name or logo on the corner.
Another way to recognize veteran employees is to create and present awards that acknowledge their contributions. These awards can be monetary or nonmonetary, individual or team-based, depending on your goals and criteria. Some examples of recognition awards are:
Veteran of the year award
You can select one veteran employee who has demonstrated outstanding performance, leadership, or innovation in your organization. You can present this award at a company-wide event or meeting, and give the recipient a plaque, a certificate, or a gift card.
Veteran service award
You can recognize veteran employees who have reached certain milestones in their tenure with your organization. You can present this award at a departmental event or meeting, and give the recipients a pin, a medal, or a trophy.
Veteran appreciation award
You can appreciate veteran employees who have gone above and beyond their duties, helped their colleagues, or supported your mission and values. You can present this award at a team event or meeting, and give the recipients a thank-you note, a card, or a token.
A third way to recognize veteran employees is to implement programs that benefit them and their families. These programs can be short-term or long-term, internal or external, depending on your resources and partnerships. Some examples of recognition programs are:
Veteran mentoring program
You can pair up veteran employees with senior leaders or managers who can provide them with guidance, feedback, and support. You can also pair up new veteran hires with veteran mentors who can help them with their transition and integration.
Veteran development program
You can offer veteran employee’s opportunities to enhance their skills, knowledge, and career prospects. You can also provide them with scholarships, tuition assistance, or certification courses for their professional growth.
Veteran wellness program
You can promote the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of your veteran employees. You can also provide them with access to health care services, counseling services, or wellness resources for their personal health.
Veterans are not only heroes who have served our country but also assets who can enhance our organizations. They deserve our recognition and appreciation throughout the year. November 11th is right around the corner, and we’re here to help you get ready to recognize your veteran employees.
As an employer, manager, supervisor, or human resource professional, you can make a difference in the lives of your veteran employees by acknowledging their service and contribution.