6 Ways to Show Appreciation for Veteran Employees and Contractors

November 4, 2022・7 mins read
6 Ways to Show Appreciation for Veteran Employees and Contractors

Veterans Day arrives every year on November 11. That day is set aside to honor those people who proudly served our country. Veterans Day is just 1 day out of 365 calendar days. While it’s set aside to honor veterans, that doesn’t mean it is the only day we can celebrate those brave individuals. To increase job satisfaction among those who have faithfully served in even the hardest of times, it’s essential to honor them every day, not just the day that is set aside on the calendar to celebrate. Celebrating veterans isn’t only important to those who have served. It’s also important to those who have family who have served. Here are 6 tips for showing appreciation to veteran employees, customers, contractors, and their families.

1. Companies should be sensitive to those who served

Veterans are heroes who sacrificed time and made an effort to keep the rest of their community safe while facing challenges. However, not every veteran expects or wants recognition. Many veterans prefer to remain in the background, allowing someone else to take the spotlight. The way to know for sure how employees feel is for someone in HR to ask! Veteran employees should be heard regarding their expectations for recognition. If the veteran employees approve of the celebration efforts, the next step is to discuss plans with non-military employees. This is to ensure that the celebration considers the views of other employees. Businesses should stay away from political ideals. Instead, they should focus on providing the best celebration to honor the veterans in the group without unwittingly leaving someone out.

2. Businesses can offer discounts to veterans

A military discount is 1 way many companies celebrate veterans year-round. Simple military discounts may seem like a token that doesn’t mean much.

While many people refuse public recognition, they will appreciate monetary savings.
However, while many people refuse public recognition, they will appreciate monetary savings. Offering a discount to veterans and their families is a straightforward way for companies to recognize the time and effort the employees have given on behalf of the people within the company as well as those outside of it.

3. HR departments can partner with the local Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is an agency that works to ensure employer support of members of the workforce who are also members of the Guard or Reserve. When HR or the People Ops department partners with the local ESGR, the business receives signs showing support for the employees who are on reserve duty. A company can also receive awards for going above and beyond the normal measure of support for their employees who are in the Reserves.

4. Management can give recognition to the veterans in the office

Most companies have at least 1 military veteran on the payroll. Sometimes, no one realizes there is a veteran among the ranks. If the veterans in the group are willing, they could share some of their experiences in the military with other members of the team. Many feel proud to be asked. Others may not want to speak about their time in the service, but they could still be recognized in other ways. Perhaps management could still recognize those employees by placing a simple plaque on or near the employee’s office door.

5. Fly the flag and learn how to properly handle flags

A simple way to show appreciation for veterans is to fly the flag outside the workplace. Many veterans see it as a symbol of pride that they have served honorably for their country. Seeing the flag that represents the country they served creates an additional sense of pride for the country. Businesses should talk to the veterans within their ranks to learn how to properly handle, raise, fold, and store their flags. Veterans can educate the HR department in the ways to care for the flag. Those methods include what to do in times of memorial. Regardless of how the company handles memorials or educational meetings, enlisting the help of veterans within the company can provide invaluable reasons to start the process of remembering the veterans.

6. Thank veterans for their service

Being seen is one of the greatest gifts someone can receive. If there are no other ideas for recognizing veterans within the company, the team might consider a simple thank you. Saying thank you allows for the expression of gratitude as well as allowing veterans to realize that they are seen and appreciated.

Make every day Veterans Day

Recognition and appreciation of our veterans can occur on any day. There doesn’t need to be an official holiday for employers to show employees that they recognize their sacrifice and service. Every day can be a holiday if the management team understands that everyone occasionally appreciates recognition for accomplishments or effort.

Why it’s important to celebrate veteran team members

Creating a celebration for veterans shows respect. It allows the soldiers to recognize their value within the company as a respected member of the team.

Here are a few reasons that it is important to remember to celebrate team members both on Veterans Day and beyond.

  • It makes them feel appreciated. Having a company-wide celebration shows the veterans in the group that the company recognizes that without them, we wouldn’t have some of the things we have.
  • Creating a celebration for veterans shows respect. It allows the soldiers to recognize their value within the company as a respected member of the team.
  • Along with appreciation and respect, celebrating veterans shows them they are valued members of the team. It allows them to fully fill the role they have within the company.
  • It promotes collaboration among team members. Improve communication and relationships by listening to team members.

Company benefits of celebrating veterans

There are also benefits for the company when they create a celebration for veterans. The organization unites for a common goal. Everyone working together builds the image of the company both among current employees and among prospective employees. Many people don’t realize that soldiers come home from service with a different perspective from the one they had when they left. Allowing them to express themselves heightens awareness of the diversity that employees have. Having returning soldiers share their experiences builds a cohesive team. As a veteran teammate shares their story, more people will begin to understand their point of view. Everyone has a unique perspective, and as the team begins to relate to each other, it provides a tool for a fully cohesive team.

The takeaway: Military veterans deserve recognition

Celebrating and supporting veteran employees should be done more often than just on Veterans Day. Yes, the holiday is important. The fact is that veterans deserve recognition for their sacrifices all the time. Whether celebrating an employee or a customer who is a veteran, the celebration of veterans within an organization helps to build cohesion. Don’t wait for a special holiday to celebrate the veterans within your organization. Instead, recognize the hard-working veterans in the community and workplace routinely.

This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.

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