So, yes, we have Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day. We have Independence Day and special employment advantages for our veterans. But is that enough for employees who have served our country? We could do more. And it isn’t hard. Here are just a few suggestions of how to make the veterans in your office feel appreciated and seen:
- Make it a point to recognize your veterans on veteran holidays. Even if your whole office has the actual holiday off, pick a Friday or a Monday near to it to have a special moment; give some small awards, cater lunch – make an effort to show them you recognize their service, no matter how long ago it was. For best results, ask veteran and ex-military supervisors and managers for recognition award ideas that feel appropriate.
- Create a social group for your office veterans. You can find money in your budget to take them all out to dinner every month or quarter. If you have enough of them, think about an office softball team or something. Make competitive outings all the more special by providing teams with trophies and plaques so employees feel more engaged with their team.
- Find ways to use skills they already have from their time in the military. Being a soldier, a medic, an engineer – all these things require diverse sets of skills that are easily translatable to office life with a little creative thinking.
- If you’ve hired a veteran just out of the service, pair them up with another who’s been in civilian life longer to help make the transition easier.
Why Your Company Can Benefit from Helping Our Vets
The Department of Labor implemented a program in 2017 that made it easier for vets returning from active duty to seek jobs at places they knew would be nurturing and hospitable. Part of this program recognizes companies who have shown a long-term commitment to employing veterans of all kinds, and making sure they are faring well now that they’re back home. This can include implementing a veteran quota, providing access to mental health programs for your vet employees, and offering vocational education so they can thrive in their new civilian careers. This is a great way our government has teamed up with private-sector America to give just a little bit back to the people who gave all of us the absolute most.
Setting Veterans Up for Success
Veterans transitioning from the service to the workplace can find the change of environment and customs difficult. Integrating back into civilian life can take time, making it important for employers to be patient and as helpful as possible. While teaming veterans with other veterans can be helpful, it’s also crucial that former servicemen and women feel as if their managers and supervisors are involved in their success.
Veterans jumping straight into the workforce after serving for years don’t have the same advantages that regular civilians have, especially when it comes to navigating the workplace. One of the simplest ways to set veterans up for success in the workplace is by giving them corporate gifts that add actual value to their job. When a veteran joins your team, gift them personalized desk accessories they likely wouldn’t have, such as an engraved desk card holder filled with premium cards. If they’re entering a role in HR or Accounting, consider gifting them quality engraved pens for their various signings. Small gifts like these make veterans immediately feel involved in the workplace and save them time and money from purchasing these useful tools themselves. Other unique corporate gifts to consider include personalized Post It holders and an engraved nameplate that features their name, as well as military branch.