Veterans Day is fast approaching, and if you haven’t begun to consider how your organization should honor your veterans, I’d encourage you to read on.
There are numerous ways in which you can recognize a veteran on Veterans Day. Here at Genesis10, we recommend the following tried-and-true formula for honoring your veteran employees:
Firstly, have the CEO send a company-wide e-mail recognizing veteran employees. A short, 300 words or less, e-mail from the top executive is widely considered appropriate and appreciated. The trick for Veterans Day is that you want to honor veterans’ service without ostracizing them or calling them out in a way that could potentially be uncomfortable.
The letter should hit three key points: Appreciation for past service, appreciation for value brought to the organization, and finally a commitment to hiring future veterans.
Additionally, I would encourage that you have a Veterans Day networking event with light refreshments in the afternoon around 2 p.m. (or 1400 for the military types). Many veterans, especially those from the Vietnam era, have not and do not network with each other. This is a great opportunity to develop your internal network of veterans and organically grow a "battle buddy" system.
Finally, following the networking event, I’d encourage you to release your veterans (paid of course) in the afternoon. Giving them a couple of hours of time off will pay huge dividends for their morale and you will easily get that back in loyalty or future productivity.
If you have additional ideas, please share them, but as we say in the military, brilliance in the basics!