Celebrating holidays at work boosts morale, encourages employee interaction, and shows your workers you care about their needs and desires. For your Veteran employees, it’s just as important to acknowledge not only the traditional holidays, but the ones important to them. Here we offer our favorite holidays honoring Veterans and how to celebrate them at work.
Memorial Day — May 27, 2019
Though some may mistake this holiday for another Veterans Day lookalike, Memorial Day is specifically to honor the fallen soldiers — not the living. Formally called Decoration Day, this holiday was borne out of the Civil War as a desire to honor our dead. his special celebration has continued to be a day in which our country holds dear. We hope you’ll take it as seriously as your Veteran employees likely will, as many of them will be paying tribute to their own fallen brothers and sisters. Here are a couple ways you can celebrate along with them in the week leading up to Memorial Day.
- As an office, volunteer at your local Veterans cemetery; and place flags and flowers on gravestones of the fallen.
- Make a corporate donation to provide financial support to Gold Star families. To get employees involved, set a deadline for donations and match the final donated amount with company funds.
- Talk to your Veteran employees, and learn who they will be remembering this Memorial Day. With their help, recognize those individuals in a special newsletter that is distributed company wide. In addition, post a tribute to them on your company social media accounts, highlighting their service and relationship to your Veteran employee.
Flag Day — June 14, 2019
Flag Day has roots as far back as 1885, though it wasn’t officially recognized as a holiday until 1949 when President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th National Flag Day. The day, commemorates the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States. Common ways to celebrate include flying the American flag outside homes and holding celebratory ceremonies at schools. Here’s how you can follow suit at your office this year.
- If you don’t already, consider flying the American Flag outside your business. Be sure to follow proper flag etiquette.
- Hold a Flag Day Art Contest that encourages employees to create patriotic art across various mediums, including painted canvas, sketch, and photography. The winner, voted by your staff, receives an American Flag and Amazon gift card as their prize.
- Specify a time in the work day to have all employees stop work and say the Pledge of Allegiance.
Independence Day — July 4, 2019
The Fourth of July is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in our country, and certainly the most patriotic. Commemorating the day the final draft of the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress in 1776, this important holiday is the backbone of our American nation. Though Veterans have no more claim to this holiday than any civilian, it is a day Veterans will expect to celebrate at work. Here are a few ideas to fuel the fun.
- In the week leading up to the July 4th holiday, hold a Patriotic Costume Contest prompting employees to come to work in their best patriotic garb. The award should be something equally patriotic, such as tickets to a baseball game or a gift card to a local restaurant.
- Pick a day before the holiday weekend to provide burgers and hot dogs at lunch for all employees. Go potluck style and ask staff members to bring in their favorite Fourth of July side or dessert.
Veterans Day — Nov. 11, 2019
Originating as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, celebrates the first anniversary of the end of World War I. In 1938, it became an official national holiday that pays tribute to all Veterans (alive or dead) who served their country in war or peacetime. More than any other day on this list, Veterans Day is when to your Veteran employees. Here’s how to give thanks to your Vets this November.
- Plant mini flags all over the office, inside and out.
- Highlight Veteran employees by putting their photos and military background around high-traffic areas in your building.
- For each Veteran, surprise them with a “Salute Package” filled with goodies you know they’d enjoy. See our post on “5 Ways Your
- Company Can Honor Veterans in The Workplace,” for more package ideas.
SAVI is always working on new ways to better support our business partners. Connect with us today to learn how we can help you ease Veterans into your civilian workplace.