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While Memorial Day Weekend is celebrated as a kickoff to summer, it’s important for managers and executives to find a way to honor the holiday’s significance in the workplace.

Odds are good that someone in your organization has lost someone in the service of our country – be it a grandparent they never got to meet, or a close friend, relative or neighbor who made the greatest sacrifice.

So how do we acknowledge this in the workplace in a way that is honorable and authentic?

In my research of this topic, I came across an article titled How Workplace Recognition Can Help Us Observe Memorial Day that has some very good tangible advice for executives/managers.

Most of the recommendations here are simple, but sometimes the smallest of gestures can reflect a tremendous amount of respect. Read the whole article, but below are some highlights:

  1. Say “thank you.” Do you know someone who has served in our military? If not a friend or family member, perhaps a neighbor or colleague. A brief but genuine “Thank you for your service” may mean a lot to them.
  2. Make a material gesture. ...on Memorial Day you can do things like fly the US flag or bring flowers to memorials. Consider making a donation to an organization that supports veterans. These material gestures can be meaningful if you do them thoughtfully.
  3. Celebrate with the community. As a team… Seek out a Memorial Day parade or other event in your city. Attending these activities can show solidarity and recognition for veterans or loved ones of service members who have died. It can be powerful to see your community turn out to support you.
  4. Listen. Books, speeches, films — there’s any number of ways that you can find out the stories of soldiers both living and dead. Hearing about their experiences and what they have to say can help us learn from this important part of our national community.

I hope you have a fun, safe and reflective Memorial Day weekend – in the workplace and at home!