Military service, and the personal sacrifice and responsibility that comes along with it, is something I’ve respected for as long as I can remember. If I could do it over, I like to believe that I’d find my way into their ranks. But then I catch myself, and ask the only question that really matters around Memorial Day: What can I do, right now, to honor those who gave their lives?
It’s easy to offer verbal gratitude to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. It’s easy to observe a moment of silence and send thoughts and prayers. Turning that into an actionable, continual commitment to supporting those who have served — and supporting the families who have served them— is more of a challenge, but it’s one worth meeting head-on.
For myself and the team at RingCentral, the way is clear: We want to honor fallen veterans by providing a stable career path to those who returned. Rather than just say thank you, we are committed to creating opportunities for them to use their myriad skills and hard-won experience in an environment where they’ll be appreciated and supported.
I admire and respect those who have served for their competence, discipline, and commitment to mastery and results in a given field under extreme circumstances. Obviously, this makes them valuable and capable additions to any team from day one, and their positive value only grows from there. This isn’t simply a matter of opinion, it’s supported by data.
According to LinkedIn’s Veteran Opportunity Report:
- Veterans remain with their initial company 8.3% longer than non-veterans
- Veterans are 39% more likely to be promoted earlier than nonveterans
- Veterans are 160% more likely to have a graduate degree or higher
Stanley Adamczyk, a Senior Contracts Manager at RingCentral, as well as a veteran on my legal team, says it better than I ever could.
“RingCentral is very welcoming to diverse groups, veterans among them,” Stanley says. “Veterans bring certain technical and life skills with them that can be adapted from a regimented environment to one where the culture is very fluid. RingCentral has so many opportunities to offer to veterans, and veterans in turn are able to seize those opportunities to make a difference in their contributions to successfully accomplish the company’s goals.”
I’m never going to stop beating this drum; I’m passionate and driven in my belief that it’s our basic responsibility to not just offer veterans a job, but a true career-culture environment that helps them flourish. But, of course, Memorial Day isn’t just about the veterans who were fortunate enough to come back home and embark on a new chapter. Our obligations include paying respect to those who sadly can’t be here with us today, as well as their families.
Showing respect, paying respect
As part of our Memorial Day remembrance, RingCentral is matching employee donations 2:1 to qualifying veterans and military organizations.
On top of the campaign drive, we’re also hosting a webinar that will feature stories from our own US Veteran Employees in their own words (as it should be).
This year, I wanted to challenge myself, and my teammates at RingCentral, and our industry to do more than let this day of national remembrance slip by on the calendar. Our commitment to those who risk everything so that we may live free must be demonstrated through actions, not just words, year-round.
Originally published May 25, 2020, updated Aug 11, 2020