By DeVry University
“Boots on the ground” and “got your six” may sound like nothing more than military sayings to the everyday person, but to a veteran, they’re meaningful statements that say we’re here together and I’m here to support you. Being empathetic to a veteran’s background and training may not only help your organization be a more understanding employer but may also help veterans and the teams in which they work collaborate effectively.
This might mean sitting with your former military team member to talk about their transferrable skills. It can also take the shape of a managerial training, such as DeVry University's Green Zone-Elite training program, created to assist supervisors, managers and HR professionals better understand veteran hiring and retention initiatives.
There may be many ways to show veterans you support them in the workplace, and in honor of Veterans Day, we are excited to share a peek into our “Got Your 6 Veteran Sensitivity Tips” from our DeVry's Green Zone-Elite training program:
- Tackle bias and stereotypes. Common misconceptions of veterans include assuming that veterans can only do military jobs, believing that veterans joined the military as a last resort and thinking that all veterans have PTSD or are disabled in some way. Often, none of these situations are true. If these misconceptions exist within an organization, it is pivotal to address them with proper education and training.
- Ask about military experience. Encourage veterans to discuss their military service in the context of the job. This will help you understand and harness their strengths and skillsets—they were trained to be precise, hardworking and dedicated.
- Encourage questions. Due to their training, veterans may be reluctant to ask questions. Instead, ask questions to draw out their finely-honed problem-solving skills.
- Practice business etiquette. Veterans embrace structured environments and a workplace that values punctuality, detailed instructions and providing the full scope of a project up front.
- Team up. Approximately 200,000 service members transition from military service to civilian life each year, which may mean your team has a veteran with strengths you can harness. Reinforce the team approach to tackle projects and develop stronger bonds among colleagues. Veterans crave esprit de corps, a feeling of pride, fellowship and common loyalty shared by the members of a team.
- Host Project Debriefs. Military veterans are accustomed to “After Action Reviews” that evaluate successes and opportunities for improvement. Once a project/assignment is completed, host a debrief meeting to discuss the progress and outcomes.
“As I navigated my career, I have found there’s an opportunity for employers and fellow team members to learn more about how the military trains veterans with transferrable skills and better understand how and why veterans operate the way we do,” said DeVry University alum, Dan Fettig, a former enlisted sailor and current Navy Reserve Intelligence Officer and the T-TAURI Engagement & Capabilities Implementation Manager at Lockheed Martin Space.
Looking for more tips to better serve, understand and maximize the potential of your military and veteran hires?
Register today for access to DeVry's Green Zone-Elite training program, available as a complimentary resource during November 2020, for the full scope of our tips and more. Are you an active duty military member or veteran looking to pursue your undergraduate or graduate degree? Explore our offerings.