A few months ago I was on the hunt for a job, a task that I’m sure many of you are familiar with. It’s not easy. After a few months of searching you begin to wonder if there is something on your resume that is glaring up at companies and holding them back from hiring you…and you ask yourself, what could be the problem?
I am a Navy Reservist, so for a while I thought that my reserve status was holding companies back from hiring me. Maybe they had seen a military movie and thought I’d be screaming my head off at employees like a drill sergeant or maybe they immediately associate a service member with deployment. But then I thought to myself, that’s ridiculous. Why wouldn’t they want to hire me? Sure, there is a chance that I could deploy. But if I am put on orders for deployment, I would be enhancing my skills in a professional field, a field that they would be hiring me in.
It made me question whether or not employers see the value in hiring and employing service members. So, I put together a list of five attributes that a service member brings to your organization:
1) Leadership skills
Service members are bred to become leaders. We are instilled to accept responsibility for getting things done, manage cross-functional team communication and promote a culture of hard work by setting the example.
2) Work well under pressure
Military training assists members to flourish when working under pressure. A key trait necessary for working in high-stress career fields in the civilian world.
3) Attention to detail
If you miss one tiny detail during a mission, you are putting lives at risk. The military workplace puts service members into scenarios where they are challenged to pay attention to every detail. Making a conscious effort to understand causes instead of just the effects translates well into the corporate world, because details that fall through the cracks can cost a company time and money.
We work in teams. That’s just what we do. Never leave a man behind. Veterans instill a sense of team pride and cohesiveness. Teamwork builds trust and trust builds speed. Working together, we are able to achieve organizational goals and success faster.
5) Great work ethic
Military members have an incredible work ethic, and make personal sacrifices to accomplish the mission. We don’t let the team down. We get our jobs done, and we do it well, regardless of the organizational demands.
While there are other traits that could be mentioned, this short list is great to keep in mind when hiring and employing a Veteran because they all have the potential to promote a culture of teamwork and growth.
So now I ask you, what benefits has your organization seen in hiring veterans and service members? Let us know your feedback.
For more information about employers who have benefited from hiring veterans or if you are a veteran seeking employment go to the ESGR website.
Let’s do a little cross-discipline thinking.
One of the hot business topics, for quite some time, is this: how do we got more-engaged employees?
There are books on employee engagement, and plenty of suggestions on how to get, and keep, your employees more engaged. It’s a good and noble pursuit. The current numbers are clear (from this source – google it, and these numbers are pretty much confirmed in other surveys):
29% of workers are engaged
45% of workers are not engaged
and 26% of workers are actively disengaged. (These will really do you in!).
And, by all indications, these numbers are not budging much. They are not increasing. And that’s not good, because the higher the level of engagement, the happier, more diligent, more productive the workers.
So… about that cross-discipline thinking…
Identify the folks who would be your folks, and remind them to:
- do what they “promised” to do
- do what they would do anyway if they just were simply to do it…
- do what their peers (people who matter to them!) would applaud
- avoid doing what their peers would look down on.
In other words, engaged voters vote. And you don’t get voters to vote for your candidate by converting the other candidate’s voters, nor by convincing the undecided. No, you get your voters by finding your voters, and reminding them to put their intentions into practice.
So… what if employee engagement is similar? What if it is not about converting the not-engaged, but instead, identifying the potential employees who are likely to be engaged from day one, and hiring those people, and only those people?
I think that may be a (the!) great, big, important key.
Oh sure, the company can do things to increase and enhance employee engagement – for those so inclined to be fully engaged to begin with. But for those who show up at work to collect a check and then get out of there as quickly as possible, maybe doing the least amount of work possible, then the cause may be close to hopeless to begin with.
Oh, there may be a few stories of success – “this person was not engaged at all, and now look at how engaged he/she is” — but , for the most part… not so much.
So, maybe employee engagement starts with, and really depends on, hiring the most-likely-to be-engaged workers to begin with.
That’s what I’m thinking today, anyway…
Professional Speaker & Writer
Co-founder, First Friday Book Synopsis