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What does the employee lifecycle have to do with Veteran employees?

Mar 17, 2019

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What exactly is the employee lifecycle? In simple terms, it is an employee’s journey with a company.  It starts before an employee is even hired and lasts until they have exited the company. 

Why does this even matter to a company who employs machine operators, construction or health care workers?

A Temkin group Employee Engagement Benchmark Study in 2016 reported that “Companies with stronger financial performances and better customer experience have employees who are considerably more engaged than their peers.”

A Gallup poll found that “87% of employees worldwide are not engaged at work” and that “Companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147%”

The employee experience has a direct relation to the company’s customer service, brand, and certainly their financials. That experience starts with the attraction phase of the employee lifecycle. 

How does a company attract Veterans to their place of work? Let’s start with a few simple suggestions.

  1. What is your company mission? Values, and mantra? Most veterans do not join the military because it will make them rich so I recommend looking at your company culture. Does the day to day operations of your company connect to a higher purpose than just producing widgets or changing bedpans? How can you connect those daily tasks to a mission and values that will resonate with veterans? Take a look at the missions and core values of the different military services to see what attracted them to the military to get a feeling for what drives this demographic you are trying to attract. Talk to veterans you know and ask what type of company culture they are attracted to. You don’t need to rewrite the company mission, values, or mantra, but you do need to find a way to communicate clearly what matters to your potential veteran employees.
  2. Check out how your current employees represent your company. They are a great gauge for employee engagement. Are they “talking up” what a great place of employment your company is? Would they “do it all again” if given the chance. One thing I hear from many veterans, even if they hated their job at some point in the military is “I would do it again in a heartbeat.” Often times this is after multiple deployments in the worst conditions you can imagine…so why on earth would they do it again? I refer you back to tip number one. Just as our veterans and currently serving military represent the company called “the military”, so do your employees. What do they say about how satisfying it is to work there and would they do it again in a heartbeat?
  3. Opportunity for upward advancement at the company is an area a company can share with potential veteran employees. In the military, you know exactly when you will be eligible to advance or promote so it’s important for veterans to know there is an opportunity. Perhaps you can’t give them an exact number of years, but they are looking to continue their professional development to give them an idea of what normal career progression is like in your company. Within that opportunity to advance is the opportunities to lead. Most veterans, even the youngest transitioning from the military, have had the opportunity to lead small teams, in conditions and situations most 18-22-year-olds have never imagined. 

These are just three areas to consider when thinking about attracting veterans to your company.  Attracting veteran employees is a never-ending step, so be thoughtful and realistic in how your company can accomplish this step. 

Feel free to comment and ask questions, or reach out to me if you have questions at meghan@hrnavigatorllc.com