Creating a Positive and Productive Work Environment
Successful companies know that happier employees lead to higher productivity and better output. Many have introduced programs to help support employees both in and out of the work place. Implementing programs to foster positive work-life balance doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are 10 simple ways to support Veterans in the workplace.
1. Alternative Work Schedules: Also known as Flex Schedules, these varying work schedules are becoming vastly popular. Veterans have prior experience with them and often thrive when working under these conditions. Veteran employees often use flexible work hours to accommodate appointments related to their prior military service, or to support Reserve or National Guard activities. Similarly, Telecommuting allows employees to work from an alternative location and can increase job productivity by decreasing commuting times, workplace interruptions, and job turnover rates.
2. Child Care Assistance: Child Care is one of the most stressful factors for working parents, including Veterans. Assistance programs can come in many forms, from on-site child care or discounted tuition for Child Care Centers and Summer Camps, to providing a resource and referral service for child care providers that offer after school care or extended child care hour programs.
3. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs): EAPs provide confidential counseling to help employees deal with acute issues that affect job productivity. For some Veterans, training in physical or psychological trauma management methods may be useful. Veterans may also benefit from counseling focused on the stress of transitioning from the military to the private sector and/or returning from a long deployment.
4. Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESRG) Participant: The ESRG is a Department of Defense office that develops and promotes supportive work environments for Service members in the Reserve Components through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities that increase awareness of applicable laws, and resolves employment conflicts between the Service members and their employers. Establishing a contact, or pledging support with a local ESRG office, supports employees who also serve in the Reserve or National Guard.
5. Social/Recognition Events: Veterans are accustomed to attending frequent social events with their units to foster community and numerous awards ceremonies where outstanding work is recognized. When done well, this type of event can have an amazing impact on the morale of employees.
6. Veteran Affairs Liaison: Many companies find it helpful to have a Veteran Affairs Liaison, someone who is versed in the intricacies of Veteran issues and benefits, to help employees with questions or concerns that arise after their transition out of the military. These Liaisons can help navigate any personnel issues or concerns with employees, and often work with both internal Human Resources staff and local Veteran Affairs offices to share information and details of programmatic changes that can impact employees.
7. Veteran Mentoring Programs: Identifying current Veteran employees, or having a Veteran point of contact that is familiar with the complexities of Veteran issues, can greatly help new Veteran employees adjust to your organizations corporate culture. Participating in a mentorship program can positively impact job satisfaction for both new and existing employees.
8. Veteran Recruiter: A Veteran Recruiter assists organizations with understanding and translating military skills/terminology into civilian terms. They also provide interviewers with follow-up questions to expand on candidates’ resumes and obtain more detail about skills relevant to position requirements.
9. Veteran Resource Groups or Affinity Networks: These groups support Veterans in the workplace and provide a sense of inclusion by identifying solutions to issues unique to Veterans within the organization. Resource Groups can also help Veterans tailor the distinct skills held by employees with prior military service to better work as a team with their civilian co-workers.
10. Wellness Programs: The military places a large interest in the physical well being of its service members, and as such Veterans are accustomed to having a variety of wellness programs available to them. Discounted gym memberships, nutrition counseling, lifestyle coaching, and smoking cessation classes are a few popular wellness programs that employers can offer to their employees.
Has your organization implemented any other programs in support of Veteran employees in your workplace? If so, we’d love to hear about them. Contact AVFE today to share your successes!