Over the years, I’ve used this forum to highlight obstacles that challenge our veteran community in the workplace. Yet this Veterans Day is an opportunity to celebrate falling unemployment rates and a narrowing employment gap between veterans and nonveterans. And it is an opportunity to honor the contributions our heroes continue to make long after leaving the service.
Here at Telos, veterans currently make up nearly 20% of our employee population. We see first-hand how beneficial their experience and expertise can be to a company and its culture.
Here are some characteristics I have observed and truly value among our veteran employees:
Character: strong work ethic, commitment to integrity and honor
Leadership: ability to make tough calls and lead by example
Expertise: insight into warfighter requirements; experience with advanced technology
Adaptability: ability to evaluate dynamic situations, learn quickly, and work well under pressure
Diversity: experience and skill at working across national and cultural boundaries
Loyalty: commitment to an employer that treats them well, leading to longer tenure
Yet some employers struggle to see how skills learned in the military can benefit their organizations. I recommend these reference cards published by Rand Corporation.
- Essential Nontechnical Skills Service Members Gain During On-the-Job Experience: A Resource for Leaders and Hiring Managers
- Essential Skills Veterans Gain During Professional Military Training: A Resource for Leaders and Hiring Managers
This Veteran’s Day – thank someone for their military service, and look beyond that to appreciate how their service experience continues to enrich our culture and build our nation.
Telos CEO John Wood blogs about business, education, and the values that guide us.