AgCareers.com celebrates and promotes the active hiring among our clients of military veterans and professionals. The practice of actively recruiting and hiring veterans to work in agriculture has become more popular in recent years, but recent findings show that military veterans do not always feel welcomed into the agricultural industry, leading some employers to wonder how they can make their workplace more military friendly. Here are a few suggestions to create a more military friendly work environment for veteran employees:
Seek to Understand a Veteran’s Skills & Capabilities. The AgCareers.com Veterans & Military Professionals in the Agricultural Workplace survey report, conducted in late 2016, found that 70% of military veterans and professionals wished agricultural employers better understood a veteran’s capabilities when hiring and working with them. Take time to understand that military veterans are much more than their time spent in training or active duty. They had real jobs and real duties during these times which have equated into a number of skills and valuable qualities. According to veteran participants in this survey, the top three characteristics they felt they bring to their workplaces include leadership, accountability, and discipline.
Be Open, Receptive, and Collaborative. The survey also found that more than half of military respondents felt that their coworkers or supervisors had a hard time relating to their military experience. Seek to be a source of support and understanding in these circumstances. Veterans make both excellent team members and leaders, so position them in a group atmosphere where they can collaborate on their ideas and bring their military experience into useful and relevant implementation. Encourage their participation as well.
Provide support. Our survey found that only 30% of companies that participated in this survey offered some kind of financial support to their military employees while fulfilling military duties. While not all companies may be capable of providing financial support, you may also show support for the military veteran’s family by implementing a program to hire military spouses or actively invite military family members to company events. This presents a clear picture to military employees that their support system is valued as is their reintegration into civilian life.
Download the full AgCareers.com Veterans & Military Professionals in the Agricultural Workplace survey report or view a snapshot of the survey results.
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