Dear Hiring Companies…
There are three key parts to effective onboarding for veteran employees:
1) A direct, well-written handbook lays out clear expectations between your company and your employees. The employee handbook is a critical component for incoming veterans, who have been working under a standard set of operating procedures, mission protocols, and documentation guidelines since their first days in military training. Similar to the military’s Uniform Code of Military Justice, your company’s employee handbook will set the purpose, culture, expectations, and efficiencies of your organization for your veterans.
2) Creating a good first-day experience and welcome orientation helps veterans feel at home within your company. When your veterans are warmly welcomed, appreciated, and instantly made a part of your team environment, they are more likely to stay, collaborate, and succeed in your company. It’s also helpful to assign them a manager, mentor and/or HR person to check in with them at regular intervals throughout their first year to make sure they are continuing to adjust well.
3) Hands-on training is important in every job, but especially for veterans who are used to daily military trainings and follow-ups. You may find it useful to assign them each a mentor who checks in regularly, reviews their work, and answers any questions they may have. This creates an environment where your new veteran hires are not hesitant to ask questions and are more likely to feel heard, be accountable, and succeed in your company.