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Creating an Inclusive Workplace Environment for Veterans: Importance & Strategies

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
This lesson goes over the importance of workplace inclusivity with respect to veterans. We then cover some of the strategies companies can use to create such an inclusive workplace.

Workplace Inclusivity

All workplaces should strive to include as many different types of people as possible, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, and so on. This also extends to military veterans, who may have unique challenges to overcome when entering the civilian workforce.

In this lesson, we go over the importance of workplace inclusivity for companies and veterans as well as some of the fundamental strategies companies can employ to create an inclusive workplace environment for veterans.

Importance

There are numerous reasons why an inclusive workplace environment is important with respect to veterans.

First, such a workplace benefits the company. Veterans make great hires, and companies should strive to keep them. Veterans are known to be loyal, dependable, mature, hardworking, and respectful. Who wouldn't want an employee that always strives to do their best and won't let a team member down?

Second, workplace inclusivity benefits the veterans. Veterans are unfortunately stereotyped in a negative manner. Many people believe all of them suffer from PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder. Others are constantly asked intrusive questions, like how many people they've killed, or have to deal with assumptions about their political leanings.

This wouldn't make for a very inclusive workplace environment, would it? If this kind of mindset could be checked, veterans would feel more welcome and at home at work.

Third, as a consequence of that, a veteran's team members will benefit from workplace inclusivity as well. The military is known for its collaborative environment. This means veterans, as long as they feel part of the team and feel welcome, will help their colleagues as much as they can.

It's clear that everyone benefits from an inclusive workplace environment that looks out for veterans: the company, the veterans themselves, and their colleagues.

Strategies

What are some strategies for achieving this kind of beneficial inclusivity?

1. Educate the existing workplace. For example, employees should learn what questions they should avoid asking. Or, they should understand things like a heightened startle reflex and why it may happen in some veterans. Furthermore, employees should come to a general understanding of military culture and language.

2. Offer employee assistance programs, resource personnel, groups, and service geared towards veterans. These programs should use a structured approach to help veterans adapt to the workplace in meaningful and comfortable stages. As an example, just one part of this program could include training in corporate-speak, the language of business or office talk that some veterans might not have been exposed to. Another part of such a program might equip veterans with trauma management methods.

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