Veterans day got started as Armstice day the end of World War I. This occurred on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 and was celebrated on in 1919 for the first time. However, the day didn’t really get going as “Veterans Day” until 1954 as a celebration for all veterans who have served this country. As the son of a veteran with multiple family members serving and as a partner in a veteran owned company this day has special meaning. I have a special appreciation not only for the sacrifices these special men and women make, but also for what makes them so special. This blog is focused on performance and I wanted to take a bit of time today to talk to why hiring our former service men and women can be such a huge driver of performance within your organization.
I believe organizational performance is driven to large by the quality of the people of that organization. Talent management is becoming more critical every day as the pace of innovation and change place more emphasis on the ability of organizations to be agile and make better decisions in the face of change. Here are 5 reasons why you should be interested in bringing more veterans into your organization:
I write often about leading people to higher levels of performance and helping mentor people to reach their fullest potential. This skill is specifically focused on for development within our services. They have spent years honing techniques for instilling leadership qualities into service men and women. One thing you can be assured in hiring a veteran is that they will be familiar with leadership qualities and in many cases will have had leadership experiences that go far beyond their years.
Veterans already know how to work on a team. They have been drilled in, worked in and in many cases risked their lives with teams. These are people who truly understand teamwork.
Veterans understand sacrifice. From a willingness to give their life for their country to the simple main of spending so much time away from loved ones. Veterans have known and understand that greatness comes with a price.
Semper Fidelis may be the motto the motto of the United States Marine Corps but it has been a popular military slogan dating to the 16th century. I believe that many Veterans understand loyalty on a different level than their civilian counterparts because the stakes are simply so much different in the military context. Veterans can be counted on when the chips are down and your organization needs people to be loyal.
One of the first things that drives how an individual will perform within an organization is that persons ability to commit to the organization. Veterans have proven this ability to commit on a level that most of us will never understand. They have shown a willingness to sacrifice most of the simple personal choices we hold take for granted in service of their country and for us. Where to live, what to wear and what to do are choices they forgo in order be a part of this exceptional team.
One thing that a veteran may not have is direct experience in your business. It’s hard to get experience in banking or other commercial specialties while you are serving your country. Remember though that the skills and traits above are what make domain expertise valuable. I believe that it is also easier to teach domain expertise (within reason) than it is to teach leadership skills. Do your organization a favor and seriously consider the veteran talent pool and the difference these men and women could make for your organization.