Are you a
Military Friendly Company?
Look out your office window, and you may notice many of the
cars in the parking lot sporting a “Support the Troops” yellow
ribbon magnet. Your HR department asks about military service on job
applications. You may even recall the donations canister in the
break room for a few months before Christmas. Is that what it means
to be a military friendly company?
In general terms, military friendly companies make it
possible for military reserve and guardsmen, along with recently
separated servicepersons, to work while providing support for their
families. The first way to check on your companies’ military
friendly status is to go to GIJobs.net and access the list of this
year’s Top 50 Military Friendly Companies.
What criteria are used to select these companies? An annual
survey focuses on areas such as company assets dedicated to military
hiring, company policies in regard to the reserve and national
guard, the percentage of new hires who are veterans and the overall
vet training and support programs in place.
This current economy is demanding new and different ways of
doing business. Fresh ideas depend more on the relationships built
with employees and customers than ever before. So, why should your
organization strive to be a military-oriented company?
The Employer’s Support of the Guard and Reserve recognizes
military-friendly companies on their Website (ESGR.org). There is
also a map that takes visitors to a list of companies that are
considered “Supportive Employers.” These companies have signed and
posted a statement of their continued support of military employees.
GIJobs.net features military companies on a “Top 50 Military
Friendly Company” list. This drives new customers to your site
because people like to patronize companies that understand how
military knowledge, support, and real-world experience have a
positive affect their bottom line.
Opening your company to a great new customer base is often a result
of being a military friendly organization. Military customers are
loyal and appreciative of those who “give back” to service members
and their families. More than 200 companies offer military
Recently, a national news program discussed the qualities that make
military personnel perfect employees, and why many companies choose
to hire them. They are dedicated, disciplined people who know the
value of following procedures and accepting responsibility. Military
employees often have valuable skills and technical knowledge they
have learned through their service. They understand motivation and
teamwork, work well under pressure or stress, and work well despite
adversity. They are a diverse group with integrity and a strong work
ethic. It costs your company much less to retain a good employee!
To put this in perspective, United Services Automobile
Association, USAA, (with a GIJobs.net rank of 4) makes the Fortune
500, as well as the ESGR list, the GIJobs.com Top 50, and the Top 10
military spouse friendly employers lists this year, and they’ve
focused on the value of the military family since 1922. Here’s what
they say about the military worker: “‘We know what it means to
serve’ is more than a slogan. We respect and honor what the men and
women in our military risk for us, and what their families go
through to support them. Not only have you proven yourself in
service to our nation, but you also know our members better than
anyone – and can share your unique experiences through service to
Johnson Controls is proud to be ranked No.1 on G.I. Jobs’
“Top 50 Military-Friendly Employers®” list and believe candidates
with military experience bring ingenuity and state-of-the-art
training to the workplace. Here’s what they share about the military
worker: “We know the importance of having a highly qualified and
diverse pool of talent to recruit from, both now and for the future.
That's why Johnson Controls is pleased to be a member of the U.S.
Army's Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS), established to provide
America’s youth with the opportunity to match the skills they
acquire serving their country with employers like Johnson Controls.”
Whether your organization is striving to be more military
friendly, or if you are already on the Top 50 list, here’s what you
can do to foster the company/military relationship on a daily basis:
Create a plan that keeps the lines of communication open from the
company to the service member and their family. This needs to be
especially nurtured during times of deployment so the individual
doesn’t feel like a “newbie” when he or she returns to the job.
Set and maintain
firm company policies:
This ensures that there is little misinterpretation of policies that
may have changed during a deployment. If the policies do change,
keep your military workers and their families in the loop through
e-mails, letters and phone calls.
Provide ongoing training to help everyone understand company
policies in regards to supporting military employees. Everyone needs
to know what to expect and how to continue to work together. This
helps eliminate any “me against them” attitudes.
Some companies maintain a partial salary during deployments to help
make up the difference between military and civilian pay. This
provides great support to the families, and lets the employee know
their loved ones are taken care of.
Support of the
Home Depot (with a GIJobs.net rank of 9) designates Blue Star
Employees, those who have served in the military during their
employment, and holds welcome home celebrations when military
employees return. They make it a priority to hire spouses, and also
hold family picnics and activities year-round.
back to work
- Military members
conduct what they call a “left seat, right seat” ride with their
incoming counterpart as they prepare to depart the theatre of
operations and redeploy home. This allows a specific amount of time
for the outgoing person to show the incoming person what is expected
of him in this particular job. Then the roles are reversed, and
while the outgoing person is still in theatre, the incoming person
starts to conduct business as if she was now in charge. This allows
time for questions to be asked while the outgoing person is still
Many companies adopt a similar scenario in the workplace.
Instead of immediately giving back all the responsibilities to the
incoming employee (the ones he or she had prior to the deployment),
establish a timeline where the person who took over the job would
continue to do so, while the other observes. Then, once comfortable
in the routine, he would slowly take back over the things he did
before the deployment. This way, someone is still available to
assist if problems arise. By being patient and communicating with
each other, you can create a transition that works and makes things
continue to run smoothly.
This time, as you survey the parking lot for yellow ribbon
magnets, you either know how to encourage your company to become
more military friendly or you can take pride in the fact that you
already do work for a company that knows that it’s the right – and
profitable – thing to do.
Read other articles and learn more about
[This article is available at no-cost, on a non-exclusive basis.
Contact PR/PR at 407-299-6128 for details and