How Are Veteran Resource Groups Helping Companies Leverage the Drawdown of Military Troops?
Resource groups for veterans? Here's why companies see the recruitment of veterans as a competitive advantage and how these groups are helping.
A: The support and hiring of veterans is a hot topic. That's one of the reasons we will introduce The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Veterans list in 2013.
Our data shows that the number of DiversityInc Top 50 companies that have veterans resource groups increased by 18.2 percent over the past year alone. Companies see the recruitment of veterans as a competitive advantage and are tapping into their veterans resource groups for help. Watch our diversity web seminar on resource groups for more.
CSX, No. 23 in the DiversityInc Top 50 and our 2011 Top Company for Diversity-Management Progress, is the best company we've seen in terms of recruiting veterans:
- More than 20 percent of the company's workforce is military.
- The company has an extensive military-recruitment program—108 military installations in 23 states.
- Its veterans group (the Military Inclusion Group) supports CSX citizen-soldier employees and their families and promotes awareness of the U.S. armed forces. The resource group also provides networking opportunities and coordinators for events such as Memorial Day, Veterans Day/Military Appreciation Day, July 4 and Armed Forces Day.
- The company also is the only two-time winner of the U.S. Department of Defense's Freedom Award for support of the military.
"[Veterans] are a great match for what our business does, as we are extremely focused on safety," said CSX's Chairman, President and CEO Michael Ward at a DiversityInc event. "We as a company make sure their pay is constant and health benefits are maintained. Recruitment of women and Blacks in particular is a focus."
Learn more about CSX's military-recruiting strategies in our diversity web seminar on veterans in the workplace with CSX's Margaret Downey, general manager of Learning Development & Strategies (and formerly the company's director of recruiting and staffing) at BestPractices.DiversityInc.com.
The hiring and promotion of veterans is increasingly important. In DiversityInc's recent diversity web seminar on recruitment and hiring gaps, DiversityInc Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Barbara Frankel highlighted best practices for recruiting veterans. These include:
- Use recruiters who are experts on the military, both internal and external, to ensure connections with current and former troops.
- Create a military-resource group and use it to find and nurture veterans during on-boarding and when employees are deployed.
- Word of mouth is critical. Make sure people perceive your company as being inclusive to veterans.
Coleman, talks with DiversityInc about his journey transitioning from life in the U.S. Navy to working for Kaiser Permanente as an Assistant Hospital Administrator.
Anthony B. Coleman, DHA, is the Assistant Hospital Administrator (Operations Support) for Kaiser Permanente, Fontana and Ontario Medical Centers.
He was born at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy serving aboard the USS Pioneer (MCM 9) and USS Ardent (MCM 12). After completing a full sea tour he was transferred to shore duty, and earned a Bachelor's degree in Workforce, Education and Development, as well as a Master of Health Administration. He later earned a commissioned as a Naval Officer serving in various roles overseas and afloat, including Chief Financial Officer at U.S. Naval Hospital Beaufort SC, Human Resources Director at U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan and Medical Operations Officer onboard the USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75) nuclear powered aircraft carrier.
Anthony retired in 2016 with 20 years of honorable service and holds a Doctor of Health Administration Degree and currently serves as the Assistant Administrator (Operations Support) for Kaiser Permanente Fontana and Ontario Medical Centers.
DI: What was the initial transition like going from the armed services to a civilian career?
My initial thoughts on transition brought unnecessary anxiety. However, when I learned that my preceptor was a retired Air Force Colonel, it helped put me at ease about the transition. On my first day at Kaiser Permanente, the staff and physicians welcomed me and ensured that I had the support I needed to make a successful transition.
DI: What are some skills or habits you developed while serving in the military that have helped you in your current role?
Two things stick out in my mind as important.
The first is transitioning mindset from duty to desire. I joined the navy at 17, and during the first 3-5 years of my military career I didn't realize I was part of something bigger than myself so I competed tasks out of obligation (duty). After completing my first full sea tour, I realized how my efforts contributed to the overall mission of the U.S. Navy and the duties I carried out started to come from a desire to do so. This realization helped shape my leadership style and how I groomed young sailors early on in their enlistments. I wanted them to realize their very important part in the overall U.S. Navy mission and motivate them to bring their "A" game every day.
This has helped in my current role overseeing nine non-clinical departments (Housekeeping, Food and Nutrition, Engineering, Construction, Parking, Safety, Property Management, Telecommunications, Security and Supply Chain Management) where the majority of the employees I oversee are entry-level and can feel disconnected to health care because they are not physicians or nurses. However, I stress to them as often as possible that whether their job is to nourish the patient, clean and disinfect a patient room, make sure life-saving equipment is in working order, or any other of the hundreds of non-clinical functions they perform day in and day out, they too are vital to a patient's health and healing.
The second is attention to detail. Most times, my staff are the first and/or last interaction our members have with Kaiser Permanente. It is crucial for them to pay attention to every detail about the patient they encounter because each and every detail about the patient, large or small can help us do a better job in serving them. Sometimes, it may be as simple as a smile or word of encouragement that could make all the difference in the patient experience.
DI: What career advice can you offer to veterans or current military folks who are looking to pivot, and what types of jobs should they be looking for?
Stay current in world health affairs, as well as the political climate in the US. Now more than ever, politics are shaping our approach to health care and vice versa. Veterans and current military members should make sure they have an idea of where civilian health care is, as well as where it's going in the future, so they can demonstrate their value to potential health care employers.
Devote time to discovering their passion and allow it to lead them to a profession. So often, when military members plan to transition to civilian life, they tend to focus on their ability to continue providing for their families beyond military service. This can cause us to accept positions for the sake of securing post military employment, or accept positions that are not aligned with our core beliefs, or passion.
DI: Did you always have an idea of the type of career you wanted to pursue after the military?
Yes. As a matter of fact, I began planning my exit from the military in 2005 when I discovered my passion for eliminating health disparities however, because I was a single father of a 5 year old girl, my mom convinced me to complete a full career first.
In 2004, the Navy sent me to graduate school to learn how to be a health administrator. During the summer of 2005, I interned at Wallace Thomson Hospital in rural Union County, South Carolina. While there I met a kitchen worker who impressed me with her skill in preparing meals for all of the sick patients at the hospital, specific to their individual needs. Her name was Pee Wee and even though she never finished high school, and worked a second job to make ends meet she somehow found a way to show compassion for each patient while contributing to the healing environment.
After the rotation was complete, I went back to finish graduate school and learned that Pee Wee died of a stroke. She was 52. Her death really affected me and a began to look at how a person in America could die so young of a preventable health issue. That's when I learned about health disparities and discovered my passion for eliminating them. I understand that I may not be able to complete this task in my lifetime however, I am completely comfortable with making it my life's work at Kaiser Permanente.
"It's incredible that a president would travel to France for this significant anniversary — and then remain in his hotel room watching TV," David Frum said on Twitter.
Light, steady rain resulted in President Trump cancelling plans to attend a commemoration in France on Saturday to honor U.S. soldiers killed during World War I.
To voters: You can make sure that white nationalists don't feel empowered to march in Charlottesville in the middle of the day.
Former President Barack Obama kicked off his campaigning for November's midterms, on Friday afternoon, and took jabs at President Trump and the spineless backbones of his Republican constituents.
Obama spared no expense rebuking the administration's actions that have emboldened racists.
Veterans group calls Trump's tweet "the most inappropriate" Memorial Day remarks from a president.
Wells Fargo's support of military members, veterans and their families surpassed $100 million since 2012.
Applications and nominations accepted through May 20, 2018.
VFW members and their spouses will continue to receive education, one-on-one guidance and access to Humana Medicare plans.
Humana Inc.(a DiversityInc Noteworthy Company), one of the nation's leading health and well-being companies, through the Humana MarketPoint organization, has enhanced its exclusive agreement with the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW), the nation's largest organization of war veterans and the oldest major veterans' organization in the U.S.
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Veterans are an important part of TIAA's employee-base and mentorship is crucial to making a transition back to the workforce successful.
Since 1918, the same year Veterans Days originated, TIAA has taken great pride in veterans who are our employees, family members, clients, and board members. The knowledge, experience, and integrity veterans bring to our organization helps make it stronger and more inclusive.