The Issue of Veterans' Job Retention

By: DiversityWorking Press
Date Posted: November 09, 2014
News Source: The Daily Journal

On November 11, the nation honors its war veterans, and as the observance draws near, focus is set on the issue of veterans' job retention, a challenge they still contend with today.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, veterans change jobs twice within the first three years of civilian employment. Trends show it takes veterans on average three employment experiences to find a best fit job match. And that is for the lucky ones who get civilian jobs! While the jobless rate for all veterans is down to 6.6 percent, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics, the dropout rates for veterans is at an all-time high, according to a recent VetAdvisor study, the Daily Journal reported.

The problem of veterans being unable to hold a job for long may be understood within the context or framework of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, it is suggested. The report said that findings from a recent VetAdvisor study link veteran job satisfaction and retention with veterans' opportunity to use their skills and abilities, having solid benefits and doing meaningful work. Even with this more contemporary research, Dr. Abraham Maslow's work remains relevant and is fundamental to the issue. He found individuals have an innate desire to be self-actualized. They are motivated to fulfill basic needs before moving on to more advanced needs.

Thus, it is also suggested that in order to decrease veterans' drop out rate, and increase job satisfaction, productivity and retention, and keeping a return on investment, a sustainability program that is "rooted in Maslow 101 is vital" and that such program should have five components, which include:
- Developing a communication blueprint that acknowledges, in a positive manner, the uniqueness of veterans. Individuals who separate or retire from the military and return to civilian life exchange a structured culture for an unstructured one;
- Adopting best practices such as establishing affinity groups, peer support and mentoring; and
- Customizing the diversity and employee assistance programs to include veteran-specific education and

Transitioning from the regimented world of the military where rules and expectations are clear to a civilian life that is more flexible can indeed be overwhelming for veterans, and unless their unexpressed needs in the workplace are met, these issues will continue to beset them and their employers.

Read the full article at The Daily Journal

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