Veterans are unique compared to other employees because they have worked in the armed forces; thus, they have special needs. Military settings have a distinct leadership as opposed to civilian workplaces. As such, if some aspects of leadership, such as cultural competence, remain unchecked, ambivalence might occur. Focusing on cultural competence is essential while managing veterans to help them communicate and effectively interact with people across diverse cultures. A plan for managing veterans could encompass removing stereotypes, encouraging socialization, and considering context and culture.
Veterans are at high risk of facing unconscious bias that often blinds their merits and qualities because of the attributes of the group to which they belong. Stereotyping can have far-reaching consequences on veterans. Thus, as a manager, one should aim at deconstructing any form of bigotry, prejudice, and bias. First, managers can organize diversity training for both employees and supervisors. The training should focus on embracing a liberal approach in dealing with veterans. Specifically, work styles, work philosophy, and ethics should be incorporated into training while allowing frank discussions to explore different employees’ uniqueness. Secondly, the managers can organize meetings with departmental heads to prevent employee stereotyping within different departments. This way, unfair judgments could be eliminated, thus creating a conducive environment for veterans.
Managers ought to discover new ways of involving veterans in social activities that can influence their morale and sense of camaraderie. Constantine and Morton (2018) define socialization as “acquiring the attitudes, behaviors, and knowledge needed to successfully participate as an organizational member.” An organization could facilitate socialization in many ways. For instance, it could organize after-work or weekend get-together events and parties to promote self-esteem and confidence among employees. Socialization also promotes relationships, which could eliminate any instances of seclusion that may be directed to veterans.
Explaining Context and Culture
Veterans are unique as opposed to civilians because they have worked in the armed forces; thus, their approach to work may differ from that of civilians. For instance, in the military, soldiers are taught to do whatever it takes to achieve their targets. Unlike the military context, the civilian workplace prioritizes timelines and budgetsHence, there might be conflicts if managers are not aware of the different dynamics in the military. The first step for managers to address these differences in workplace environments is acknowledging their existence. Managers should create an open line of communication to enable veterans to make inquiries (the United States, 2012). Further, leaders need to establish an employee code of conduct that aligns with the company’s vision and mission so that veterans can fit into the organization’s program without struggling.
Veterans are unique because of their army work environments; thus, they may have problems working in regular organizations. Therefore, organizations must create an inclusive work setting that suits veterans while focusing on cultural competence to ensure that they adjust to their new work settings. Some aspects of cultural competence that managers should consider include eliminating stereotypes, encouraging socialization, and considering context and culture in the workplace. While eradicating veteran stereotyping will create an inclusive culture at the workplace, encouraging socialization will boost their self-esteem and confidence. On the other hand, being sensitive to context and culture will ensure that veterans fit in the civilian workplace.
Constantine, J., & Morton, A. (2018). From We Will to At-Will: A Handbook for Veteran Hiring, Transitioning, and Thriving in the Workplace