Over half of the veterans that are returning home from service report some type of disability. These disabilities range from mental aftereffects including PTSD and depression to physical disabilities such as chronic pain and others. The time veterans spend serving can dramatically affect their ability to work, especially for veterans who have direct combat experience.
Steps To Accommodating Veterans In The Workplace
This makes it important for employers to provide appropriate accommodations for veterans. In this article, we will go over some of the best ways for employers to help veterans feel comfortable, safe, and valued.
Help Veterans Find Their Role
It is important to understand the unique situation each veteran you choose to hire faces. The type of role that will be best for them really depends on the health issues they may be dealing with and the skills they specialize in.
Certain physical disabilities may cause a veteran to not be well-suited for manual labor positions but more for leadership or sales. On the other hand, veterans with PTSD and diagnosed anxiety may struggle in high-pressure and loud environments with machines.
When you are engaged in the hiring process, it is essential to work with veterans in order to figure out the type of role that may be suited to their unique needs. Maintaining transparency and an open channel of communication goes a long way in helping make veterans feel valued and part of a team. When placed into a proper role that suits them, veterans can provide incredible work ethic and leadership skills.
Play A Supportive Role
There are many veterans that are employed that may not be getting the help they need. If you are working with a veteran who you discover has physical or mental disabilities, then it is a great idea to know where to refer them and how to help them get assistance. Some companies opt to have in-house support ready for veterans who need psychiatric assistance or physical evaluations, while others may have to refer them to an outside provider.
Employers can also connect their veteran employees to organizations that support veterans including Veteran Crisis Line, Real Warriors, Make the Connection, and others where they can talk about various issues and get advice from other veterans who understand their experiences.
If the veteran is unable to perform the jobs you offer due to physical or mental health constraints, you can help them obtain a 100-percent disability rating based on individual unemployability. This ensures that the veteran receives maximum compensation from the government and that they are properly taken care of.
In order to attract and retain veteran talent, it is important to make your workplace attractive by being proactive and putting supportive systems in place.
Ensure A Veteran-Friendly Workplace
Creating a safer workspace for veterans simply requires employers to be more mindful of the work environment they create and how it affects workers. Veterans who have PTSD or physical disabilities may have very useful suggestions regarding how to improve the organization of the workplace.
Additionally, they may also have work-ready skills that they picked up during their service that can help you improve efficiency or maximize team cohesiveness. For example, employers can ensure the layout of the office allows veterans to sit in a position where their back is against the wall and they can see all entrances and exits.
Also, emergency alarms with visual indicators or flashing exit signs can also ensure that veterans with hearing impairments are accommodated in the case of an emergency.
Together, these small details go a long way in creating a more inclusive workplace for veterans. Having an open channel of communication and allowing suggestions from veterans is a must for employers that want to create a welcoming space for our valued service members.
The Bottom Line
Hiring veterans is a great way for organizations to not only receive incentives but also improve the diversity and efficiency of their workforce. Employers can benefit greatly from the leadership, teamwork, independent thinking, and wide variety of skills that veterans bring to the table. In order to receive these benefits, employers and managers must create an environment where veterans dealing with different physical and mental health conditions can feel safe and a part of a team.
For more information about hiring and accommodating veterans in the workplace, speak with an independent HR consultant at HR Search & Rescue today.