Let’s take a trip down elementary geography lane for a second. The triangle is considered the most stable shape which is why it’s so commonly used around us – from bridges, camera tri-pods and bicycles – triangles provide the stability and support in many things around us.
This same concept is frequently used in business and the workplace when designing new programs or initiatives. I’m currently leading a team at my current employer - Ipsos, a global market research and consulting firm - where we are introducing and launching a Military and Veteran Employee Diversity Group (MVERG) using this same concept of having three interconnecting elements focusing on a specific aspect, yet interconnected to build a long term, strong and successful program.
These 3 areas would include:
This facet would include the internal and external branding of the MVERG to engage with employees who may have family members who are veterans, are veterans themselves, or who simply want to help with this great initiative. It would also help with external branding of the program showcasing our employer is a veteran friendly organization and be responsible to attract and recruit transitioning servicemembers and veterans.
Here, the team would be responsible for the proper onboarding and training of transitioning veterans. Research shows that many veterans only stay employed at their first post-military job for roughly about a year as they use this job as a quick stepping stone while they figure out what to do long term. We believe that having a proper onboarding program, creating a mentor and/or buddy program partnering the veteran with other veterans in the organization and providing the proper internal & external training will help with a long term working relationship.
Lastly, it’s important to recognize and give back to service members. They sacrificed so much for us, as an organization we should do the same in return. This advocacy group would not only be responsible for recognizing our current veterans throughout the year, but also to find ways to engage with military and veteran communities for volunteer activities. Ranging from helping resume writing and job searching, volunteering at the local VA hospitals, mentoring, and providing donations such as care packages for the troops.
We believe that having three teams, each working on a specific component of the larger initiative will help us concentrate our efforts, remain balanced, strong and stable while working on the larger mission. I hope that this example of our current diversity efforts helps you as you develop your organizations Employee Diversity Group.