DAY 1 – INVITE YOUR SUPERVISOR
This week I’m going to share with you my strategy to help keep your veteran and non-veteran employees engaged and loyal while demonstrating your true leadership skills and confidence. So I’m going to give you an insight as to why professional development is still important to veterans. When we start out with basic training, we’re given constant opportunities to develop and learn a new skill, a new task, and to sharpen what we already know so that we are ready to “the mission”. Generally, when we go into civilian organizations, after leaving the military, we’re kind of confused because we are expecting constant professional development. We learn that professional development generally only given to select candidates and not everyone. This can be frustrating. As a result, we start looking for other organizations that will give us regular professional development.
This is how you can keep your veteran direct reports interested, engaged and loyal. Create professional development within your team. Not only will you keep your team members loyal to you, but you display your leadership and confidence as a leader to your direct supervisors and your chain of command. Your leadership will see that you truly care about your direct reports as human beings, and as assets to the organization.
Your first step is to sit down with your direct supervisor and invite them into the process of providing support to your direct report. You are going to let them know that you want mentorship as you develop a plan to grow and develop your direct reports. The key is to let your direct supervisor know that you are interested in helping your direct reports grow within the organization. The benefit to the organization is your direct reports stay longer, which translates to a healthier bottom line.
Put your feelings of worry aside because this is going to benefit you in the long run. Do not worry about your direct report taking your job. Do not worry about losing your job to someone who’s smarter or who received more mentorship.
Instead, understand that this is going to bolster your personal brand as a truly selfless leader. Having the conversation with your direct supervisor will allow her or him to provide you with support and resources to successful in your endeavor. Find out if their committees, future vacancies, projects and more?
This is a long game. This is not going to be an overnight fix, but it’s going to start planting the seeds of loyalty and engagement in your direct reports and in the supervisor’s mind. Later on, the seeds will blossom into opportunities for you and your team. Stay tuned tomorrow when I tell you the second step of how you’re going to execute this strategy of engaging your veteran direct reports and earning loyalty.