Why hiring military veterans can strengthen your organization
By Erin Feigal, Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources OfficerNovember 10, 2022
The military community makes sacrifices on our behalf, ensuring our freedom and safety around the world. And, in life outside of military service, veterans add significant value to a business and its culture. Former and active members of the armed forces have unique skill sets that can benefit any company they work for – and that’s held true at Prime Therapeutics (Prime).
At Prime, we support our military employees through our Veterans, Families, and Allies Network (VetFAN) employee resource group (ERG) as one way to advance their professional development. Employees who join and participate in ERGs are more likely to be engaged, better informed and better connected to organizational strategies, missions and objectives and are more career oriented.1 Additionally, Prime provides supportive policies and benefits designed to attract and retain military talent.
The military cultivates talent and fosters leadership for a lifetime of success.
At a recent ceremony celebrating Prime’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon (BTYR) Company honor, I proudly introduced my father, Greg Lynch, retired Army member, and shared the story of how the military recognized innate talents in him and developed him in a way that enabled him to succeed as a leader in the workplace. I also had the honor of introducing several military affiliated Prime employees who have put their natural leadership, teamwork and self-direction skills to use to benefit Prime. These service members turned Prime employees have taken ownership of high-stakes initiatives, recognized talent and nurtured it and proactively changed course when they anticipated a change in plan.
Prime’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Chris Knibb served in the Army, including a return tour in Desert Storm. Chris was in an artillery combat unit, but after his natural talent was recognized, he was pulled off the front lines and placed at the headquarters of the battalion to support a colonel with operations and intelligence. He learned about leadership and extreme ownership from this colonel, who became his mentor. In short, Knibb developed key traits a CFO needs to succeed: leadership and ownership, an operational mindset and the ability to uncover and synthesize information or intelligence.
As I connected with my father and some of Prime’s veterans, I learned that their time in service helped shape their careers – very specifically as it turns out – and the human resources (HR) side of me, focused on talent, was intrigued. Through all their stories, it struck me how the military recognized and placed them in roles that brought out their natural talent, strengths and even personality. Behind every military veteran’s story, there are also supportive friends and family members who are resilient, adaptable and collaborative – the very type of employees Prime would also consider assets to our team.
As an HR leader, I fully appreciate the value of attracting, hiring and retaining service members. As natural leaders, veterans accept responsibility for their work and behavior and are trained to lead and motivate others. They also understand the value of teamwork and how diverse team members can work together to achieve goals. These valuable skills create an environment that’s better for the team and the organization. In other words, Prime’s core values dovetail nicely with the personal mission of service members.
When a person feels safe to be who they are, they’re able to do their best work. Prime’s Diversity and Inclusion Council and ERGs help employees celebrate differences, find like-minded people and feel connected. The BTYR program is helping us see the world differently and see our benefit plans and other programs through the eyes of our service members. It’s helping us ensure we provide a strong and supportive environment to attract and retain military talent.
Military veterans possess traits Prime needs to advance its culture and its business. Their time in service has distinctly shaped their lives and careers. And we’re grateful for the impact our military veterans make by sharing with us their unique talents and perspectives.
- FedsHireVets.gov. https://www.fedshirevets.gov/news-media/news-items/2016/01/do-you-knowwhat-an-employee-resource-group-ergaffinity-group-ag-is/. Accessed 10/31/22
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