Second Wave Learning
For Millennial employees, mentoring isn’t seen as a perk or a bonus — it’s become something they expect and see as a necessity for their professional success. Coming from a lifetime of teaching, guidance and coaching from every adult in their lives, Second-wave Millennials enter the workplace expecting (and often needing) more of the same.
Mentoring has several benefits for Second-wave Millennials, many of whom never received coaching in soft skills like business communications and networking. Mentoring can provide these young professionals with an additional stream of the feedback and advice they crave from their employers. It can also help them learn more about their team, company and place in the work world. Millennials who receive mentoring are happier at work than their un-mentored peers.
Improved Loyalty and Retention
But mentoring isn’t just good for the Millennial employees — it’s also good for their employers, who will benefit from having more engaged and loyal employees. A study by Deloitte suggested that Millennials who have mentors are twice as likely to plan to stay with their current company for more than 5 years. The Association for Talent Development reported that companies with formal mentoring programs in place receive higher marks for employee engagement and retention.
While mentoring is often seen as informal-but-helpful chats over a cup of coffee or lunch, there are several models in practice. For Millennials, the more formal the mentoring structure, the more they’ll benefit.
There is an increase in not just mentorship but sponsorship of young employees. Unlike traditionally informal mentoring, sponsorships match a young employee with an influential higher-up who can be both their confidante and champion as the young professional progresses and grows at the company.
Where Do I Start?
Either way, setting up a formal mentorship or sponsorship program is key to both attracting and retaining top Millennial employees. In some ways, the more formal this program is, the better the results will be. Here are tips on getting started:
Recruit mentors first. Mentors should be personable, approachable and friendly, but they should also be people who can set a great example for young employees, listen actively and provide feedback appropriately.
Determine the structure. Work with the mentors to determine the structure, length, frequency of meeting, approved meeting locations and other details. Having all the mentors on the same page about what is and isn’t required will help ensure mentees have a consistent experience.
Make matches. New employees, young professionals and anyone else interested should be matched with a mentor. Matches work best when they are between people who have similar interests and aspirations, and those people don’t necessarily need to be from the same department.
Get feedback. After a few months, be sure to get feedback from both mentees and mentors about how the program is working for all parties involved, and tweak as necessary.
Both mentors and mentees should benefit from this program with an increase in both job satisfaction and professional development — after all, young professionals can teach their more experienced colleagues a lot, too!
Second Wave Learning’s goal is to help businesses get new, young employees started off on the right foot and on their way to a successful career. Learn more about how Second Wave Learning can help you develop the workforce of the future at www.secondwavelearning.com.
Second Wave Learning
Starting a new job can feel like the first day of school at a brand-new school. From learning where the bathroom is to meeting people, it can feel overwhelming.
In an earlier blog, we discussed what companies could do before the employees’ first day. Today we are going to discuss ideas you can use on their first day of onboarding. Both are critical to reducing the chance of turnover. Brand-conscious Second-wave Millennials are quick to make decisions on your company, so making a great first impression is key.
“New hires who experience badly planned and executed initiations may conclude that the organization is poorly managed and decide that it was a mistake to take the job,” Arlene Hirsch wrote for SHRM. “As they make their way through the organization, those early experiences get magnified and calcified.”
The good news is that it is not that hard to do. So what do employees really want from their first day and how do you as an employer ensure they go home energized and excited?
Here are five things employers can provide (or provide early) to ensure the first day is amazing:
No paperwork. In the days before a new employee officially starts, send them their benefits and payroll paperwork (or provide them access to the paperwork portal). Giving them time to understand their benefits, ask questions, consult with family members and fill out paperwork before they arrive at work can be helpful in many ways: It gets the “boring” paperwork out of the way, lets them make informed and unrushed decisions, and lets the employee spend more time on the first day learning, engaging and meeting people.
Ready technology. In the days before the new employee starts, make sure all technology is set up and ready to go. For an employee, walking up to an empty desk and waiting around for IT to set up their laptop, phone and passwords is a waste their time on that critical first day. Many experts recommend that you give them access to their email early, and have key managers and team members send welcome messages before the new employee arrives. Computers and phones should be set up in advance, turned on and ready for them before the new employee arrives.
Lunch plans. Remove your new employee’s lunchtime stress about where to go and who to eat with by setting up lunch for them. Make a reservation for lunch at a local spot with key team members who can help the employee understand the organization and their role in it. (In fact, experts recommend you do this for the entire first week with different managers and team members to help the new employee feel comfortable and cared about.)
A Roadmap. Goals, plans, tasks, projects. These are all key things an employer can provide that will make a new employee feel comfortable and settle in quickly. Give new employees a sense of place by giving them information answering these questions: What is their role in the team and the larger organization? What are their goals for the first 90 days? How are tasks and projects assigned and prioritized? What support systems are in place to help them succeed? What onboarding programs are offered in their first six months to help them understand the company’s culture, systems, traditions and expectations?
A Sherpa. In addition to their team members and managers, new employees will benefit from having a mentor — often this should be a successful employee who has been with the company for a few years and is in a separate-but-related department. This mentor can be a coffee buddy, offer career and professional growth advice, stress relief and more.
Having these resources, plans and technology in place shows a new employee that their company cares about their long-term success and career development inside the company. They may go home exhausted — the first day may be overwhelming no matter what — but they’ll leave with a smile and will be more likely to stick around in the long run.
Second Wave Learning’s goal is to help businesses get new, young employees started off on
the right foot and on their way to a successful career. Learn more about how
Second Wave Learning can help you develop the workforce of the future at
Veteran Business Mentorship Nominee
CACI is a leader in mentoring veteran-owned businesses. Throughout the history of CACI’s Mentor-
Protégé Program, CACI has mentored over six Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Business (SDVOSB).
Recently, CACI received the prestigious Department of Defense Nunn-Perry Award for outstanding
mentor-protégé agreement. Some highlights of CACI’s mentor-protégé accomplishments include:
Another of CACI’s SDVOSB protégé companies won the National SBA Small Business Contractor of the
Year award, acknowledging CACI for putting them in a position to win this award. Additional highlights
of this successful Mentor-Protégé agreement were:
In addition to CACI’s formal Mentor-Protégé agreements, CACI sits on the National Veteran Institute for
Procurement (VIP) Training Curriculum Committee and volunteers CACI Subject Matter Experts for
mentoring and training activities supporting VIP program. The National Center for Veteran Institute for
Procurement (VIP) is a veteran entrepreneurship program that specifically addresses federal
CACI has received the Champion of Veteran Enterprise Award from the National Veteran Small Business
Coalition (NVSBC) for eight consecutive years. This award is given to large businesses that exceed the
governments VOSB and SDVOSB subcontracting goals. CACI also participates on panels for the annual
Three Wire Systems, LLC
Veteran Business Mentorship Nominee
Dan Frank, CEO
Question: Why do you think hiring & mentoring veterans is important for businesses and the Greater Washington region?
Answer: A large number of businesses in the Greater Washington region exist to support the federal government, whether through defense contracting or IT services and software development and support. To that end veterans are a crucial employee base who know our market and who are prepared on day one to assist in meeting our corporate mission. But in truth veterans are important assets to any business, whether government contractors or in the private sector. The training and skills acquired in the military make veteran employees both prepared and dependable. Veterans are also successful entrepreneurs and so developing a mentoring relationship with them provides existing organizations with a pipeline of potential partners and collaborators. I’ve mentored veteran entrepreneurs for years and can say from experience that mentoring provides satisfaction both from a personal and business development perspective.
Question: What makes your company stand out compared to others in supporting & hiring veteran employees?
Answer: My time in active duty in the Navy and in the Reserves led to a commitment to hiring veterans when I founded Three Wire Systems over a decade ago. I knew, though, that simply sourcing and hiring veterans and then hoping to retain them wasn’t enough. Veterans have specific needs, particularly during their transition to civilian life, and I knew other companies were as interested as I in retaining veteran employees. I founded Three Wire’s VetAdvisor support services as a way to both help veterans during their reintegration and also to help companies source, hire, and retain veteran employees. I’m very proud to say that I’ve met my commitment to veteran hiring; organizationally half of Three Wire’s employees are veterans, and nearly 70% of VetAdvisor coaches are veterans or former Guard or Reserve members. I’m also proud that VetAdvisor has worked with numerous private sector companies, providing assistance in their quest to hire and retain veteran employees, and that since 2007 we’ve provided over 100,000 holistic health and wellness coaching sessions to veterans, helping them succeed in their transition to civilian life.
Question: What advice would you give to other companies or organizations who are looking to hire veterans or would like to install a hiring veteran’s employment program within their company?
Answer: First, go for it! Highly skilled, dependable, and mission-oriented, veterans are wonderful employees and will be an asset to your organization. One thing we’ve found through our experience helping organizations source veteran employees is that the most successful organizations reach out to veterans where they live. By that I mean, participate in your local VA job fairs and in Chamber of Commerce veteran outreach programs. It’s also important to provide training for hiring managers so that they understand military lingo and job descriptions. It can be hard for civilians to look at the skills veterans possess and translate those skills into the civilian workplace, but this is a problem only of language. Veterans are highly trained and highly skilled, it’s a matter of understanding how to read a veteran’s resume and translating those skills to your organizational needs. A successful veteran hiring program would therefore include proactive outreach to the veteran community rather than just posting an opening on Indeed or Monster and hoping for the best, and would also include training so that hiring managers understand military language and culture. Of course, once you’ve made that effort and have hired veterans, a veteran-centric employee assistance program would be the next step. Helping your veteran employees deal holistically with their specific behavioral health and wellness issues will help you retain those employees and will provide greater ROI on your recruiting efforts.
First Class Resumes
Veteran Owned Business (Established) Nominee
Dannielle Ramos Rash, Founder & Principal Writer
HIRING VETERANS IS IMPORTANT FOR BUSINESSES
Businesses and the Greater Washington region want the best candidates possible and express a desire to hire Veterans. Transition Military and Veterans have a huge range of skill sets. They have acquired a wealth of knowledge, skills and competencies from serving our country. The training and education that Veterans received during their military service is transferable to those skills being sought by companies and organizations in the Greater Washington region looking to hire. In addition to these valuable skills, the Veteran brings a unique sense of leadership and teamwork to any organization.
Veterans also understand the commitment to achieving organizational objectives and goals.
They have demonstrated the ability to work effectively and efficiently within multi-cultural
environments. When an organization hires a Veteran, they are bringing an individual on who is
committed to serving both an organization and this nation through their continued service.
The qualities a Veteran has including respect for others, pride, honesty and a sense of belonging,
enables Veterans to adapt into any organization.
Many transitioning service members and Veterans are eager to serve. Let’s face it, the military
instills discipline and work ethic into Veterans from day one! Veterans have technical skills in
highly sought out arenas, such as; IT, Communications, Security and Medical technology to
name a few, and many Veterans also hold the required security clearances that are needed for
some government contractors and Federal positions. It is important for all businesses to support
and hire our nation’s Veterans.
OUR DISTINCT DIFFERENCE
Many competitors don’t cater to the Transitioning Military market, and if they do their prices are
much higher. They also claim to know how to “civilianize” a Veterans resume. But how could
they if they have never served a day in their life. What truly makes First Class Resumes unique
is that it’s run by a Veteran for Veterans.
As the First Class Resumes Founder, I am multi Certified as a Federal Career Coach, Federal Job Search Trainer, Professional Resume Writer and Employment Interview Consultant. In addition, I am a member of the Professional Association of Resumes Writers and Career Coaches, Career Thought Leaders and Career Directors International. I also attend resume conferences to keep informed of the careers industry.
As a 4th generation Veteran, my company First Class Resumes specializes in military veterans
transitioning into the workforce and many of my clientele go from being separated from the
military, straight to their corporate or federal dream job. I take pleasure in bringing out the best in
Veterans and highlighting their potential, as well as maximizing their chances in obtaining the
interview. I am not only a military Veteran who gets it, but have literally walked a mile or fifteen
in their “boots”.
I truly feel I have found my calling and is the reason why I get up in the morning, it truly gives
me purpose in life. It is always such a great feeling of achievement and feels fantastic knowing
that what I accomplish on a daily basis helps our transitioning Military members and our
Veterans. Whether it is by assisting them with their resumes, interview skills, LinkedIn profiles
or getting that job offer!
After my clientele have viewed their resumes and I hear them say…..”WOW I WOULD HIRE
ME!” Maybe it is when they call me and they are so excited that they just received a job offer! It
really brightens my day to receive that call and hear success stories from our nations Veterans.
When I receive that phone call this is when I know it is all worth it and what I do makes a
difference in our Veterans lives. I feel I am changing the world, one Veteran at a time!
THE BENEFITS OF HIRING VETERANS
There are many reasons why businesses could benefit from hiring military Veterans, here are just
COMMITMENT TO SERVICE: This is what sets Veterans apart from their civilian
counterparts. They are very conscious about the mission of the organization and they work
together to get the job done.
TRAINED LEADERS: Veterans are trained leaders that are placed in high-stress leadership
roles. If you’d like to foster in-house talent and hire genuine leadership candidates, Veterans are
a natural fit.
GREAT WORK ETHIC: Veterans have great work ethic and when you’re in the military,
slacking off is not an option. Each task you have been asked to do must be done for a reason, and Veterans have been trained to understand that. As a result, you can expect Veterans understand the meaning of hard work.
TAX INCENTIVES: Hiring a Veteran Means Tax Incentives and if you hire an eligible
unemployed Veteran, your business can take advantage of a number of tax incentives. The Work
Opportunity Tax Credit, Returning Heroes Tax Credit and Wounded Warriors Tax Credit can
provide your organization with annual incentives of up to $9,600.
COMMITTED TO THE TEAM: As an employer it is comforting to have someone who is
committed to the team, able to work under pressure and ready to be a leader. Hiring military Veterans is a smart business decision because Veterans are people that are driven, mission-
focused and work well in a team environment.
With outstanding skills like this, why wouldn’t an organization want to hire Veterans? There are of course some negative stereotypes regarding hiring Veterans. These are negative generalizations and I believe the real issue with hiring Veterans is in skills translation. It can be difficult for Veterans to define how their skills have qualified them for a career in the private sector. It is just as difficult for companies to create job descriptions that speak to our Veterans’ talents. This seems to be the most prevalent reason for Veterans not being hired. A lot needs to be done to dispel the stereotypes and most Veterans are not damaged; they are not heroes, they are just good people who bring a lot of assets to the workplace.
Dannielle Ramos Rash is a 4th generation Army Veteran and Founder of First Class Resumes & Career Services. Her company provides federal resumes for Veterans around the globe and stands by their motto “Taking You Higher To Get Hired.” Dannielle has been featured in the
“Military Transition” chapter of Modernize Your Job Search Letters: Get Noticed…Get Hired
and co-authored the book Mastering Your Career Journey: 11 Career Experts Unveil the
Secrets to Success.
Dannielle has written civilian and federal resumes for thousands of military Veterans and has
been coined a “Resume Goddess” by her clientele. She is Camouflaged Sisters resident expert
on federal resumes and the federal hiring process. Dannielle has been a contributor in Forward
March Magazine since conception and Women Who Served Magazine. Finally, she has been
featured in Behind The Rank, Vol. 1 and 2 which are Bestsellers on Amazon in the categories of
United States Veterans History, United States Military History and Women History.
Veteran Business Mentorship Nominee
Thomas Craig, Esq., Managing Partner
1. Why do you think hiring & mentoring veterans is important for businesses and the Greater Washington region?
The lawyers and professional staff of FH+H passionately believe that the practice of law is about helping others, especially those who have served our country in any capacity. Hiring and mentoring veterans is essential in the Greater Washington region in order to ensure that these individuals are achieving their greatest potential.
FH+H supports organizations such as Capitol Post, which has helped countless veteran entrepreneurs grow their start-ups through business acceleration programs and networking opportunities.
We ourselves are a testament to the capabilities of veterans, as FH+H is a successful and growing law firm that is veteran-owned. Our firm wants to be a model and inspiration for other firms who are considering hiring veterans and veterans themselves who are looking to start their own businesses, and our extensive service to the veteran community allows us to effectively do so.
2. What makes your company stand out compared to others in supporting & hiring veteran employees?
FH+H itself is a veteran-owned business, which facilitates a particular empathy toward other veterans in our community. In addition to our founder, Joseph Fluet, having served for 20 years as a combat commander in airborne, air assault, and special operations units, we also have numerous veterans serving as partners at our law firm. Managing Partner Tom Craig served over 21 years as an active duty Marine, and Partner Jack White also graduated from West Point and served for five years on active duty. Partner France Hoang served in Afghanistan as an Executive Officer of a U.S. Army Special Forces Company and is a West Point graduate.
FH+H is also unique in that it boasts many firm-wide, ongoing efforts to support veterans and also encourages attorneys to use their legal expertise to help veteran individuals and veteran-owned businesses. Our lawyers regularly represent military service members and veterans unwittingly caught in the legal system – often for a reduced cost and sometimes pro bono – for matters including security clearance issues, administrative separations, and petitions for the correction of military records.
Additionally, FH+H attorneys serve as outside legal counsel for veteran-focused companies. For one, Partner Dave Jonas works as the General Counsel for the Marine Executive Association (MEA), which helps transitioning Marines with networking and resumes to help them find employment.
3. What advice would you give to other companies or organizations who are looking to hire veterans or would like to install a hiring veteran’s employment program within their company?
Companies wanting to hire veterans should partner up with other businesses that have similar goals. FH+H has co-hosted several events – either in our space or at a partner’s venue – which both allows our firm to see how other businesses that support veterans operate and helps us establish a network to strengthen the ties between veteran-supporting businesses.
For example, our firm hosted more than one hundred veteran entrepreneurs and investors in our event space for a pitch competition in September. The event was run by Bunker Labs and Capitol Post, which are business incubators that help veterans reintegrate into the working world, and it was sponsored by FirstWave, a group of service academy graduates who are also executives and professionals.
Another piece of advice that FH+H has for companies looking to hire veterans or install an employment program is to establish a culture of service to veterans and veteran-owned businesses at an individual level. The only way that a business can properly support the needs of veterans in our community is if their employees are aware of the difficulties veterans face on a daily basis.
The professionals at FH+H spend significant time working with organizations to help them understand the needs of veterans. FH+H Counsel Phillip Carter, for example, contributes research and policy expertise on veteran’s issues as a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. His writing has had a major policy impact on debates regarding veteran health care, veterans’ benefits, and military personnel policy, and he is regularly cited or quoted in articles on the subject by major media. His research about issues facing veterans and military personnel helps to inform leaders about making positive differences in veterans' lives.