Helping Veterans Return to the Civilian Workplace

veteran, counseling

You may have veterans on your payroll who have recently returned from service. If so, these employees may be excited about their jobs, but they may also need time to adjust to civilian life and work.

Co-workers and friends are often grateful for the veteran’s accomplishments. Yet as this treatment wears off, the grind of day-to-day civilian jobs can set in. Below are some issues that returning service members deal with and may find difficult to adjust to, specifically concerning their return to a civilian job:

  • A slower decision-making process in the workplace than in military service
  • Working at lower intensity levels in a quieter atmosphere and calmer environment, where anxiety and focus may be significantly lower
  • Slower-paced schedules and relaxed attitudes


Employers who have service members on their payroll can do many things to make a safe workplace culture, when accommodating veterans that are returning from duty. Here are some effective accommodations and resources employers can use:

  • If service members appear as though they want to discuss their experiences, offer a listening ear. If they do not want to discuss their active-duty experiences, that position should be respected.
  • Support veterans with patience, encourage them to engage with others and provide opportunities for continued success in their civilian work.
  • Leverage veterans’ skills learned in the military in their everyday roles.
  • Offer the services of your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for veterans who need further guidance, counseling support, etc.
  • Create physical accommodations for veterans who may have a disability.
  • Stay up to date with the department of veterans affairs resources on how to accommodate military personnel.veteran, military, handshake
  • Work with your human resource department to create effective new employee orientation focused for veterans starting a new job.
  • Create a safe organizational culture that eliminates workplace violence.
  • Implement a yearly report that surveys veterans in your organization on their comfort level at work and new veterans’ ability to transition to your workforce.
  • Partner with local organizations and programs to assist service members seeking assistance.

A returning veteran can provide unique knowledge and skills that employers should take into account when recruiting and hiring. Retaining this type of talent is also beneficial from a public relations standpoint, as your organization is employing a demographic that has made substantial sacrifices for others.

Many benefit packages may include additional resources to help your employees with the transition to civilian workforce such as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). These programs often include one-on-one counseling sessions designed to help with work-life balance. Contact us to speak to a consultant about how you can enhance your benefit package to help all your employees.