Change management 101: What to do when an employee is deployed

Hiring an employee with former military service can offer companies many benefits. From a strong work ethic to comprehensive communication skills – not to mention the potential to qualify for incentives and tax credits – these workers are motivated and good team players, according to

But what happens if these individuals are called back to serve or re-enlist? This action requires businesses to be on top of their change-management game. Here are some steps organizations should take if this becomes a reality:

"If organizations don't have a procedure, it's time to develop one."

Create a company policy
Members of the Reserve or National Guard may have to take leave for additional training or deployment. In these cases, it's crucial for businesses to have a policy in place that covers the mandatory and voluntary responsibilities related to these events. If organizations don't have a procedure, it's time to develop one, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Just make sure the policy takes the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) into consideration.

There are three tenets of USERRA as it relates to the protection of persons who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, Reserve, National Guard or other uniformed services, according to Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve:

  1. Ensures these individuals are not disadvantaged in their civilian careers because of their service.
  2. Ensures they are promptly reemployed in their civilian jobs upon their return from duty.
  3. Ensures they are not discriminated against in employment based on past, present or future military service.

Focus on support
The key to maintaining strong relationships with employees who are also members of the military is to give them as much assistance as possible. Human resources and benefits leaders should ask "How can the company support you?" to get a more comprehensive understanding of individuals' needs. Anticipating possible mobilizations or deployments by recognizing the responsibilities of these workers and creating a notification system will make these events less hectic if – and when – they do occur.

Secova can assist with all of a company's benefits needs. In the event of reassignment, Secova can help to make sure federal requirements regarding healthcare are met and managed efficiently.