Preventing Communication Breakdown In Business World and On Battlefield

(*Guest Blog Post by Justin Berkenstock)

As we push forward into 2016 here at HicksPro, many hours have been spent reflecting on the growth of our Veteran Recruiting Programs.  While it’s always rewarding to be able to see a program we are passionate about mature and grow, I’ve also come to a renewed and sharpened focus on what it truly means for an organization to hire veterans.  In simple terms, it is important to define the “value ad” that managers may need to strengthen their teams.  There are many to discuss and contemplate but the one I feel is most vital is communication flow.

Throughout the modern military, communication flow is an essential focus that enables every unit, from the highest ranking to the lowest, to effectively complete whatever task is at hand.  This is embodied in the focus on small unit leadership and the way in which communication flows through the ranks.

From my own personal experience in the Marine Corps Infantry, I have witnessed this first hand while commanding a three-vehicle team during combat operations in Iraq.  Prior to stepping off on any operation, all other small unit leaders and I were responsible for briefing our teammates to ensure that every member had clarity on the objective and knew all pertinent information.  This enabled every member to have a clear picture of what was expected and the direction to a successful outcome.  The flow of communication both down the line and back up was crucial to success and allowed the small unit leaders to provide constant and valuable feedback to leaders, just as in a business environment.  In fluid environments and dynamic situations such as these, whether in combat or critical business situations, breakdowns in communication are simply not acceptable.  It must be ingrained in every person on the team to ensure that the communication does not fail.

So how does this translate to managers in the private sector?  Think of this: by bringing in veterans to lead or be cohesive members of a team, we are putting in place individuals who know the value of communication and will own the responsibility in maintaining it.  They are able to effectively take the direction that is given to them from above and disseminate that information to teammates and colleagues in a quick and clear manner.  Also, from their experience they are aware of the role they must play in ensuring that the message is reinforced continuously to maintain the proper direction of the task or objective for the long term.

Seemingly without effort, veterans inject their experience into their surrounding environment and own the communication flow and message that must be carried, both in action and values.  When managers are faced with the constant disheartening feeling from having to constantly repeat themselves, there is an incredible waste of time, effort and energy which takes away from the bottom line.  Plainly, communication breakdowns cost money and lower the ROI of every hour worked.  As a hiring manager, placing veterans in your company allows you to focus your energy and effort in more critical daily actions where it is exceedingly more valuable to the company’s overall success.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and continue the discussion, please feel free to message me our call me at 925-299-4049.

*Authored by Justin Berkenstock, HicksPro Veteran Programs Account Manager

Justin served four years in the United States Marine Corps as an infantry machine gunner and vehicle commander/team leader where he achieved the rank of Sergeant with a heavy weapons platoon called CAAT (Combined Anti-Armor Team) with 2nd Battalion 1st Marines, Weapons Company.  He was in from 2003 to 2007 during which time he had two combat tours to Iraq in support of operations Vigilant Resolve, Iron Hammer and Steel Curtain; he was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds received in December of 2005.

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