For over 50 years, Serco has worked alongside the UK Armed Forces providing critical defence support services. This has given us a unique appreciation of the sacrifice that people serving in the Armed Forces make and the positive contribution that ex-forces personnel can make in our business and in the wider community. Serco was one of the first company signatories to the Corporate Covenant in October 2013 which is a public declaration of our commitment to help support ex-forces personnel make the successful transition into work. Our commitment extends to supporting all employees who are members of the Reserve Forces and those who may want to volunteer and includes 12 additional days of paid holiday to support Reservists in meeting their commitment to training throughout the year.
Apart from being good for the country our research indicates that members of staff who volunteer to become Reservists develop complementary skills and capabilities that can help them be more successful in the workplace and make more of a contribution to their teams and the business. To hear Serco's reservists views on the benefits of being a reservist watch our short video:
Reservists - The benefits for employees and their teams
Research conducted in June 2015 amongst Serco's Armed Forces reservists and their line managers, indicates that it is the softer skills that they pick up whilst being reservists, that they are best able to bring back into the workplace with team building and communications ranked one and two respectively. And whilst technical skills transferability is still considerable, problem solving, resilience and an appreciation of individual strengths and weaknesses rank higher in terms of learning that can be applied by reservists in their day job.
According to line managers who have reservist in their team, the top ranked benefits in support of business performance are having good behavioural role models for other members of their team; helping to support the broader contribution to the community and being able to being able to bring different skills, experiences and perspectives to their business challenges.
"We have always thought that supporting reservists is good for the country but our latest research provides more concrete evidence of the types of skills your employees can get and how best to get the most out of the reservists in your business" says Kevin Craven, CEO UK Central Government at Serco. "With over 125 reservists, sponsored reservists and adult cadet instructors in our UK business, we at Serco firmly believe that having reservists as part of your team is not only the right thing to do for the defence of the country but is good for development and good for business performance. This is why we are signed up to the Corporate Covenant and proactively encourage reservists in our business"
These benefits are not necessarily a given and Serco's line managers highlighted the need to take time to understand the skills of the their reservist employees and to let they tell use their initiative as some their top tips for getting the most of their reservists back in the business.
To get a copy of the research click here.