IoSCM are delighted to announce that we are one of only three companies who have been shortlisted for the Excellence in Supporting Armed Forces Talent award at the CIPD North East of England HR&D Awards 2021. As an Institute we are extremely proud of the work we do to support the wider Armed Forces Community, and the links we are building between business, service personnel and the supporting organisations who work closely with our military.
The Awards Ceremony is taking place this Friday 11th June. The winners for the different categories will be announced throughout the day between a wide range of exciting activities, presentations and guest speaking slots.
Why IoSCM entered the CIPD Awards
As holders of the Ministry of Defence ERS Gold award, we are proud to work closely with serving or former military personnel, reservists, cadets, military spouses and their families. This includes anyone who may be wounded or unwell. Our team work tirelessly to ensure we can help bridge the gap between military and civilian life, map skills and experience gained in service to careers outside of the Armed Forces.
We break down barriers between potential employers and the candidates, make job opportunities within our network as visible as possible and we provide an extensive range of free resources to everyone linked to the Armed Forces (as above). This includes free training, dedicated support and an in-house team of former military personnel and spouses to connect with.
Through our ongoing work within the wider armed forces community, we were aware of a number of objectives that could be improved or built upon to better the support available to all military personnel. This included; helping service personnel explain their skills in a way businesses understood, increasing the number of businesses willing to give equal opportunities to candidates from military backgrounds when recruiting, and ensuring the vast array of support services, opportunities and resources that are available to our armed forces can be accessed easily and that more people were aware of them.
With strong links to both the military, the wider business community and the organisations who offered services or support, the IoSCM team believed that we could begin to address these challenges and find solutions.
Members of our team attend multiple military forums and groups in the region, we have employees who are reservists and cadets, we have a LinkedIn group dedicated to connecting military personnel and businesses, called The Military Chain, and members of our team were founding members of Joined Up, an initiative in the region to connect business with personnel to find, attract and retain top talent from service leavers etc. Our MD is Co-Chair of Joined Up and she reports that the amount of support and willingness from businesses in the North East has been overwhelming.
After reviewing the gaps in support for military personnel, the IoSCM team decided to build a tool that would be easily accessible to serving or former personnel, reservists, cadets etc. wherever they may be. We already have a global membership community who access resources, tools, support, event information and can network with one another.
They do this through a website we created for them, called The IoSCM Hub. We decided to build an extension to this site purely for military members where they could access tailored support, sign-posting, resources, and free learning. At the same time, we decided to launch the LinkedIn group, The Military Chain to help us connect more people and ensure as many armed forces personnel as possible were aware of this new support.
Our HR team working with the communications team, platform development team and experts from outside of the business to map out exactly what information would be beneficial, what sign-posting would be the most supporting, and the types of resources and support we wanted to have available. We then created a number of free courses, while the Toolkit was being built.
Before going live with the Toolkit, we invited a test group of over 20 current or former military personnel, and professionals working with organisations linked to the military, to try out the toolkit and recommend further support or resources we could include.
As we all know, mental health support is crucial to many people leaving the military and in the years after they have left. While there is some support out there, many who would benefit from it either do not know what is available or for their own reasons choose not to access it. We believe mental well-being should be a primary focus for everyone, even those of us who may feel they do not need to improve their mental health or do not need to worry about it.
Combining our own expertise, with the expertise, resources, and support of great charities such as Walking With the Wounded, The Mental Health Foundation and MIND to ensure we have practical tips and advice, and specialist sign-posting for anyone needing a little extra support. This is something our HR team ensure is readily available to our employees so we added to what we already had readily available.
We then looked at some of the causes for many veterans struggling with their mental health; their inability to find employment after service, was a key factor and this is where we felt we could deliver some really strong support.
The team built a section of the Toolkit focused on helping service personnel advertise their skills and capabilities in civilian speak, we created a map that translates terminology (for both military and civilian users), we created a section for employees and personnel to advertise their vacancies or their CV’s, we added a third section with more industry relevant learning materials and free courses. Feeling this was great improvements to what was already available but still not enough, we then decided that two members of our team from military backgrounds would hold one to one career development calls with military personnel to help them prepare for interviews, identify the type of career, industry or role they would thrive in, and gain confidence in selling themselves.
Other support we are continuing to expand.
Members of our HR and Communications team already attend numerous Armed Forces committees, groups, forums and events, so we launched our new toolkit, The Military Chain and Joined Up and have continued to expand on the support available. We have also paired up with Forces Transition Group and a member of our team travels to bases across the UK to take part in a roadshow helping service leavers. The Institute deliver a free project management course we have created, and provide the attendees with access to the other tools, support and resources we have available.
Our team are looking forward to finding out more about all of the CIPD Award finalists on Friday.
As an Institute, we wanted to take the opportunity to congratulate CIPD for including this category in their awards. The more we can do to heighten awareness of the importance of supporting our Armed Forces and spreading the message about the skills, talents and capabilities of service personnel, the faster we can achieve a strong partnership between the Military and Business communities which will deliver great results for everyone involved, especially our troops.
IoSCM are proud and privileged to be able to offer our support in many different ways. We look forward to furthering this support, increasing our fundraising, and finding innovative new ways to reach wider-audiences, enhance our employee experiences, and strengthen our bonds with the wider military community.
We send good luck to all entries in this award category, as every effort to support our military is a great result in our eyes.