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2017 Veterans Well-Being Survey

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Edelman conducted a survey between May-June 2017 to assess perceptions of veterans’ well-being in America.

The survey examined audiences’ perceptions of veterans’ job skills, education and employment to understand how veterans may be viewed as potential employment candidates. In addition, the survey explored perceptions of veterans’ mental and physical health, as well as their role in society.

Published in: Health & Medicine
  • @MaryGrace Duncan @MaryGrace Duncan - I’m so sorry for the delay in responding – Hopefully this will answer your question: The far left bar graph is the aggregate data - (e.g. all VETERANS n=1097). The center and right graphs represent the breakdown between those still serving (CURRENT SERVICE MEMBERS - n=396) and those who have left service (FORMER SERVICE MEMBERS n=701). To add specificity to each group’s need we wanted to find a baseline from which to measure the impact of programs civilian employers (and\or) government agencies could offer to help veterans smoothly transition to a post-military career.
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  • On page 4, Figure 5:what is the distinction between a Veteran and Former Service Member. I never thought there was one, as i thought anyone who served on active duty in the U.S. armed forces, no matter how long was a veteran.
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2017 Veterans Well-Being Survey

  1. 1. Edelman, a global communications marketing firm, conducted a survey between May-June 2017 to assess perceptions of veterans’ well-being in America. The survey examined audiences’ perceptions of veterans’ job skills, education and employment to understand how veterans may be viewed as potential employment candidates. In addition, the survey explored perceptions of veterans’ mental and physical health, as well as their role in society. In total, Edelman surveyed 3,197 individuals across the United States, including non-veterans/civilians, veterans/military personnel, educators and employers. For this briefing, findings regarding educators are not presented. VETERANS WELL-BEING SURVEY: Focus on Employment, Education and Health 2017 Page 1
  2. 2. Employers have misperceptions about veterans’ job skills and education levels. Though 76% of the employers* surveyed want to hire more veterans within their organizations, most have underlying misconceptions about veterans’ education levels, job skills and potential for success. Only 38% of employers believe the skills veterans learn in the military are easily transferable to the public or private sector, while most (62%) believe veterans need to acquire more skills- both hard and soft- before being ready for non-military roles. One of the largest disconnects exists with employers’ views of veterans’ soft skills. Only 19% of employers believe veterans possess effective communication skills, but 58% of employers say communication skills are essential for potential job candidates. In contrast, 64% of veterans believe they possess effective communication skills. 2017 VETERANS WELL-BEING SURVEY Page 2 Q37: Which of the following best represents your views? (n=1,000 Employers) 38% 62% The skills veterans learn in the military are easily transferable to jobs in the public or private sector Veterans may need additional education or training before they are qualified for jobs in the public or private sector Figure 1. Perceptions of Veterans’ Post-Military Job Readiness Figure 2. Skills Employers Believe Veterans Possess * “Employers” are defined as individuals at any level of an organization who actively participate in recruiting, interviewing and hiring potential job candidates. Q42: Which of the following skills/attributes do you believe veterans possess? (n=1,000 Employers) 14% 19% 47% 48% 53% 58% 68% Possess strong interpersonal skills Be an effective communicator Possess resiliency Have the ability to adapt effectively to adversity Work effectively with others to achieve a common goal Have experience working with a team through challenging situations Have a sense of duty and responsibilitySense of duty and responsibility Experience working with a team through challenging situations Work effectively with others to achieve a common goal Adapt effectively to adversity Possess resiliency Effective communicator Possess strong interpersonal skills
  3. 3. 49% 52% Compared to average citizens, most veterans have successful careers after leaving the military Compared to average citizens, most veterans do not have successful careers after leaving the military Furthermore, employers have misperceptions about veterans’ education levels and opportunities for career success. Forty-nine percent (49%) of employers believe most veterans do not pursue a college or vocational school degree either during or after their military service. In addition, fewer than 10% believe veterans are more likely than average citizens to obtain a graduate or doctoral degree. Finally, 52% of employers believe, when compared to average citizens, veterans do not have successful careers after leaving the military. Together this data shows while employers are eager to hire more veterans, their misperceptions about veterans’ education, skills and career potential may be inadvertently inhibiting veterans’ employment prospects. Q39. For each set of statements, please select the one that best represents your views. (n= 1,000 Employers) Figure 3. Employers’ Perceptions of Veterans’ Education Levels Page 3 2017 VETERANS WELL-BEING SURVEY Q40: Which of the following best represents your views? (n= 1,000 Employers) Figure 4. Perceptions of Veterans’ Career Success 29% 47% 52% 53% 45% 41% 18% 9% 7% Bachelor's Degree Master's Degree PhD or similar advanced degree Military veterans are more likely than the average citizen to obtain a bachelor’s/ master’s/ PhD or similar advanced degree Military veterans are equally as likely as the average citizen to obtain a bachelor’s / master’s/ PhD or similar advanced degree Military veterans are less likely than the average citizen to obtain a bachelor’s / master’s/ PhD or similar advanced degree
  4. 4. Both veterans and employers would welcome internship/apprenticeship programs to encourage veterans’ employment To bridge the skills gaps and recruit more veterans, most employers would be interested in participating in veterans-focused internship/apprenticeship programs. While 50% of the employers surveyed currently have internship/apprenticeship programs at their organizations, only 9% have programs targeted towards veterans. However, 73% of employers believe a veterans internship/apprenticeship program could benefit their companies by helping to attract more veteran applicants (50%) and allowing veterans to develop the skills they need for full-time positions (42%). This is particularly true among employers in large companies (1,000+ employees), 90% of whom believe this type of program would benefit their organizations. In addition, 39% of employers (and 44% of employers at large companies) believe a veterans internship/apprenticeship program would also improve their corporate reputation. Page 4 2017 VETERANS WELL-BEING SURVEY The good news: veterans are eager to participate in these programs. Eighty-six percent (86%) of veterans say they are or would have been interested in participating in an internship/apprenticeship program after their military separation, and 58% of current service members are extremely interested in participating in this type of program after their service. Therefore, the data indicates internship/apprenticeship programs could be a viable way to encourage veteran employment moving forward. Q52: How interested (would you be/would you have been) in participating in an internship or apprenticeship program after leaving the military to help you transition into the private sector? (n=1,097 Veterans; n=396 Current Service Members; n=701 Former Service Members) Figure 5. Veterans’ Interest in Internship/ Apprenticeship Programs 28% 31% 26% 58% 58% 58% Veterans 86% 89% 84%Σ Somewhat/Extremely Current Service Members Former Service Members
  5. 5. Page 5 2017 VETERANS WELL-BEING SURVEY Figure 6. Percentage of Employers Who Believe Internship/Apprenticeship Programs Would Benefit Their Organizations Q53: How much do you believe your company could benefit by launching an internship or apprenticeship program geared toward veterans? (Top 2 Box Shown: Extremely Beneficial, Somewhat Beneficial) (n=1,000 Employers; n=416 Very small; n=178 Small; n=225 Medium; n=181 Large) Veterans leave their jobs for the same reasons as non-veterans. When it comes to retention, veterans leave their post-military positions for the same reasons as non-veterans – salary and cultural fit. When asked why they left their last non-military position, 25% of veterans said it was not a good cultural fit and 21% cited inadequate pay. These are the same reasons given by non- veterans, 25% of whom left their last position because of cultural fit and 22% of whom left because of salary. Veterans do not leave their jobs for unique reasons. If employers are having issues with veteran retention, they may need to examine their methods for retaining all employees. Q34: Why did you leave your last [non-military] position? (n=476 Veterans; n=619 Non-veterans) Figure 7. Reasons for Leaving Last Job Not the right fit for me (25%) Not the right fit for me (25%) Pay was not adequate (21%) Pay was not adequate (22%) Management/ Leadership issues (18%) Management/ Leadership issues (15%) Not the field I wanted to be in (15%) I needed to change companies to get to the next level in my career (13%) I needed to change companies to get to the next level in my career (14%) Not the field I wanted to be in (11%) Veterans Non-veterans 73% 60% 71% 86% 90% Employers (Total) Very small Small Medium Large
  6. 6. Non-veterans and employers have misconceptions about veterans’ mental health and access to care. Most employers and non-veterans have negative misperceptions of veterans’ access to mental health care. Of those surveyed, fewer than 20% of non-veterans and employers believe veterans have access to good or excellent mental health services, and 70% of non-veterans and 81% of employers believe their communities could do more to support veterans’ mental health. However, 76% of veterans agree they have access to mental health support, and 74% say they know where to go if they or someone they know needs help. This is particularly interesting given that veterans, non-veterans and employers say they experience mental health challenges at similar rates. Of those surveyed, 46% of veterans, 35% of non-veterans and 40% of employers say they experienced a mental health challenge in the last year. However, veterans are more likely to seek help than their non-veteran and employer counterparts. Among those who experienced a mental health issue, 70% of veterans say they sought help (specifically from a government agency (24%) or Veterans’ Affairs (20%)), compared to only 61% of non- veterans and 62% of employers. This indicates that veterans have access to services and are willing to seek mental health when they need it, which is not always the case for employers and non- veterans. Page 6 2017 VETERANS WELL-BEING SURVEY Q17: Please complete the following sentence with one response below: Within the past year, I have… (n=507 Veterans; n=347 Non-veterans; n=402 Employers) Q18: You indicated that you experienced a moment when you had a mental health challenge within the last year. Did you get help? (n=507 Veterans; n=347 Non-veterans; n=402 Employers) Figure 8. Mental Health Challenges and Treatment by Audience 46% 35% 40% 70% 61% 62% Veterans Non-veterans Employers Expereienced a mental health challenge Sought help
  7. 7. Page 7 2017 VETERANS WELL-BEING SURVEY A social disconnect exists between veterans and non-veterans. An underlying social disconnect between veterans, non-veterans and employers may put veterans at a disadvantage. Of those surveyed, most employers (75%) and non- veterans (60%) say they are close with a friend or family member who is a veteran, but fewer than 30% say they have a lot in common with veterans. At the same time, more than 60% of employers and non-veterans believe society views veterans as heroes, but 30% or fewer believe society views veterans as average citizens or strategic assets. In addition, 65% of non-veterans and 75% of employers wish they understood more about veterans’ experiences. The perspective that veterans are different from non-veterans, employers and average citizens implies a social disconnect exists between veterans and these groups. Improving this connection may be necessary to help improve veterans’ social and employment prospects following their service. Q12b: How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements? (n=1,000 Employers; n=1,000 Non-veterans) Figure 9. Relationship with Veterans Q11. In your opinion, how are veterans typically viewed? Veterans are viewed as… (n=1,000 Employers; n=1,000 Non-veterans) Figure 10. How Veterans are Viewed in Society 15% 26% 20% 30% 7% 34% 6% 45% Non-veterans Employers Somewhat/Strongly 22% 60% 26% 75% Non-veterans Employers Heroes 19% 25% 30% 71% 16% 24% 29% 64% Average Citizens Victims Strategic Assets I have a lot in common with veterans I am close to my friends or relatives who are veterans
  8. 8. Overall, the study’s findings imply various misperceptions exist about veterans and may be inhibiting their employment and social opportunities. These misperceptions relate to all facets of veterans’ lives, including job skills, education levels, mental health and their role in society. To improve veterans’ prospects, both non-veterans and employers need a more accurate understanding of who veterans are and the value they bring to both their organizations and communities. Non-veterans and employers want to know more about veterans, and employers are open to opportunities to integrate veterans into their organizations. Simply, non-veterans and employers need more education to help better relate to their veteran counterparts. For more information about the study and these findings, please contact Justin Platt at Justin.Platt@Edelman.com Page 8 2017 VETERANS WELL-BEING SURVEY
  9. 9. Audience Description Sample Size Margin of Error Veterans/Military Personnel U.S. adults ages 18+ who currently or have previously served in the armed forces Note: Veterans and active military personnel were analyzed both separately and in aggregate. In most instances, there was no significant difference between the groups and, as such, they have been reported in aggregate for this briefing. N=1,097 +/- 2.96% Former Service Members U.S. adults ages 18+ who have previously served in any branch of the armed forces N=701 +/- 3.64% Current Service Members U.S. adults ages 18+ currently serving in any branch of the armed forces N=396 +/-4.88% Non- veterans/Civilians U.S. adults ages 18+ with no current or previous military service N=1,000 +/- 3.10% Employers U.S. adults ages 18+ who have input into hiring decisions at their company. They do not work in healthcare, education or for a veteran service organization. They are non-veterans. Note: Findings were analyzed in aggregate and by company size, as defined below. N=1,000 +/-3.10% Very Small 1-20 employees N=416 +/-4.75% Small 21-100 employees N=178 +/-7.31% Medium 101-1,000 employees N=225 +/-6.50% Large 1,000+ employees N=181 +/-7.25% Educators/VSO Employees U.S. adults ages 18+ who work in education and/or for a veteran service organization N=100 +/- 9.78% Methodology In-Depth: The Edelman Veterans Well-Being Survey was conducted between May 18 and June 1, 2017. This 15-minute online survey resulted in n=3,197 respondents, n=1,000 of whom were non-veterans, n=1,097 veterans/military personnel, n=1,000 employers, and n=100 educators/VSO employees. The specific breakdown by group is as follows: Respondents for the study were sourced from the following: • Veterans and educators were recruited from a paid online panel provided by Lucid, as well as lists provided by Give an Hour, Student Veterans of America and other veterans’ organizations. • Non-veterans and employers were recruited exclusively from a paid online panel provided by Lucid. Page 9 2017 VETERANS WELL-BEING SURVEY

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