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Veteran support Q&A with Phil Matis


Gearing up to Armed Forces Day on 24 June, we caught up with Phil Matis, who leads our veteran strategy, to chat about supporting veterans and enhancing our employee experience for those that served.

What does having a veteran strategy mean to Churchill?
Providing a pathway for veterans within our organisation is an aspect of our core ethos of doing the right thing. We worked for a number of years to become a Gold award holder under the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, and supported many internal and external veterans with advice and guidance through varying channels.

We already employ a number of veterans and want to continue this by demonstrating why we are the employer of choice and by providing a tangible, structured support network for ex-military personnel.

It’s not all about focusing on recruitment and us gaining the skills that many have to offer. It’s about us understanding the journey of transition from the very beginning, to supporting the development of a long-term career plan within civvy street, and everything in between. We have created an engaging, supportive and truly inclusive working environment.

What are the core principles of our veteran strategy?
Our overarching principle is centred around ‘making transition easy’. This is not just because it’s the start of the journey; it’s because it’s the most difficult part that creates a sense of fear for the individual and their family. We have created a platform that supports this from the outset, right through to on-boarding and beyond.

What does this look like for a veteran joining Churchill?
Every veteran can be signposted to our dedicated veterans’ hub where they can gain insight into what we do as a business, and the roles we have available that might be of interest to them. This is also where they can learn more about the life experiences of some of our current veterans, and where our buddy­ system commences.

We provide invaluable resources around housing, healthcare, finance and much more, and create bespoke personal development plans through our management development programme, ‘ExcelMe’.

It’s important to note that a veteran’s journey with Churchill starts much earlier. We have partnered with a number of organisations to support, host and sponsor networking and recruitment events to ensure we constantly learn, adapt and listen to what veterans need during re-settlement and for meaningful employment. This also gives us an excellent opportunity to share advice and facilitate many industry-wide conversations, as well as promote our FM sector as a great fit for individuals with a services background.

What does the future hold?
I think that we are at the very beginning of something which can be game-changing. There are many businesses in our sector that talk about their support for veterans; but for us it’s about pushing boundaries, truly engaging, and taking action.

We will constantly adapt and remain flexible in our approach whilst maintaining consistency in foundational support. We will not only continue to create an environment where veterans can thrive, we will empower them to be the best version of themselves.

Visit our ex-military page for more information on how we support veterans’ transition into FM.