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In this series, we’ve been covering how to handle employee departures in a thoughtful and comprehensive way. Check out our previous posts to learn about the problems that arise when ignoring employee departures, the benefits of investing in offboarding, and how to handle compliance issues for both voluntary and involuntary departures. Or, if you’d like to get all this content (and more!) in one place, be sure to download your copy of the Employee Departure Best Practices eBook.
It’s a fact of the modern-day workforce: Most employees won’t stay with your company forever. But this doesn’t mean that an employee’s last day has to be their last interaction with you. Your organization’s alumni may grow to be your future clients, applicant referrers, and even boomerang employees. But this type of continuing support and engagement will only work if you take the time to maintain your company’s relationship with this group. Here are a few suggestions for staying in touch with former employees.
1. Organize an online alumni group
There are a number of ways to put together an alumni group. You’ll want to consider what your main objectives are, and why alumni would want to engage with you in this way. One simple approach is to put someone in your organization in charge of inviting people to and moderating a LinkedIn Group. The moderator can post job openings and other company news and alumni can use it as a forum to network with each other.
If you have a larger organization, it may be worth creating or purchasing a custom portal where content can be divided into different categories (e.g. job postings, referrals, alumni news).
2. Host in-person alumni events
To really show your appreciation for alumni (and prove that they are, in fact, still part of the extended family), host occasional events that allow alumni to network with current employees and fellow alumni. If you have current openings, ensure that there are a few recruiters or hiring managers available to field questions.
3. Include alumni in corporate social responsibility initiatives
Does your company participate in Race for the Cure, Habitat for Humanity, neighborhood cleanups, or any other type of community service or Corporate Social Responsibility initiative? Inviting your alumni to participate can increase your numbers and output while reinforcing your continued relationship with former employees and their sense of belonging to your community. In other words, everyone wins!
A few final thoughts
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about your relationship with employee alumni. Every company has a different culture, so you may want to spend some time thinking about the best ways to keep in touch with your alumni. Whether you have specific company traditions or milestones you can invite alumni to participate in or a platform that lends itself to staying connected online, create an alumni experience that’s authentic to you. After all, that’s the reason those employees chose to work for you in the first place!