If you're like most companies, when a member of your staff gives their two-week notice, you prepare the exit paperwork and say goodbye. However, a few companies have discovered the value in treating their exiting staff as alumni.
An alumnus (a former member of a group, company or organization) can be a great resource to your company. Here are three types of alumni that can benefit your company.
The boomerangNot all staff members who leave are gone for good. Former employees may leave to receive more education, others may move on to a job where they can gain new and additional experience, and still others may leave because they think they may like a different company or position better. Whatever the reason, if they like your company while they are working for you, they may want to come back. In returning, they bring experience from working at your company before and a stronger knowledge base by gaining more education or working in other positions.
The way you handle the exit experience for your employees can make a big impact on the chances of hiring former employees back on again some day. Be sure to let your exiting employee know they are welcome back if they would ever like to return.
The referrerA lot of times, employees leave not because they are unhappy, but because they want to continue to grow through education or new experiences. These employees who leave with a positive opinion of the company can be great at referring potential new hires. After all, they know why your company is great and they can encourage friends and family who would be a good fit for the position to apply.
Not only can former employees refer potential new hires, they can also encourage potential patients to use your services. Because they know firsthand how the company operates, former employees can tell potential customers all the benefits your company has to offer. To keep former employees up to date on your current achievements, ask exiting staff if they would like to receive a special alumni newsletter that shares milestones the company hits.
The sounding board
If you're looking for people familiar with your company to give their honest feedback about your brand and customer experience, your former employees may be a good group to talk to. Since they are no longer receiving paychecks, they're more likely to provide objective feedback than employees.