In an article published in Forbes, brand-building expert Denise Lee Yohn takes a look at how alumni networks form an important part of the employee experience. At a time when we know that 64% of employees feel they do not have a strong work culture and that actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. between $450 billion to $550 billion per year, employee experience is on everyone’s mind. 

As the go-to brand-building expert for national media outlets, an in-demand business speaker and consultant, as well as influential writer, Denise is very well positioned to weigh in on why businesses need to care for, and about, their former employees as a part of their in-house experience initiatives. 

Here are a few key takeaways from her article for Forbes.

How To Bolster Employee Experience and Employer Brand Through An Alumni Program

1. There is A Strong Business Case for Alumni Programs

Employee experience lies at the core of a company’s employer brand – if your workforce has a positive experience while they work for you, they share this information with their friends, family, and peers – even more so when they leave your company. When current employees can see that you support alumni to grow in their careers even when they exit your sphere of influence, this helps to build trust and loyalty.

2. You Won’t Be Able To Please Everyone

An alumni program is a great way to boost employee experience, but there are limitations to these platforms that need to be clear from the start. By trying to serve everyone, you can end up serving no-one. 

Identify certain key alumni segments to focus on, to begin with, for example, former leaders who started their own business, retirees looking to give back. This type of focus helps to make an alumni program more efficient.

Alumni Experience

3. Involve Existing Employees Where You Can

If there are ways that current employees can benefit from association with alumni, it’s always a good idea to allow them the use of the platform. For instance, podcasts with talks by former employees can be provided as a resource. 

Find out how the platform can benefit current employees and put it into action. It’s a great way to bolster employee experience from the outside in.  

4. Don’t Worry About Helping Competitors

Always concerned about the war for talent, many employers are hesitant about establishing a platform that can potentially benefit their competitors by improving the position of ex-employees who now work at these places. However, by maintaining an active, positive presence in your industry, a progressive alumni program can actually benefit the whole sector and smooth relations across the board.


Alumni networks can be very effective employer branding vehicles if a company’s employee experience initiatives account for existing talent as well. There is a strong business case for alumni programs, but it has to be approached from the right angle. Focus on Target specific alumni segments, involve existing employees, and don’t worry about helping your competitors. 

Interested in getting early access to The Alumni Advantage Book? Sign up for the mailing list. Authored by James Sinclair, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of EnterpriseAlumni, it provides an end to end understanding of how organizations are recognizing and leveraging their former employees.