In an article published in Harvard Business Review, Harvard Business
In an article for Medium, speaker, author, and founding partner at Good Rebels, Juan Luis Polo unpacks the notion that an exit interview does not necessarily signal the end of an employment relationship. According to Juan Luis, forward-thinking employers should be seeing this as the start of another phase of the affiliation and cultivate it as such.
Here’s a summary of his views on the development of the modern-day employee relationship and how it can be maintained even when someone is no longer on the payroll.
Why Should You Maintain The Employment Relationship Past The Exit Interview?
Employee turnover is not what it used to be. Our society has developed in leaps and bounds in recent decades, and the average stay at a company has shortened because of it. This is not necessarily a bad thing, either.
While some employees do leave a company due to an incompatible culture fit, others take a break to raise a family, seek out new professional horizons, or pivot into new roles entirely. Cutting ties with these individuals entirely would be a big mistake – they are undercover assets that could stand your company in good stead in many different ways.
The benefits of staying on good terms with alumni include:
- Turning them into customers – they know your goods and/or services and how it can benefit them or the new company they join.
- Boomerang hires down the line – they could come back to join your team after they’ve gained more experience and feel ready to level up.
- Brand ambassadorship – ex-employees go out into the world with a given experience and opinion of your company that they share with others, so it’s nice if it’s a good one.
The 3 Pillars of Maintaining Good Alumni Relations
Staying on good terms with your alumni can be easier said than done if it is not approached in the right way. The key lies in basing the ongoing employment relationship on three important pillars:
Your employer brand should connect with the emotional aspects of employment from the word go. If your employees feel aligned with your company mission and vision while they work for you, this is likely to remain the case when they seek greener pastures.
For your relationship to develop with your alumni, you need to work on it just as you would for any other relationship you cultivate. This calls for open lines of communication, human touchpoints, complete transparency, etc.
Healthy coexistence with your employees and alumni leads to the cultivation of the feeling that is imperative for any alumni network to function optimally – a sense of nostalgia.
For ex-employees to stay connected, they need to miss their old team. This is only the case when they leave on good terms and if they feel that they were, and are, treated with honesty and mutual respect.
Following these guidelines will allow your company to entice ex-employees to grow from contributing members of the business to become alumni who are still willing and proud to support it. After all, if companies like EY, Citi, and Kronos are doing it, shouldn’t yours be as well?
Sign up to the mailing list for early access to The Alumni Advantage, an end-to-end understanding of how organizations are recognizing and leveraging their former employees; authored by James Sinclair, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of EnterpriseAlumni.