Too many managers take a departure so personally that it makes a future relationship with that employee difficult. There are even corporate cultures that include shunning employees who leave. Our employees will leave. They’ll leave for a promotion somewhere else, for more money, for a better manager and so on. Whether or not we agree with why they’re leaving, it was our responsibility to retain them and not their responsibility to stay.
We shouldn’t blame them for leaving. We should embrace them, wish them well and avoid talking behind their backs. We should participate in the celebration surrounding their next move. Universities know how to embrace their alumni and get great returns from that. We should learn from them.
Former employees could rejoin our team, refer potential hires, become a client, or help us in any number of ways. They’re also going to be our brand ambassadors. Once you’ve been in business a while, you may even have more alumni than current employees.
Individual managers use email, social media sites and even phone calls to keep past employees engaged. I’ve seen companies use Linked-In Groups, Facebook, email or events. Larger companies like Microsoft and KPMG have invested in stand alone web sites, branded social media sites and full time employees who serve as a hub for tens of thousands of alumni.
Demonstrate to your employees, former employees and retirees that they’re part of a family, and that you still care once they leave. Then they’ll care too.
What has your experience been like? What do you think?