employees who leave

Inspirational stories, good news & a focus on the positive

employees who leave

Love the Employees Who Leave You

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?

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  • Nathan

    This posting rings especially true for me to read coming from you, Brad. I quit working for you a number of years ago and have since recommended you to dozens of people as the smartest person in the field, and the only one who would actually turn away a client that you couldn’t help (something every marketing/ad expert claims they do, but I’ve never seen anyone else live up to). -And I do think you could help any reasonable entity. If an employer is actually incredible at what they do, former employees are in the best position to vouch for that and to promulgate the message.

    • http://www.bradaronson.com/about/ Brad Aronson

      Thanks Nathan. Reading your post was a great way to start my morning. And right back at you — it’s easy to recommend great former employees and want to help them when they’ve done exceptional work.

  • http://Www.ehealthcaresolutions.com R.J.

    Brad, while most employees leave in good standing, not all do. Do you recommend this for ALL former employees? If discretion/judgement is used and select cases are “ignored”, are you familiar with any HR case law where post-employment discrimination may be a risk. While intuitely this does not seem plausible, I never cease to be amazed by HR law.

    • http://www.bradaronson.com/about/ Brad Aronson

      Hi R. J.,

      I only recommend this for employees who leave in good standing.

      I don’t know of any legal issues related to this. That being said, there are potential HR pitfalls if you provide recommendations for some past employees but not all past employees. (This is a different topic, though.)

      Thanks for the comment.

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  • http://FranchiseGator Farrah Kennedy

    Dang, I feel like you were talking right to me. This is so hard though… I’m pretty passionate about Gator and find it almost impossible to not take it personally. But I think I have a phone call to make. Your good Brad. Good.

    Actually, I guess I should take it personally and learn something from it… not hold it against them. As a great man once said…” It was our responsibility to retain them and not their responsibility to stay”

    • http://www.bradaronson.com/about/ Brad Aronson

      It takes an excellent manager to see an opportunity to grow. Thanks for the post.

  • http://www.sheshootstoo.com Tanya Dakin

    I have never had an employer like you, I have never met a person as kind as you, or as genuine, I feel extremely lucky that our paths have crossed and you are part of my life story. If only everyone felt this way and treated their current and past employees with such respect and understanding.

    • http://www.bradaronson.com/about/ Brad Aronson

      Thank you Tanya! You made my night.

      I owe Michael for introducing us. It was wonderful working together and even better getting to know you as a friend.

    • http://FranchiseGator Farrah Kennedy

      I second this. Brad was a FANTASTIC boss and even better person!!

      • http://www.bradaronson.com/about/ Brad Aronson

        Thank you! I know that your team says the same about you, and rightfully so.

  • Ruth Roberts

    Agreed, professionalism all the way around can only help; especially in this ‘small’ Philadelphia city.

    • http://www.bradaronson.com/about/ Brad Aronson

      Good point. Word travels fast in even a big city like Philadelphia and certainly word travels very fast within the much smaller communities of specific industries. Thanks for the comment.

  • Aric Tupper

    It’s a great sentiment and one I wish more employers would take.

    • http://www.bradaronson.com/about/ Brad Aronson

      Thanks for the comment.

  • joe

    it’s a very good point that I would not have thought of if it wasn’t pointed out to me.

  • Tobias Klauder

    Totally agree, today’s employers don’t spend enough time doing this

    • http://www.bradaronson.com/about/ Brad Aronson

      But I know you do. You were always great at building relationships with your team. Thanks for the post Tobias.

  • http://www.webbmfg.com Steve

    I just had lunch with an employee I let go 2 years ago. It is hard to stop caring about people you once cared about. I have tried to stay in touch with many of my old people but it is not as easy as it seems.

    • http://www.bradaronson.com/about/ Brad Aronson

      Hey Steve, It’s definitely not easy, but if you’re in touch with people 2 years after they’ve left, you’re certainly doing a great job at it. Thanks for the comment.

  • http://www.gnattorneys.com Russ

    We recently had an employee who left about 10 months ago call us and ask for their old job back – we treated them well when they left and, due to expansion, were searching for someone when they called us. It’s always good to keep in touch.

    • http://www.bradaronson.com/about/ Brad Aronson

      Indeed. Thanks for the comment.

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