Discontinuing workplace relationship is always a challenge. In fact at most times, it is a difficult phase for both the employee and the employer. Such a situation could arise due to multiple reasons, with the employee moving on voluntarily for better prospects or because of a layoff.
In either situation, the employer too suffers a loss.They need to spend time and resources looking for alternate talent and getting them up the curve and fitting them into the organization culture.
To minimize the impact of this daunting predicament, it becomes critical to treat ex-employees as invaluable resources rather than troublesome ex stakeholders as the hosts of benefits an ex-employee can bring to the table are innumerable.
Ex’s could be potential clients, competitors or even a re-hire, and hence can continue to be great brand ambassadors both for business opportunities and as advocates for fresh talent. After all, a well celebrated culture which respects its employees both past and present can do wonders for your brand and boost productivity. As said by Josh Tolan, the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, Inc, “Happy employees – current and ex positively influence your brand and with it your bottom line.”
A well-designed employee branding customized to meet the needs of ex-employees needs to be part of the branding proposition. Ideally the branding process should start right at the exiting stage and continue post exit as a full-fledged alumni program to reflect well on the brand promise. When handled well, the exit can actually reinforce the strengths of your brand.
The way an organization parts ways with an employee has a long lasting impact not just with the exiting employee but also with employees remaining and of course on the brand. Not only does the exit process need to be smooth, it needs to be respectful and positive. An exit process which is based on dignity, genuine concern, where the HR team and the line manager communicate the need to stay in touch and discuss about – future plans, aspirations, views about the company ensure a positive separation and mind-frame which in turn keeps the employee engaged and respectful
Ex’s are critical influencers both externally and internally and can definitely be leveraged for lobbying for the organisation. Testimonials from them can create credibility for the organization and can go a long way in building the brand. They could also serve as being testing beds for new products and marketing campaigns.
A referral program is a great way to keep ex-employees connected and feeling valued. Voluntary activities such as these can transform the way your ex- employees think and convert them from unwilling and uninvolved stake holders to brand ambassadors.
Ex’s are actually hidden treasures as they carry a host of information about the organisation and its culture. They can also prove to be a reservoir of ideas and can help their old organisations stay abreast by sharing competitor news and what’s new in the entrepreneur world.
The staying in touch strategy needs customization to ensure communication is based on employee requirement. It has to be relevant and personalized. The best way to do this is to segment the ex-employee population and tailor the messages appropriately. Have systemized programs in place which could include annual alumni dinner, newsletter subscriptions, invites to networking and internal events, CSR activities, access to group medical insurance, celebration of milestones etc.to keep ex-employees feel appreciated and valued.
In-fact, it’s time to rechristen the ex-employees as ‘alumni’ and reap the benefits. Well managed alumni circles establish a network of professionals and ensure a good word of mouth which ensures building a great reputation with clients and also attracting new talent. Alumni can actually be a great resource when the need arises as minimal costs are involved both in hiring and getting them up the curve.
With ex-employees being able to much more than any other stake holder can do in building a great brand, it becomes an imperative to continue to have them engaged.
And the best way to do it is to continue with the employee branding proposition and keep nurturing the emotional connect. In such a scenario, being able to keep ex- employees connected for a lifetime can be doubly beneficial.
At Storecheq, our innovative proposition does just that by providing rewarding and gifting options that go beyond the tenure of the employee creating pride and positivity for the brand always. When you use the Storecheq platform, the memories remain with the individuals for the life time. Not only they are connected with the brand, they also can at click of the button pull out the memoirs and communication they would have received during their tenure within the organization.