What are the best ways to maintain good relationships with employee alumni (including those who have been fired)?

1. Organize an online employee alumni group : There are a number of ways to put together an employee alumni group. You’ll want to consider what your main objectives are, and why alumni would want to engage with you in this way. One simple approach is to put someone in your organization in charge of inviting people to and moderating a Social Media Group.The moderator can post job openings and other company news and alumni can use it as a forum to network with each other. However if you have a larger organization, it may be worth creating or purchasing a custom portal where content can be divided into different categories (e.g. job postings, directory, referrals, alumni news).

2. Host in-person alumni events : To really show your appreciation for former employees (and prove that they are, in fact, still part of the extended family), host occasional events that allow alumni to network with current employees and fellow alumni. The events can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like—gather people for a happy hour, ask current and former employees to give brief presentations on what they’re working on, or host industry events in your office and extend the invitation to your alumni network. If you have current openings, ensure that there are a few recruiters or hiring managers available to discuss the positions and field questions.

3. Help them find a new job : Several consulting companies use this method to further their alumni relations. For example, the said company helps “graduates” through the process of finding a new job and negotiating a good contract. In return they hope their alumni to help it recruit new graduates, and to brief them on the state of the industries they are now working in. And of course, they hope that the alumni may send a bit of work in their direction.

4. Include alumni in Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives : Does your company participate in events such as habitat for humanity, neighborhood cleanups, or any other type of Corporate Social Responsibility initiative? Inviting your alumni to participate can increase your numbers and output while reinforcing your continued relationship with former employees and their sense of belonging to your community. In other words, everyone wins!

Remember goodbye is rarely for good, especially in today’s highly connected and mobile workforce.However putting some time & resources into the “alumni ” program can effectively convert today’s “alumni” into tomorrow’s clients and new hires.

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