The HR team at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) recently launched
an awards program to celebrate its
alumni’s accomplishments. Moreover,
alums are often asked to present at
regional staf meetings, during which
they give current employees an inside
look at their career path and successes.
And each year, BCG hosts a Worldwide
Alumni Day to connect former employees in more than 70 cities around
the world. “We try to constantly optimize our oferings by hosting events,
surveying our alumni members, and
scheduling regular one-on-one interviews,” says Kelley Geaney, BCG’s
North America alumni marketing and
Employers are also gravitating toward activities with a social impact,
such as volunteer opportunities that
bring together current and former
staffers. Microsoft alumni have donated nearly $1 million over the past
decade to nonprofts led or supported
by their colleagues.
By harnessing the collective power
of their past and present workforces,
many companies are fnding there’s no
reason to ever say goodbye.
Geri Tucker is a freelance writer in
the Washington, D.C., area.
during which company president Brad
Smith interviewed anthropologist Jane
Deloitte has developed a video series
to highlight its former workers. “We …
celebrate the impressive accomplishments of alumni by sharing their stories,” Soltis-Berner says. Ex-employees
receive the company newsletter, can
join a LinkedIn group for alumni and
are eligible to get cash awards for referring successful hires.
executive director of the Microsoft
Alumni Network. “We know from experience that employees who feel appreciated as they exit are more likely
to be fans of the brand, use the company’s products and services and recommend them to others, and perhaps
return someday,” Spain says.
Financial services giant Citi regards
each of its 18,000 former employees
as potential brand ambassadors and
informal advisors. “There is this silent
majority, called alumni, who have great
views they can share that would impact
culture, that would impact the brand,
that would impact employee engagement and talent strategy,” says Andrea
Legnani, director of alumni relations
at Citigroup in New York City.
By staying in touch, “we build long-term relationships that could lead to
new business opportunities or recruiting referrals,” Legnani says. Having
access to the network also benefts
alumni, who may want to do business
with and seek advice from other former
employees, Spain says.
REWARDS AND RECOGNITION
So how can you keep the goodwill fowing after people head for the (
revolving) door? Happy hours, conferences,
professional development opportunities, corporate discounts and bonuses
for successful job referrals are just a
few ideas. Microsoft encourages its
alumni to “Join for the discounts, stay
for the connections.” Former staffers can shop at the company store in
Redmond, Wash., and they receive
discounts at Microsoft retail stores
and from the company’s partners and
alumni-owned businesses. They can
also be listed in alumni business and
nonproft directories and take part in
company-sponsored educational opportunities.
In February, for example, the company held a half-day business conference for alumni featuring panel
discussions, speed mentoring and
net working. In March, members of the
network were invited to a Seattle Mariners’ spring training game in Tempe,
Ariz. They were also invited to an event
Mike Preston, Deloitte’s chief talent ofcer, with U.S. Olympic swimmer
Cullen Jones, at a meetup for alumni and current Deloitte professionals.
Jones spoke about the importance of teamwork and goal setting.
Most companies spend
less than $50,000 a
year on their alumni
programs. Many find
creative ways to engage
former employees by
corporate offerings to
extend them to alumni at
minimal or no cost.