Managing an alumni network

Corporate Alumni Program: 9 Best Practices

Best Practices to deploying an engaging and successful corporate alumni program that delivers value to the Alumni population and drives business objectives.

Engaging Alumni is not a new topic, and learning the best practices that have enabled some of the world's leading organizations to grow, engage and gain value from their Alumni community will reap dividends.

Creating and implementing a Corporate Alumni Program has a wealth of benefits for an organization. Running it successfully can boost your bottom line, your employer value proposition, and ultimately secure a healthy ROI – the value of an alumni program has already been proven.

Designing and deploying an alumni program – while potentially very beneficial – does entail navigating several moving parts while having a deep understanding of what a successful alumni program involves.

Best Practices For A Successful Corporate Alumni Program

Corporate Alumni best practices to drive greater engagement and value between your former employees and your organization.

  1. Be Human In Your Communications

    A successful corporate alumni program hinges on the engagement of its users. Your program should be built on empathy and driven to provide value to its members. Remember: no robotic emails, but instead strategic communication that builds relationships while also increasing user engagement.

  2. Deliver A Compelling Suite Of Benefits

    A Corporate Alumni Program is more than an address book – it has to be a mutually beneficial experience for the user. Add a suite of relevant benefits, deals and value-adds that engages users enough to keep them coming back.

  3. Provide Insightful and Valuable News

    Your alumni program news cycle needs to be specific to your audience. Simply copying and pasting company news will not be seen as engaging. The purpose of alumni news is to capture the attention of your users while communicating important information. Recycled internal updates won't cut it.

  4. Define A Predictable Engagement Schedule

    It’s rare to find global alumni teams who engage their alumni on a regular basis, but continuity is critical to building a successful pipeline. Be proactive in your approach by creating a schedule that makes sense for your organization.

  5. Prioritize Quality Over Quantity:

    Volume of users may seem awesome, but it’s often a vanity metric that provides little use on the data front. Company attrition is inevitable, so the size of your alumni will inevitably grow regardless of effort .

  6. Report & Understand Your Engagement Churn:

    Most organizations are not actively monitoring their churn rate or alumni opt-out rates, which means they are missing out on a critical measurement. Keeping tabs on churn rates allows us to understand why people are leaving and how to improve the program.

  7. Prioritize Honesty Over Vanity

    Alumni are not going to be frequent users in the traditional sense, so measurements like daily active and monthly active users are unhelpful. Functional engagement– measuring if users find solutions when logged on – is the true hallmark organizations need to be measuring.

  8. Never Stop Progressing & Ideating

    The talent market is evolving, as are the expectations alumni have on an alumni program. What worked yesterday is not going to work today. Organizations have to adopt a progressive mindset, keeping up with refreshing offerings to entice users.

  9. Consistently Measure Performance To Strategy

    A Corporate Alumni Program requires annual maintenance. Things like membership count, functional usage, and alumni breadth are things that need to be checked and evaluated on a yearly basis– at a minimum. These checks help organizations understand what’s working, what’s not, and how to achieve the best results by implementing new features.

Going from Great to Good

Corporate Alumni Programs are all-encompassing but effective when executed well. To go beyond scratching the surface, we have to consider the outliers– disengaged users– and the cause for disengagement. Understanding these users are the keys to deep insights on why the program didn’t work for some, what their expectations were, and how the program can evolve to meet those needs.

Does running an effective corporate alumni program sound labor intensive? It’s not as long as an organization can understand what delivers success and create a plan to execute. The reward for a well-executed Alumni engagement plan far outweighs the risk, and partnering with a competent Alumni Program Management software company is the difference between success and failure.

Optimal results require optimal people and tools. Investing in those things will put you on the path to a thriving alumni program.

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