The Role for Offboarding In Your Employer Brand

While you bid farewell to an employee, you should be setting them up for an eventual return. Here's how to start rethinking your approach to offboarding.

The new job cycle

Traditionally, an employee job cycle would see someone start with a business upon leaving education and stay with them for their career. There might be breaks for further education or children, but the aim of the game was to move up the ladder within one business until retirement. For those born in the Baby Boomer or Generation X eras, it was normal to make two or three job moves throughout their career. However today, Millennials are the most mobile job generation ever, with estimates that they will have around 12 different jobs in their lifetime.

This means that the days of an employee staying with one company for their entire career are over and that employee loyalty should no longer be measured solely by their time in the job. Instead we need to start measuring this loyalty by their commitment to the brand - regardless of whether they are currently employed by the business or not. Loyalty should be seen by things such as whether they are likely to refer work to a former employer, reapply for a job with them, or recommend their former employer to a friend. Our research shows that those corporate alumni who are in an active and engaged corporate alumni network are far more likely to do all of these things.

This also means that the process for offboarding your employees has changed. No longer can you wave them off and assume they will never be seen again. Instead from the moment someone joins your organization you should be thinking about what your relationship will be with them when they leave. Will they become a brand ambassador and promote your business on their personal social networks? Will they be a boomerang hire of the future, returning to your company when they’ve built up their skills? Would you want to do business with them if they left to work for a client? And if so, how would you keep the relationship with them strong enough to facilitate this? All of these questions are now part of the employee life-cycle.

Why offboarding matters for your employer brand

Nobody likes to end on a bad note but a negative offboarding experience can now really tarnish your employer brand. With the way you layoff staff now food for social media - and stories of too harsh firings going viral - it's more important than ever that your business thinks about the way it wants to say goodbye to employees. At EnterpriseAlumni, we believe that an employee leaving doesn’t have to be the end of the relationship. Instead it marks a new phase where they move from employee to corporate alumni.

If you can encourage former employees to become part of a corporate alumni network you have the opportunity to maximise the relationship you have with them and even turn them into advocates for your company. The offboarding process is the last experience an employee has with you before they become an alumni and you want it to set the tone for the new relationship. A good exit can be the beginning of a relationship that results in a rehiring or even new business.

The five steps to a successful offboarding process

  1. Planning: Before an employee leaves the organization, it is important to plan for their departure. This includes identifying key tasks and responsibilities that the employee will need to complete before leaving, as well as identifying a plan for transferring their responsibilities to other team members.

  2. Communication: It is important to communicate the offboarding process to the employee and to other relevant stakeholders, such as managers and team members. This ensures that everyone is aware of the process and understands what is expected of them.

  3. Exit interview: Conducting an exit interview with the employee can provide valuable insights into their experience with the company, and can help identify areas for improvement in the offboarding process.

  4. Return of company property: It is important to ensure that the employee returns any company property or equipment before they leave. This helps to protect company assets and ensure compliance with legal requirements.

  5. Follow-up: After the employee has left the company, it is important to follow up with them to ensure that any outstanding tasks or responsibilities have been completed and to address any issues that may have arisen. This step also allows the company to ensure that the employee has a positive experience with the offboarding process.

  6. Alumni network: The last step should be an invitation to join the company's alumni network, if they have one, or to keep in touch with the company in the future. This will help to maintain the positive relationship with the employee even after they have left the organization.

How do you get employees to sign up for an alumni network?

Getting employees to sign up for an alumni network can be a challenge, but there are several strategies that companies can use to encourage participation:

  1. Make it easy to join: The process of joining the alumni network should be simple and straightforward. Provide clear instructions and make the registration process as easy as possible.

  2. Communicate the benefits: Clearly communicate the benefits of joining the alumni network, such as networking opportunities, access to resources, and the ability to stay connected with the company. Make sure employees understand how the network can help them in their career development.

  3. Lead by example: Encourage senior leaders and managers to join the alumni network and to actively participate in network events and activities. This can help to build momentum and encourage others to join.

  4. Use social media: Use social media platforms to promote the alumni network and to share information about upcoming events and activities. This can help to reach a wider audience and increase visibility.

  5. Create a sense of community: Create a sense of community within the alumni network by organizing events and activities that allow alumni to connect with one another. This can help to build relationships and make the network more engaging.

  6. Make it exclusive: Make the alumni network exclusive and only available to former employees. This can create a sense of exclusivity and make the network more appealing.

  7. Personalize the experience: Personalize the experience of the alumni network by providing tailored resources and opportunities based on the alumni's interests and career goals.

  8. Make it a part of the offboarding process: Make joining the alumni network a part of the offboarding process by providing the registration link and information during the exit interview or in the final paycheck.

Overall, it's important to remember that the key to getting employees to sign up for an alumni network is to make it easy, valuable, and engaging. By highlighting the benefits of the network and creating a sense of community, companies can encourage employees to stay connected even after they leave the organization.

To find out more about how you can boost engagement, read how EnterpriseAlumni helps you to deepen your relationship with alumni.

Read more

Related Content

Managing an alumni network

What is the Alumni Member Experience?

Sadhana ran the award-winning Barclays Global Alumni programme, created the London Alumni Directors Forum and continues to share Alumni Management...

Read more

Begin Your Journey With Us Now

Build new revenue streams, save on recruitment and enhance your employer brand, all through the power of alumni.