Webinar Recap: Harvard Business Review: Turn Departing Employees Into Loyal Alumni

by James Sinclair in Alumni Leaders Podcast, Video   |    Last Edited: 02nd April 2021
Alumni Talent Pool

In this episode of the Alumni Leaders Podcast, James Sinclair of EnterpriseAlumni welcomes panelists Erin Makarius, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the College of Business at the University of Akron, and Alison Dachner, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the College of Business at John Carroll University. 

Erin is known for her research on organizational behavior and HR, focusing on managing work-life and technological and international boundaries. Her work has been published in notable industry journals such as Organization Science.

Alison is a professor in the Management department at John Carroll University and has a strong interest in team training and the future of employee development.

Collectively, they penned a thoroughly researched white paper for the much-respected Harvard Business Review that discussed the importance of cultivating a holistic approach to offboarding in order to turn departing employees into loyal alumni.

This included an analysis of the approaches employed by various highly-regarded organizations, including McKinsey & Company, Amazon, McDonald’s, Apple, Hubspot, Microsoft, Deloitte, BCG, P&G, NFL, Chevron, Booz Allen Hamilton, and more.

During this webinar, James, Erin, and Alison took a deep dive into the authors’ research on the problem, opportunity, and recommendations for maintaining a relationship with former employees.

Three Key Takeaways To Work Through

1. The Problem, Opportunity, and Recommendations In A Nutshell

The Problem: Organizations devote a great deal of attention to onboarding but very little to offboarding. That’s shortsighted, given the growing churn in the workforce today.

The Opportunity: A well-managed offboarding process can turn employees into loyal alumni who become customers, suppliers, boomerang employees, mentors to current workers, and ambassadors for the firm.

The Recommendations: Companies should prepare for employees’ departures well in advance, recognize people’s contributions when they leave, conduct thoughtful exit interviews, provide support for the transition (tailoring it to individual’s needs), and create formal programs to keep alumni connected to the organization.

2. Alumni Programs Should Be Pre-Designed To Be Proactive Rather Than Reactive

For an alumni program to be effective, it has to be in place before something momentous like COVID-19 rolls around. Many companies have rolled out alumni support platforms in the wake of mass layoffs, but their departing employees were not necessarily all too happy to get on board.

Many people were feeling very negative towards their organizations and experienced it as a sugar-coating approach. However, when an alumni program is embedded in a company’s talent management system, there is a far bigger chance of it being successful.

In fact, Erin and Alison found through their research that companies that were the most successful were those who enrolled people in their alumni program from the moment they joined the company. This way, they understood the benefits very well right from the start.

It also showed employees that their employer understood that they would probably not spend their entire careers at this particular organization and that there is a culture of mobility. These are all very positive things when it comes to the employer brand.

3. The Ideal Alumni Solution For Any Given Company Will Always Be Unique

There is no cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach that will do the trick when it comes to alumni engagement. In order for a program to work, it has to be built from the ground up to support the company and employees for whom it is intended. Otherwise, it will be inauthentic and won’t work.

It has to account for the culture of the organization, as well as the goals of implementing the program in the first place. This will require an analysis of existing practices, policies, and programs that are already in place. There should also be an aim to integrate it seamlessly into the broader talent management process.

Highlights and Notable Quotes From The Session 

COVID-19 has shifted alumni engagement from a cost center to a profit center.

During the past year, many companies were in a position where they had to let a lot of people go whether they wanted to or not.

This has highlighted the need for alumni programs substantially, as businesses saw first-hand how reducing their in-house talent pool could affect business outcomes. Suddenly, it was much clearer that there is a real need to stay in touch with employees in whom they’ve invested so much time and energy.

A focus on retention and a focus on the climate for mobility don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

In fact, by creating a culture in which employees feel that they have the ability to move on and grow without too much friction, they could very well be more likely to stay.

After all, if your business is known for developing its people and crafting jobs in alignment with employee strengths and challenges, it will put you out in front of the pack when it comes to sourcing and retaining top talent in the long run.

Companies need to realize the element of credit associated with stellar alumni.

Business leaders would do well to move beyond the fear of losing their most talented employees to a place where they can accept credit for having shaped exceptional talent as a part of their team. After all, if your business is known as a good place to poach people from, surely you are doing something very right?

By changing this perspective and shining the spotlight on former employees’ achievements, companies can rewrite the overall narrative in their favor. These employees go on to their next great job because of the learning and training you provided, and you are allowed to take credit for it.

If you can relate to the challenges associated with maintaining strong ties with departing talent, listen in to this one-hour webinar. Learn more about the process of making room for alumni in your company ecosystem and how your whole enterprise can benefit from doing so.

Presenters:

James Sinclair, CEO of EnterpriseAlumni
Erin Makarius, Associate Professor at College Of Business at The University Of Akron
Alison Dachner, Associate Professor at John Carroll University

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James Sinclair: Good morning, everyone Thank you so much for joining us.

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James Sinclair: Welcome to the corporate alumni leaders webinar i'm Jim Sinclair the CEO of enterprise alumni and where the market leading alumni management and engagement platform for enterprises looking to maintain a relationship with their former employees.

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James Sinclair: I would like to welcome the authors of the recent Harvard Business Review publication turn departing employees into loyal alumni today.

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James Sinclair: Dr allison doctrine associate professor at the bowler college of business at john Carroll university and Dr Aaron mackerras associate professor at the College of business at the University of akron.

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James Sinclair: i've heard so much feedback from the participants coming into this webinar reaching out to ask questions.

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James Sinclair: and learn more about this amazing research report, but the number one thing I heard that I was talking about just before we started this webinar was how many people wanted me to pass on a thank you.

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James Sinclair: To you guys so as i'm about to go in and let you introduce yourself, I just wanted you to know that there's a lot of people out there who are running.

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James Sinclair: A formal alumni programs and organizations that often are under resourced under budgeted.

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James Sinclair: A silo in the organization hidden in the basement and they've been screaming and shouting for years.

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James Sinclair: That the off boarding moment is a moment of magic and should be, and so many people said that what this research did.

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James Sinclair: was essentially give them something to send out there was more than their research their findings, so I wanted to pass on that that amazing praise I heard from so many people that was amazing piece of research and really I want to just.

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James Sinclair: jump straight in with you guys and get every minute of value, I can so with that.

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James Sinclair: alley Aaron i'd like to welcome you and open with the same question actually for both of you, which is if you'd be so kind as to provide a quick intro.

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James Sinclair: And perhaps a little insight into a how you met each other and.

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James Sinclair: Essentially, what is a research paper or you or researcher, what does that mean I know we talked about that, like how do I phrase this question, but I thought was important to set the framework of what that means and and maybe I can start with you early.

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Alison Dachner: All right, absolutely Thank you so much for having us James were really excited to be here and, especially, as I said before, to speak to that I consider like our people right, the people who get this and want to learn more about it.

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Alison Dachner: So i'm an associate professor at john Carroll university it's a Jesuit school in Cleveland and my primary research interest is in employee development and career management.

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Alison Dachner: i'm specifically looking at turnover and mobility of employees and i'm especially interested in the emerging adults, so the young adults who are entering the career.

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Alison Dachner: And where they go through their career having navigate that what decisions they make, and especially the impact of social relationships so friendships and stuff like that.

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Alison Dachner: um so our research in the academic area really starts with research questions or thing we want to to you know find answers to.

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Alison Dachner: And we really follow the scientific process and so it's a lot of finding theory i'm developing hypotheses or research questions.

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Alison Dachner: In some cases we gather data to, then you know validate in other cases we develop frameworks, or you know new theories it's a long process, our papers go under double blind review at the journals before they could get accepted.

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Alison Dachner: And then hopefully after several revisions they get into a journal for publication and one of the things that Aaron and I both focus on that we we briefly talked about before this is.

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Alison Dachner: A lot of our research is lagging right industry and a lot of times it's not read by practitioners because they're these like scientific articles and one of the things that Aaron and like to do is you know maintain our commitment to that type of research and.

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Alison Dachner: That that level of credibility but also make sure there are practical implications and that we're not lagging too far behind and that we're providing research that's valuable to people out there, doing this all day every day.

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Alison Dachner: And that really requires these relationships and really talking to people about what's happening, and how can we try to keep up and help, so I do appreciate.

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Alison Dachner: That you shared those things to us because that helps me feel like i've achieved a goal of mine, but again i'll let Aaron talk about how we met each other and herself.

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Erin Makarius: Yes, thank you for having us here today, and thank you to all of you that are doing this work on the ground and.

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Erin Makarius: You know, James, as you mentioned the unrecognized and unappreciated and we do see value in it, and hopefully this will help in enhancing that value.

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Erin Makarius: To organizations in the greater Community as well, so i'm Aaron macquarie's i'm an associate professor in the management department at the University of akron in akron Ohio, which is an urban research university and my research looks at.

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Erin Makarius: boundary management so looking at human capital flow into the organization and out of the organization.

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Erin Makarius: In looking at work life boundaries and how to manage multiple domains, in which we're we're functioning today.

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Erin Makarius: And then also looking at technological boundaries, particularly remote work and how to be more effective and successful in in managing this remote work environment and.

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Erin Makarius: So Ali and I both like to look at you know people coming into and out of organizations which led us to this line of research.

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Erin Makarius: But we actually met back in the pH D program at the fisher college of business at Ohio State University and I realized that we had very similar backgrounds are both from Ohio and we both are what we call.

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Erin Makarius: Academic unicorns that we not only grew up in Ohio but we ended up getting jobs in Ohio as well, which is crazy were in this industry and so.

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Erin Makarius: What happened over time, is that we have a annual conference that plenty of people in our.

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Erin Makarius: college goat went to and they used to have a very formal alumni dinner for everyone at this conference.

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Erin Makarius: And due to budgetary issues and other reasons they decided to stop it, but alli and I still appreciate it getting to see each other and others in the program year after year.

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Erin Makarius: So we actually started our own family dinner and invited alumni as well as current students of the Program.

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Erin Makarius: At this annual conference for a dinner and realize what a valuable and unique experience that was and so that's part of what spurred the insight for us studying alumni and really the value and looking at alumni relationships.

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Erin Makarius: And you know, being a buckeye is still a large part of our identities, so not only did we start the Center but we actually created a Facebook group and a linkedin group.

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Erin Makarius: Very informal just driven by our own relationships and we asked current students to add.

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Erin Makarius: people that are currently in the program to that group so that we can continue to build that relationship over time so.

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Erin Makarius: A very kind of natural grown alumni group that we had, and then we also noticed that in working with companies and doing research and going into organizations and really.

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Erin Makarius: Setting what was happened that they have very different processes of how people left in organization.

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Erin Makarius: And then there were you know, sometimes very valuable experiences, where people said, this is i'm going to go back you know this is such a great off boarding experience but.

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Erin Makarius: This is somewhere, you know I would definitely go to again if they had another job open.

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Erin Makarius: Whereas we had other people that we talked to That said, you know I liked working there but they just treated me very poorly when I left, and it was like I was a trader.

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Erin Makarius: For leaving and so that led us to think about this idea of what happens after people leave an organization and how can we understand what makes an organization more successful and facilitating that transition from being an employee to a more informal employment contract.

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James Sinclair: So thank you, I hope you can hear me we just had a power cut in my area, and so I told off for a second I hope i'm coming through okay still.

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Alison Dachner: I was honored to be host for those 20.

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seconds.

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James Sinclair: Thank you, they decided today was the day to do construction everywhere around me.

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James Sinclair: So amazing and apologies for those 20 seconds, and thank you for taking that so.

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James Sinclair: Number one is I saw in the chat a number of people is that hey you know how do you follow on this conversation so you've done this point in time, research or overtime research led to this point in time.

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James Sinclair: You know, there are plenty of people on this conversation, who are now saying well you know, we want to be part of the go forward research we didn't even know this research was happening so if I was to do kind of a call out like.

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James Sinclair: Do you want these larger enterprises who are joining to contact you that are willing to share numbers and talk about is that even a thing.

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Erin Makarius: Absolutely, yes, and please feel free to share our contact information, and you know this is kind of our first step and looking at what do we know already what's out there.

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Erin Makarius: And so the next step is gathering data and looking at, why does this happen, and what are the mechanisms that make it more or less likely to be successful.

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James Sinclair: that's amazing Thank you, and so I will pulse around in the follow up email everyone's contact details, they can contact you because I think that's.

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James Sinclair: The kind of next step is you again, you put this point in sand and you're saying there's a lot of companies out there, doing it well, you save a lot of companies, depending on culture.

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James Sinclair: And again, we talked about so many companies that have come out of kind of the the basement silo of their alumni programs being like Oh, we have one of these.

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James Sinclair: Finally, there's a human, so I want to touch on the next section which I guess is one of your conversations is really off boarding.

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James Sinclair: was a legal compliance matter you know and now we're talking about off boarding being you know, a magic moment for people that brand name, and all this stuff of your research when one thinks about you know how we had this same kind of.

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James Sinclair: awful off both boarding for legal compliance how's it not changed in X years.

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Alison Dachner: yeah it's really fascinating one of the articles that we use in our original proposal for each bar.

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Alison Dachner: was an article they had published about the enlightened exit process and it was you know just a page and I had a couple of steps of what you might do.

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Alison Dachner: and beyond that we we couldn't really find a whole lot and that's why I think each bear kind of latched on to this idea so much.

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Alison Dachner: that went beyond you know all the information from the 90s, when there were so many mass layoffs that were like what do we need to do for outplacement legally what types of services or training, might we help provide you know, because our reputations on the line with this mass.

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Alison Dachner: layoffs but it.

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Alison Dachner: You know, there was not much beyond that, and you know, we have some questions I know you're going to ask later about why, but I think when you have limited resources.

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Alison Dachner: On you know why are we going to invest in people leaving is going to be a tough, sell and I mean you guys all know that right it's going to be a harder sell.

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Alison Dachner: So, highlighting that value and and to your question about connecting with people I think just more the more data we can get to generalize findings beyond any one or two examples.

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Alison Dachner: is going to be helpful for us in developing frameworks and helpful for anyone in here who's interested in validating everything you're doing because we'd love to help do that.

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James Sinclair: By bringing up something.

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James Sinclair: yeah you bring up such a big point which is you know you see a lot of companies have done mass layoffs not by choice during the past year that's called a one one should call it.

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James Sinclair: And they've been forced to create a lot of my programs, and some people are like this is amazing you're helping with off boarding.

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James Sinclair: placement, I feel like a sense of community we've all gone through this awful moment together, you know the company didn't want to terminate as they terminated as the market dictated it because we're all in sort of position.

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James Sinclair: But you do see a percentage of people say well why didn't you take that money and just split evenly between us and why didn't you take that money and keep my team, a very kind of individual kind of perspective of spending money but.

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James Sinclair: I mean last year i've seen alumni really go from this nice nice to have kind of cost Center to really a profit Center must have I mean we saw it with.

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James Sinclair: uber we saw it with all of these companies where you had these reports of people leaving linkedin did it, I mean we saw so many amazing moments of.

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James Sinclair: Again moments of magic with hey we if we used to work together contact me, maybe I can help you, you know it is that you know it is the pandemic the awful silver lining of getting companies to realize that.

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James Sinclair: People need to be more human that relationships matter that I mean, surely, I mean I get it there's no silver lining to to the impact it's had, but when you try and think about what is the transformation companies have been forced to go through is one of them empathy.

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Alison Dachner: I think it could be, I do um I think there's more compassion, a little more transparency, a little more empathy when we're all living through a global pandemic.

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Alison Dachner: I think we're a little more thoughtful and how we're treating people, but in the in the terms of the alumni programs being set up.

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Alison Dachner: We feel that it needs to be a transparent strategic process that's pre designed so more pre act proactive than reactive.

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Alison Dachner: So rather than saying you know we have to leave these people, but we're going to help you in these ways and we're gonna stay connected, maybe that possibly going to be helpful, but there's going to be a lot of people who are very hurt.

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Alison Dachner: who feel very negative toward the organization at that point, and so having it just like any other talent management system or process embedded in that.

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Alison Dachner: strategy is going to be a lot better in the end because people know what to expect that separation.

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Alison Dachner: People can they're gonna think it's you know, like sugarcoating like oh you're just trying to hide what's really happening here.

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Alison Dachner: By doing this, they're not going to see the cost of something that you just instantly put in place at that moment rather it's already a part of talent management so.

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Alison Dachner: What we would argue for is that these alumni programs as a part of off boarding are really aligned with the strategy of the organization have these clear objectives.

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Alison Dachner: are run by the organization there's data and metrics there's you know funding and resources and that it's just seen as an extension of the talent management we're already doing.

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James Sinclair: Yes, so i'd like to push into a little bit more of that which I know a lot of people on this call are thinking about that.

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James Sinclair: For a lot of these alone my programs are two statements number one is, if you were to go randomly to the company and ask 10 people do you know about our alumni program and what benefit does it serve, they would say, how do you spell alumni and.

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James Sinclair: We just know, we know that.

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James Sinclair: And we know that from our research, we know that from off from everything and ultimately you can't build a bridge between the company and the alumni.

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James Sinclair: If the company doesn't know about it so, so I think you know when one talks about having a part of the culture, part of the organization, you see that done really well.

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James Sinclair: in professional services, whether or not their program executes well the knowledge of the program is definitely there you know it when you did your research, did you find that big difference in kind of.

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James Sinclair: Companies that succeed with an alumni program Aaron I see you nodding i'll let you just take over from here.

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Erin Makarius: yeah, so I think one of the surprising things that we found from our research is that companies that were successful actually enrolled people into the alumni program when they started in the organization so became a benefit that was known very well from.

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Erin Makarius: The onset of your employment with the organization and, in addition to that these companies also had you know climate for mobility.

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Erin Makarius: And then, it was acceptable that you wouldn't spend your entire career in the entire in the organization.

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Erin Makarius: And, in some cases they wanted you to and they encourage you to but they realized that that might not be a reality, and so we found that there were some programs that really enabled people to develop, whether or not that.

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Erin Makarius: Development would lead to a position in the firm internal mobility or a position at a company elsewhere.

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Erin Makarius: And so it's more of this ongoing developmental process rather than, as you mentioned kind of this tech on at the end of an employment process.

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Erin Makarius: So I think it did stem from obviously colleges and universities or or the pioneer for our alumni programs and have been quite successful, but the consulting industry and those service firms.

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Erin Makarius: started to see that, because they knew the value of those relationships beyond someone working that those could be some potential clients or referrals for the future.

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Erin Makarius: And so you know our argument is that that could apply to other firms as well that it's not unique to this industry and that some of these benefits can occur in a variety of industries.

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James Sinclair: yeah.

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James Sinclair: i'll say, please allison.

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Alison Dachner: I was just going to add on that this is this focus on retention and a focus on the climate for mobility don't have to be mutually exclusive.

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Alison Dachner: And we would actually argue that, if you have this climate from ability we're developing people you're trying to craft jobs that align with you know the challenges they want in their strengths and you're really having these conversations.

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Alison Dachner: Even though you're creating this culture where they can move they might be more likely to stay.

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Alison Dachner: And so you know this really would start at the point of higher with acknowledging this alumni program and then continuing throughout to have these developmental conversations that really help people to.

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Alison Dachner: Do you know manage their career in the way that benefits them most, knowing that if they do leave there'll be still you know connected in some way.

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James Sinclair: Right, so if this conversation of.

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James Sinclair: I think you know we think about professional services, we often see this conversation actually we're not doing it for recruiting we don't want them back, we want them at a customer.

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James Sinclair: We want to place them at a customer that X percent more valuable, but I think you're absolutely right, like part of the onboarding process.

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James Sinclair: Is recognition that leaving is inevitable and let's talk about it and you're not going to be a traitor we're not going to.

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James Sinclair: hang you in the church Square, you know that doesn't exist anymore, and instead.

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James Sinclair: You know, when you leave we're also seeing companies kind of towards take credit or change the the kind of perspective, which is when you leave is because of us.

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James Sinclair: you'll go into your next great job because of the learning and the training someone's thought.

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James Sinclair: We were a good place to coach people from and so surely there's an element of credit that companies need to start recognizing.

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James Sinclair: The say actually look leaving is inevitable, it is what it is, so why don't we talk about it more, and you know I guess why don't people talk about it more Is it because it's just weird to accept or because it's a hard thing to talk about.

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Alison Dachner: I think there's some fear on both sides, if you don't have the culture that really supports that you know, fear of losing one of your most talented employees if you're on the management side.

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Alison Dachner: fear of being seen as a trader if someone knows you're looking elsewhere.

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Alison Dachner: And you know whether the ramifications of that for the relationship if we see an employment relationship.

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Alison Dachner: Like other relationship where there's that trust, are we going to breach that trust by having these conversations, so if it's not a part of the norm if it's not something that we know is accepted we're going to be more fearful to have those conversations.

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Erin Makarius: And we see variability across organization, some of the managers that we interviewed said.

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Erin Makarius: I do this and i'm really supportive of people leaving and I help them to get there, but there are other managers that look at me like what the heck are you doing, why are you encouraging this type of behavior so there's variability within organizations as well.

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James Sinclair: And Reid Hoffman in the Alliance talked about it, he said, look people work for three year sessions, or whatever he called them and he said look.

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Erin Makarius: At their duty.

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James Sinclair: area tours of duty there Thank you Eric.

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James Sinclair: But, but that was so important, he says, you know day one, I talked to them and say hey when you leave here.

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James Sinclair: What job you're going to get what you're going to have one of the resources you're going to end it was such an interesting I mean we started doing immediately to change the entire conversation, you have with our employees, this is hey.

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James Sinclair: You know what are you expecting three is what is the job you think you're going to have is it going to be Google is it going to be small, is going to be your own gig you're going to have your own people, you can have headcount.

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James Sinclair: And many people like oh my God i've never even i've never had a chance to think about my career development career development has just happened.

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James Sinclair: sequentially or incrementally, I guess, and what I guess an alumni program basically says it doesn't have to be that way.

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James Sinclair: That actually we're with you the whole time because, whether you're working for us or not working, for us, there is a value so if I was to jump to kind of the end of your research and you wrote this amazing kind of kind of the problem, the recommendation.

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James Sinclair: Can we talk about the recommendation, a little bit, and is it applicable to all companies all sizes or everything's or do you think it's it's very specific more specific than that.

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Erin Makarius: So our answer to almost all research questions is it depends.

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Erin Makarius: Right, and so you know I think part of the question is what's the culture of your organization, what are your goals and implementing in alumni Program.

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Erin Makarius: And what kind of practices and policies and programs, do you already have that could be aligned with this, you know, as I mentioned, we think of this as one part of a broader talent management process.

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Erin Makarius: And so you know in implementing these it could be starting off small looking at the programs that you have that could be valuable to, whether it be an exit interview.

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Erin Makarius: You know, are you using that data in a meaningful way are you tracking it over time.

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Erin Makarius: And, or just recognizing employee accomplishments when they leave so you know, one of the examples we talked about in the article that I thought was kind of interesting is.

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Erin Makarius: apple employees, when someone leaves they actually you know, form a tunnel for them and applaud them on their way out the door and it's a celebration of the time that they've worked there and that's a very different perspective than many organizations take two people leaving.

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James Sinclair: yeah short thing coming the Q amp a apparently research that I haven't read about millennials wanting to take breaks.

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James Sinclair: And you know, whatever that might mean, but I think that also comes into maternity and paternity leave, I think that comes into tours of duty for home services, I think there's a lot of scenarios we're taking a break.

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James Sinclair: And no necessary re entry program did you see any value in your exploration of all of this.

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Erin Makarius: yeah it's definitely a topic of interest to us as well, we think of it as you know, pathways that people take and these on ramps and off ramps and the employment process.

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Erin Makarius: And so that's why we talk about this whole processes as a flow essentially that its flow into and out of the organization and so it would definitely include those types of programs as well.

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Alison Dachner: And the really fun thing about this, I think, from our perspective is the like what it's like in this situation, what would you do, and I think that's.

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Alison Dachner: Where you and other people like you who are providing services to help establish these things are so valuable because there's no one right way.

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Alison Dachner: Because in each industry in each company and for each individual what off boarding looks like what the alumni program you know what would benefit someone.

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Alison Dachner: is so different and so it's really valuable to have this idea of well in this situation there's not a best practice right in this situation, you might do this in this situation, you might do this and that's.

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Alison Dachner: difficult for people who just want to know what's the best practice but it's really important that it's aligned with the organization and the wants and needs and the budget.

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Alison Dachner: You know, to your previous question it there's some things that organizations can do that or that takes almost no time or money, like the apple clap out example.

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Alison Dachner: And then there are others where we're.

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Alison Dachner: offering you know full benefits to alumni and discount well that's more costly.

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Alison Dachner: And so you know I think that's a really, really cool opportunity for us with research and for you guys with clients is to really establish the right mix.

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Alison Dachner: And what is it that and where our research, what we want, with that mechanism for why people remain engaged alumni is, we want to explore that, because that will help them to establish programs that achieve the neutral benefits and value to the company and the alumni.

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James Sinclair: Yes, so much perspective opinion bad opinion bad perspective, especially around that like tangible rewards do they work when you leave a company.

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James Sinclair: Some companies will send you a T shirt slippers and thank you for your service letter from the CEO.

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James Sinclair: Other people will scream that you know, by doing that you're setting the wrong expectation and people are only joining because of the carrots, you know, and I think to your point if there's no.

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James Sinclair: Companies want a best practice, give me my 12 steps and if I follow these 12 steps i'm going to end up.

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James Sinclair: With X, but the trouble is when you deal with empathy and you know humans and people in life that just doesn't work it's got to reflect your organization so.

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James Sinclair: I think that the other challenge of starting an alumni program is, you see a lot of companies doing it right now and that I right can we just you know by package, a.

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James Sinclair: And, and what we're going to see 6200 people join within a year and 20 to put any results on this or they're all going to be so excited to join our program and there's a big kind of.

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James Sinclair: moment of clarity, like yeah that's actually not how it's going to work you're going to need someone on the front lines.

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James Sinclair: Who is starting that crap out because I kind of started with one individual going outside the store and probably clapping by herself or himself.

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James Sinclair: To to their friends and someone else was like that's a great idea.

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James Sinclair: And now that's a company wide system that you, you explored, but it probably didn't start with like a mandate like they were people are leaving make sure you make a weird total and clap know became a natural that.

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James Sinclair: And I think that's where companies find the challenge is you're asking them to innovate, to radiate and to explore how and off boarding and alumni Program.

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James Sinclair: can be a value to the alumni in their company.

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James Sinclair: Without giving them that best practice, so if I was to go to that that next point, which is what we hear all the time what's everyone else doing what's everyone else doing is really the number one thing.

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James Sinclair: You know, did you see commonality between the people you spoke to and what are those common threads either in the individual as a personality traits or in the offerings.

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Alison Dachner: So in our in what was offered we did we kind of put together a framework that we ended up not using the the terms, we established, but we can we call it happy trails.

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Alison Dachner: And what we identified as things being offered by organizations, where T was training our was resources, a was analytics and data I was information sharing l was legal and so social connections and So what are the characteristics that are needed.

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Alison Dachner: And so there was again no one right way, and there was no one specific example, but using that framework, help to say okay when you're thinking about your strategy and what you want to offer you know training for your next job you know upscaling types of things up training for.

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Alison Dachner: You know, employability type things resume reviewers way that all outplacement literature.

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Alison Dachner: resources would be those things like discounts or continued benefits are you gathering data throughout employment and after and tracking it to maintain those connections.

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Alison Dachner: You know, is it legal are you sharing information about the company, so there are privy to job opportunities, and you know where you stand before their people are.

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Alison Dachner: And then that social connections piece of it, so there wasn't one practice, but we did find that those common things that you might include as a part of these programs, and then you pick and choose what makes sense in your scenario.

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James Sinclair: I just heard the collective GASP of all people listening and like what was that again.

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James Sinclair: Like that scene, but.

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James Sinclair: So I commit that we're gonna follow up with exactly that and and you're going to see it in places, but i'll work with you Alice in there, and maybe.

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James Sinclair: package that into a into a sentence of what that means, but.

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James Sinclair: You know I think your point is so is so critical is you have all of these different axes of information so called trails You then have the access of age than the access of experience or hierarchy, then the access of.

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James Sinclair: Maybe their feelings towards the organization, because how you leave actually doesn't necessarily define your career it defines that moments like.

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James Sinclair: A heated that manager oh I didn't get the promotion is not the same as I don't like working there I didn't like working there.

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James Sinclair: You know so so we see also some programs that don't send out invites for six months until after you leave because they found that people need to kind of get over there, like.

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James Sinclair: last moment, because they have a lot of negative moments and there's just an acceptance of that so when you started to go through this conversation of.

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James Sinclair: Those different axes, you know a lot of organizations will say the people they wanted their alumni program or the senior leadership we don't need the people on the field we don't need that people digging ditches those people are going to go to linkedin and D dice.

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James Sinclair: And they're disposable and we can just turn on the water hose and mobile come out, you know, and so you start to see these people.

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James Sinclair: actually want people going to companies and making business decisions and we've always said, the only way to attract those people is to build them a statue.

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James Sinclair: Because they don't need money they don't need your learnings that only just social connections, they just want to see that statue and make sure it's polished and.

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James Sinclair: How did that, I mean did you run into that conversation around the populations that they're essentially don't join that you want to join our nicu while they love this to you.

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Erin Makarius: So I think that what we found was that not all departing employees have the same needs or the same desires from for engaging even after they left and.

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Erin Makarius: You know, it was interesting we actually started to think about this says relationships and what happens after you break up and we started to look at.

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Erin Makarius: Some of the relationship literature and looking at how did people continue those relationships or not, are they you know better office friends are they really.

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Erin Makarius: You know better off being broken up, or is it someone that you really wish would have stayed with the organization.

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Erin Makarius: And so I think that speaks to the complexity of the onboarding process and the alumni programs that you offer.

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Erin Makarius: that there might not be a one size fits all and there might be different types of benefits that you offer different groups.

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Erin Makarius: And so, for example, retirees might care that their legacy is really continued after you leave an organization.

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Erin Makarius: Whereas, as you mentioned, people going on maternity leave or leaving for children they might want to know that the doors open for them to return that they have that opportunity to kind of be a boomerang so.

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Erin Makarius: There might be different types of programs or pathways that you plan within one alumni program as well.

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Alison Dachner: yeah the legacy examples, when I was gonna give, how do you get those top people.

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Alison Dachner: You know involved in active and you know depends on the legacy, they want to leave do they really want a statue there.

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Alison Dachner: or do they really want to have you know, even when they retire or partially with our foot in the door to feel like.

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Alison Dachner: Their legacy lives on that the next generation of employees, you know knows who they are, and they've you know, made a contribution that's memorable and you know there's still a part of it, and so that gives the opportunity for people to kind of create their legacy is the way.

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Alison Dachner: That I would kind of you know, sell it to the senior leadership team.

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Alison Dachner: And it's your chance to have an impact that goes beyond the employment contract necessarily and really establish yourself.

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Alison Dachner: As you know, a strong leader that won't be forgotten.

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James Sinclair: We see a lot in retirees who have this perspective is probably true which is this business was built on on my shoulders.

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James Sinclair: And on the back of my hard work and just because i'm retired, I still have stock options in the company.

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James Sinclair: I still know people you know I designed that logo and we're talking about global companies that that essentially want that legacy and.

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James Sinclair: Are there for recognition not recognition as an applause recognition of they have value to give and they want to give it so on a crown I said recognition I didn't mean they expect everyone to be like oh my God this frankie changed everything.

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James Sinclair: it's all my God this frank, he has value and we saw that during the pandemic, where people started.

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James Sinclair: companies that are hiring back retirees because they needed people with knowledge of dealing with the crisis and they felt that one second we don't have enough people who have navigated a crisis and recovered.

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James Sinclair: let's go to our retirees but you also see companies that have these amazing ideas but also don't know how to process them, I was on a.

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James Sinclair: Call with songs on this call talking about you know, women have been impacted the most by the pandemic to become stay at home mums, however.

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James Sinclair: They and i'm talking as a very general statement, if you look at that Wall Street Journal or that would like to work, but they just need to work during that time one and four, and this time and.

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James Sinclair: And so you see companies with alumni programs were like oh my God, we could do that we can affect you that but.

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James Sinclair: we're in the basement and they locked the door we don't.

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James Sinclair: We don't have to get out how do we take this idea and run and I think goes back to what Cathy embarrassment from bersin said, which is.

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James Sinclair: companies that engage their people and can actively higher can achieve significant financial targets quick I can pivot quicker yeah and you see that with alumni teams, I know that people on this call, and like I have these ideas but.

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James Sinclair: Where am I going to go with them, did you how did you did you see a lot of kind of innovation on the calls you're talking about what innovation that has been blocked because.

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James Sinclair: they're not global leaders who are going to deploy new recruiting strategies for engaging you know, out of work moms that have now become school teachers like How does that gap gets filled.

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Alison Dachner: yeah I mean I a lot of it comes to having someone on the management team that's supportive and willing to go out on the line right, so a couple of the chro as I spoke to said.

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Alison Dachner: In previous positions I was a manager, who did this, and no one else did.

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Alison Dachner: And then in now, and my role as chro i've convinced the entire executive team that this is a value and how do you do that, and that comes to that recruitment.

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Alison Dachner: point which is you know demonstrate that you know 3050 60% of our last recruits were people who were referred or boomerangs right and look at the money it saved us on the front end by doing this, you know, on the back end and so there's a lot of that but.

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Alison Dachner: it's personal stories, I have several friends who graduated from Ivy league schools were like really, really successful in their careers.

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Alison Dachner: And then became stay at home parents, because they had also they were in a relationship with someone who had a summer, you know equally demanding position or more demanding.

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Alison Dachner: And that's one of the things that triggered my interest in this as well is you have these people who maybe take five to seven years.

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Alison Dachner: out, but most of them were doing some type of consulting or readings, or you know staying up to date, doing their continuing ED and could not find jobs.

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Alison Dachner: When they decided to go back into the workforce, and it was it's it was always so fascinates me like that's top 10 just because you can't explain leaving you know the workforce for a little bit without saying I was staying home with my kids.

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Alison Dachner: that's a that's a big thing that I think these alumni programs can help to do, which is keep those people in the loop keep them up to date, about what's going on.

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Alison Dachner: In the organization and just keep them on your radar right if you are offering training or development or webinars or bringing alumni back you know and they're invited to those things well now they're really interested and engaged alumni already and why, would you for go.

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Alison Dachner: That challenge, just because they didn't work for a couple of years.

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James Sinclair: Yet my mentor exact that my mentor is a lady who did a career break for a family, she was X, one of the big red incredible insane but her story is about coming back into the workforce.

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James Sinclair: or even more insane and and it's crazy and you think by these alumni programs, which takes me to kind of.

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James Sinclair: You had all this data, which made all of these people on this call safe, thank you, this is amazing, but to a certain extent also highlighted that.

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James Sinclair: You know the alumni leaders lot of organizations are not celebrating their wins they're not publishing their wins then offering the flag you take a social media team.

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James Sinclair: They do one tweet and you see 96 PowerPoint slides of how it got 7 billion eyeballs how people were 300 million, you know new napkins like that alumni team.

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James Sinclair: 30 to 60% of people coming in, or alumni alumni referrals direct business is X percent there is some really big data and not talking about the smiles and the data that's hard to count and took him out functional data.

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James Sinclair: That actually some of this is the responsibility of the alumni leaders and the organizations to be.

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James Sinclair: Doing that monthly, quarterly report and and screaming and shouting to a certain extent, so it's always the one skill, when people say what is the ones go, you need another my leader Oh, you need resilience because.

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James Sinclair: it's a really tough role, but would you say that there's a gap there that the alumni leaders effectively shouldn't have needed you.

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James Sinclair: to write a research report on the value of alumni program when everyone here is nodding their head, because they have that data.

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James Sinclair: And i'm not suggesting that this for all wasn't amazing i'm just suggesting that maybe our market has not sped up to perhaps highlighting so Aaron again I see you nodding i'm gonna love this to you.

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Erin Makarius: yeah I you know, I think that part of it is the external validity, that you can shout it from the mountaintop but you need someone else to really verify it to be paid attention to.

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Erin Makarius: And you know a lot of times people think of exit as a loss of resources, and so they don't recognize or realize the value of continuing that relationship.

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Erin Makarius: One of the other surprising findings that we found is that.

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Erin Makarius: Many of the alumni networks were not created by the organization are actually just created by people that left and we're organic.

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Erin Makarius: And that, so those people were seeing value from it, and so they were getting the connections and referrals and maintaining that social aspect of it, but that organization was missing that opportunity.

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Erin Makarius: And so there's value in showing from that external validity perspective that here are the benefits and values of your organization owning this process and really making an.

362

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Erin Makarius: integral part of your talent management of really having you know HR leader supporting it using the data that you have tracking that data, and you know, keeping those opportunities opened.

363

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Erin Makarius: You know, as you mentioned, looking at, who are the people that left your workforce.

364

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Erin Makarius: And can you reach out to them and see if they're interested in coming back one of the people that we talked to said.

365

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Erin Makarius: We have a boomerang initiative, where we actually reach out to people that left a couple years ago and said hey.

366

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Erin Makarius: we've got some openings are you interested in coming back so you know, keeping that door open and really you know not just shouting it, but making active efforts to bring those people back into the organization.

367

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James Sinclair: yeah d&b Dun bradstreet when they're preparing their their state without opening slides for ex Presidents work to Dun and bradstreet.

368

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James Sinclair: And I was like well there's the end of it like there should be no slide to that's like the end of the story that's what What else do you possibly need.

369

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James Sinclair: And I think alumni leaders need to recognize that 90% of of kind of.

370

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James Sinclair: waving the flag on the mountain top hoping sounds good listen is identifying people who are going into serious role purchasing roles govern roles.

371

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James Sinclair: Strategic roles and maintaining a relationship I think my dishonor talked about this on a call he's with eli a couple of weeks ago where he said look.

372

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James Sinclair: He will die, and the other three roughly the same let's just say roughly we offer the same service, why would someone choose us versus someone else but it's because they know someone or they are an alumni.

373

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James Sinclair: that's it and you know which leads me to my next point which is you talk about HR did you find that almost in all cases, it was owned by the HR team have you see the makeup of the kind of ownership of maybe budget operations, was it always nature focus.

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Alison Dachner: In in the cases we looked at with interviews and especially with the outplacement services research it wise.

375

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Alison Dachner: um you know it's my own personal bias, because my PhD is in HR and my researchers and teachings in hr.

376

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Alison Dachner: But again, it comes back to that as if we see our human capital, our people, as our most valuable resource.

377

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Alison Dachner: And in the organization, the management of the human capital falls under HR, then this is just an extension of that, so the people we spoke to again, it might have been our own bias, because we are reaching out to like more the ch arrows that we know.

378

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Alison Dachner: You know, we did see consistency in the research and and the people we spoke with that this just you know, is an extension of all of our other human resource strategies.

379

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James Sinclair: And we tend to agree with that it is an HR function, yes, people might sell yes people my pie, yes, people might post on social media.

380

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James Sinclair: But that's the same as hiring an HR function and they're still going to do their job and their job can be whatever so we we tend to say the HR should be where someone has to own this all the way, as in it can't be sorry go ahead.

381

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Alison Dachner: No, I was just like all other HR functions, you have your managers and your line managers that have to be partners so HR my own it HR might come up with a strategy.

382

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Alison Dachner: But then it has to trickle down, you know if you have to have executive support and then it has to trickle down.

383

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Alison Dachner: into each of the different managerial positions, especially if you're creating this climate from ability, what do these discussions, look like.

384

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Alison Dachner: You know, and what do they need to know about the alumni program and off boarding and exit prior to that point what should happen at that point.

385

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Alison Dachner: You know the managers, need to be on board and trained and really in the know but in terms of the strategy, and you know who's going to develop this and package, it, it seems like HR was the most consistent place.

386

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Erin Makarius: yeah I think HR should lead the conversation, but you really need advocates throughout the organization that if it's really these career discussions.

387

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Erin Makarius: And it's part of your ongoing efforts to help people then it's got to be really this partnership between HR and management at all levels, just as performance management hiring or any other HR process might be.

388

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James Sinclair: We joke about performance and there's kind of something, it was a statement question that just got dmd and the thing about kind of.

389

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James Sinclair: Not many people who are in this function have alumni or alumni.

390

00:51:04.650 --> 00:51:11.010

James Sinclair: rehire alumni referrals as part of the qb ours, or their performance reports, so how can alumni become.

391

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James Sinclair: A, given the fact that God is tremendous value let's just say, we all agree with that, but if it's not part of performance review if it's not part of.

392

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James Sinclair: X as a functional process of the business then ultimately Why should an employee care about why should a recruiter who sees the insane value.

393

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James Sinclair: But doesn't get judged on it and, therefore, why would they and I don't know if you saw any of that kind of information that's something we see more and more companies saying how do we understand.

394

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James Sinclair: performance, how do we measure it as an organization, how do we put qb ours in place that reward or recognize to try and get people to care because we've seen so many organizations.

395

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James Sinclair: recruiters are offered this massive Buffet hero 28,000 people we have their skills, their qualifications they've opted in just check this database and they don't and they still post on linkedin.

396

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Alison Dachner: yeah I mean if you being a veil depends on what you're being evaluated on, I guess, and the validity of that you know system appraisal, so if you're being evaluated on cost to hire time to hire you know.

397

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Alison Dachner: If they make it past the first 90 days of the job which a lot of people don't right if a recruiter is being evaluated on those types of things.

398

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Alison Dachner: Then I think we would argue in research, which show that bringing back alumni are using all of my referrals would have the same advantages of using referrals from current employees.

399

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Alison Dachner: On and so, even though it's not a direct measure of reaching out to alumni, it would still be captured but, again, it comes down to what you're actually measuring in the appraisal process.

400

00:52:41.220 --> 00:52:46.800

Erin Makarius: And I also think, for us, this would be a research question right we'd want David to look at what are those benefits and what do they look like.

401

00:52:47.160 --> 00:52:50.850

Erin Makarius: But there are some recent studies that look at boomerang employees and they find that.

402

00:52:51.150 --> 00:52:58.680

Erin Makarius: Those employees tend to be more satisfied, they tend to have more actual behaviors where they go above and beyond, helping out others in the organization.

403

00:52:59.070 --> 00:53:08.580

Erin Makarius: And they typically have higher performance than external hires, so there is some evidence that there are tangible benefits to you know recruiters playing an active role in this process.

404

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James Sinclair: So, to the alumni leaders on this call number one measure this as in people coming into your organization, if you are not tagging them as the sources and alumni or somewhere.

405

00:53:18.660 --> 00:53:23.670

James Sinclair: Then you're dead out the gates because there's no data, there is the second is again.

406

00:53:24.210 --> 00:53:30.510

James Sinclair: You know measure those wins someone's got to someone's got to be your biggest fan and someone's going to be your biggest supporter and, unfortunately.

407

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James Sinclair: So it's got to start there, yes, you can have senior leadership support, but I feel like there's a lot of ladies out there.

408

00:53:36.840 --> 00:53:45.330

James Sinclair: Who do their thing work incredibly hard but not publishing a monthly, let me show you about the last 12 hires there frank, who everyone's in love with.

409

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James Sinclair: You know he's a boomerang and I feel like that's the biggest move that this kind of industry needs to get kind of this global buying the toolbar and that yes, it's an HR function, but we need all these other stakeholders.

410

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James Sinclair: How do you get all these other stakeholders to frankly give a moment and the reality is just throwing it out there, sorry go ahead.

411

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Alison Dachner: No, I was just gonna say it's like tracking before and afters right track, so you could go to glass door and look at alumni reviews prior to.

412

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Alison Dachner: And then look at all interviews post and say look at the general trend, you know in in that you know that's more of a reputation thing you could look at the numbers of alumni or referrals from alumni.

413

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Alison Dachner: You could you know gather satisfaction data after the factor see you know, are there still mentors you know is someone still serving as a mentor to a current employee, even after you left so there's lots of data with gathering, and I mean Aaron and I are very.

414

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Alison Dachner: motivated to continue to gather data and to go, you know broader than our current than the outreach, even though this hdr in terms of you know from the employer perspective and the alumni perspective and.

415

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Alison Dachner: kind of merging together, but I think there's a lot of metrics and a lot of criteria that could demonstrate value of these programs that.

416

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Alison Dachner: i'm sure most people already have, but maybe haven't formalized into you know some type of table or something that really demonstrates movement or upward trends.

417

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James Sinclair: And everyone has everyone on this call their names I recommend have a story have a moment have a.

418

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James Sinclair: And it's amazing and the question is how do you formalize that into a standardization like what is the standardization.

419

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James Sinclair: to measure the impact of an alumni program on an organization and, frankly, myself included, well it's not my role i'm not you know i'm in charge of Community and empathy and making sure my people are happy this conversation around.

420

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James Sinclair: Managing data well that's going to be a problem for me type of thing, and you see a lot of that with our customers like that's not their forte and they know that, and you also see the secondary of like.

421

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James Sinclair: Well you're going to need to integrate something with your HR you need to track those alumni in some way, but a lot of alumni it often like as well you know our HR teams too busy and resources and things.

422

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James Sinclair: And they kind of move on, so there's a lot of alumni programs that exist literally in a silo unconnected to anything.

423

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James Sinclair: And, and therefore the only solution is the person, unfortunately, the helm, is going to have to do this manually literally, as you said, owning a boomerang owning an alumni and we actually see that to be the number one source like good data just gotta go folks can be out there right.

424

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Alison Dachner: And and really it's almost easier to take them more strategic and in pre planned approach, so if you already have it a listserv.

425

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Alison Dachner: of employees and when someone leaves Well now, you just add them to the new list of of alumni and when you send out a newsletter you send them newsletter.

426

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Alison Dachner: Right, it could be like that simple of just sharing information that's a first step that's not costly that's not time consuming, and you know if the newsletter isn't.

427

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Alison Dachner: Anything you know that's intellectual property, it needs for only current employees, why not just extend it to them as well they'll delete it if they don't want it.

428

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Alison Dachner: And maybe they'll value the opportunity to learn more and see what's going on, and especially if there's jobs postings right on that.

429

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Alison Dachner: If you make them privy to the same internal job postings that you do current employees so alumni are now extended that same.

430

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Alison Dachner: opportunity with no additional work from a recruiter because they're getting the newsletter everyone else is getting a you're actually simplifying things, even though it seems like.

431

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Alison Dachner: you're going to put all this effort in.

432

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James Sinclair: I want to ask specifically that's My big question I wanted to get to which was internal mobility succession management succession planning.

433

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James Sinclair: All of those conversations you know, there are some companies where they do extend the internal facing roles to alumni because what's the difference, you see other companies.

434

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James Sinclair: using their alumni for that succession planning, did you see, you know as you look to your research, did you see more and more, looking around that kind of mobility succession conversation.

435

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Erin Makarius: Yes, and I think that's where it integrates with the talent management process as a whole.

436

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Erin Makarius: And that sometimes those opportunities occurred within the firm, whereas other times they were external and part of that was from stem from succession planning discussion so, for example, we talked to one chro.

437

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Erin Makarius: Who said look i'm not going to be leaving for five years and his predecessors that.

438

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Erin Makarius: person that was just going to be the next in line says, I don't want to wait five years and so he basically said all right, let me help you, what can I do to help you get the car position somewhere else.

439

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Erin Makarius: So you know it's part of that continuing conversation and integrating it into the talent management process, whether that be moving on within the organization or outside of it.

440

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Alison Dachner: And another example someone I spoke with who shared that there was someone who and do more project management, but that wasn't a part of their role.

441

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Alison Dachner: And so, she was looking for other jobs and came to him and said i'm looking for other jobs, I want to do project management and there was that open discussion she felt comfortable having.

442

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Alison Dachner: Well, she wasn't an HR role and they added a project management component to it, and she ended up staying and she's still there now, so I don't know how many years ago, this happened right but it gives you that opportunity to.

443

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Alison Dachner: Help the individual, as I mentioned before kind of craft, a role that adds value for everyone.

444

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Alison Dachner: You know, in a way that benefits both parties or to say we just can't do it what you need done in House can I help you to find what you need for your career somewhere else, and that openness, really.

445

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James Sinclair: yeah mcdonald's has that as well, they have this where do you want to be program and it's just a genius program for underserved communities.

446

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James Sinclair: to match them with you know when they look up who do they look up to.

447

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James Sinclair: And let's put you with that person and to show you actually and I remember one of the conversations that go to McDonalds had was you know everyone who has you know flipping a fish burger.

448

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James Sinclair: doesn't realize that actually they can be a franchisee doesn't mean it could be an owner, but there are a high volume of people who have gone from making chicken nuggets to owning multiple franchises and it is actually an achievable viable path, and you know and here's how.

449

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James Sinclair: And, and also like we just had to break down this weird barrier.

450

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James Sinclair: That, if you are, you know, making chicken nuggets, this is the rest of your life it's not it is just the first stage, actually, we prefer a franchisee.

451

01:00:07.740 --> 01:00:13.860

James Sinclair: Who has been in the kitchen, who is done, the crappy jobs, because they will be a better franchisee they will have more empathy more love.

452

01:00:14.040 --> 01:00:20.910

James Sinclair: More all of those things, and so you're starting to see companies have that kind of conversation actually this isn't about you know.

453

01:00:21.270 --> 01:00:27.240

James Sinclair: upscaling you Okay, this is about human skills, you know and and which leads me to my next question.

454

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James Sinclair: Around that which is about empathy and how companies are having that and it's a difficult conversation for companies because.

455

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James Sinclair: You know 40 5200 years have no empathy and all of a sudden, you know they have to say how are you doing, how are you feeling today Mental Health Day words that.

456

01:00:46.320 --> 01:01:00.600

James Sinclair: have not been in the heritage of the organization, when you were doing your research, I guess, did you did you encounter kind of that breadth of companies have like where alumni was happening in a company that really didn't fit into that makes sense.

457

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Alison Dachner: I don't for for this particular research and the research we did we didn't come across too much about well being or mental health.

458

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Alison Dachner: But if we are interested in that topic and we're working on other research on the topic of employee well being and especially with Kobe are in a crisis situation and that's one of the really big challenges if there's a disconnect between the climate, you have.

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01:01:25.500 --> 01:01:37.320

Alison Dachner: In general, and then what you're trying to do with alumni it's not going to work and that's why i'm talking about having to align with your strategy and culture, because if people are leaving because they feel like they're being treated like crap and then all of a sudden you're like.

460

01:01:37.380 --> 01:01:45.960

Alison Dachner: join our alumni club and we're going to give you all these great things it's not going to be genuine right and the current employees are going to be mad about it and the alumni aren't going to.

461

01:01:46.140 --> 01:01:54.480

Alison Dachner: Have any type of trust in in what you're offering, and so it really does and I keep we keep saying the same thing, but it has to be an extension of what you already have and.

462

01:01:54.510 --> 01:01:56.130

Alison Dachner: Not that you should treat people bad.

463

01:01:56.190 --> 01:02:00.870

Alison Dachner: If you're treating alumni bad if you're treating people and but really answering the questions of.

464

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Alison Dachner: What like what do you want your reputation to be in how are you going to achieve it, what do you want people that are currently employed to say about you as an employer.

465

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Alison Dachner: What do you want alumni to say about you and what proactive steps are you going to take to get there, and it may be around alumni programs, but again I think that's just going to be a piece of this.

466

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Alison Dachner: Climate you want to create for employee career management for employee development that then enables the alumni program to be successful, but you want it start there if you don't have an organization that's going to be supportive.

467

01:02:31.020 --> 01:02:37.890

Alison Dachner: And and create an alumni program that is going to achieve your desired results, you need to start like you know Ray before that.

468

01:02:37.950 --> 01:02:43.470

James Sinclair: In the process, yeah I think a lot of companies don't realize that and they do, they just start hey.

469

01:02:43.890 --> 01:02:53.340

James Sinclair: You know JP Morgan has an alumni program you start one here, and all of a sudden, they reach out to us as a vendor and say we're starting one like oh amazing, what are you thinking budget result, what is the minimum you need.

470

01:02:53.850 --> 01:03:00.690

James Sinclair: Like what is the minimum we can give you what is the minimum dollar, what is the minimum human and you know, we have one amazing customer where.

471

01:03:01.500 --> 01:03:04.440

James Sinclair: Where they have a senior leader and it's part of that vocational.

472

01:03:04.770 --> 01:03:17.100

James Sinclair: Training program so every six months we get two amazing people who are just starting their career, who are coming in learning everything fresh ideas and they've been given this 40,000 person community and saying look.

473

01:03:17.580 --> 01:03:19.260

James Sinclair: just treat them like gold dust.

474

01:03:19.740 --> 01:03:22.410

James Sinclair: that's a skill that's it that's all we need you to do.

475

01:03:22.620 --> 01:03:29.070

James Sinclair: You know, and we see tremendous value with some people in that Community like once at what am I talking to someone so junior.

476

01:03:29.190 --> 01:03:35.160

James Sinclair: But ultimately there's a face, and I think that's what we see in the programs really successful there is affect someone who's out there.

477

01:03:35.310 --> 01:03:43.050

James Sinclair: In the face of the alumni program is on the emails with their name it's not the apple alumni program it's frank at apple and.

478

01:03:43.260 --> 01:03:52.830

James Sinclair: So that would be like I don't go through the questions around the path to redemption who is eligible for an alumni program and you mentioned that a lot of individuals already self congregating.

479

01:03:53.190 --> 01:03:55.950

James Sinclair: There was no formal program so i'm going to create one on linkedin.

480

01:03:56.430 --> 01:04:04.350

James Sinclair: And now I have an alumni program so self congregation is happening without worrying, whether they got terminated or not it's just happening because we're bound.

481

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James Sinclair: Did you get any conversation or insight around acceptance criteria potter redemption I mean I was terminated early in my career but i'd like to think it was the best thing that happened for me, which was.

482

01:04:14.670 --> 01:04:20.160

James Sinclair: Understanding, you know protocols, how to deal with a manager I didn't quite like and how to deal with all of those things.

483

01:04:20.370 --> 01:04:29.040

James Sinclair: But I don't think that makes me an ineligible awful employee, I think it makes that role that I had the wrong role for me at the time, did you get any research or insights into that.

484

01:04:30.300 --> 01:04:36.600

Erin Makarius: We did see some differences so, for example, if someone was like go for an unethical violation of policy or.

485

01:04:36.900 --> 01:04:50.670

Erin Makarius: You know, stealing or anything like that, within the organization they typically were not invited to be part of the alumni network we also saw some organizations that use tiered processes, where there were different levels of the alumni network kind of depending on your.

486

01:04:51.150 --> 01:05:01.140

Erin Makarius: level in the organization or your contribution to the company as well, so you know, I think that it did vary a little bit alley I don't know if you notice anything else so then.

487

01:05:01.470 --> 01:05:08.490

Alison Dachner: Know we've talked about this quite a bit in like what our boundary conditions might be when we you know do further research and dive into this more.

488

01:05:08.760 --> 01:05:15.540

Alison Dachner: And, and to your point James if I wasn't terminated from my first job I wouldn't have got my MBA or my PhD so.

489

01:05:16.230 --> 01:05:23.310

Alison Dachner: Again, you know silver lining best best thing that ever happened to me but we've talked a lot about how we actually think equity would be very important.

490

01:05:23.730 --> 01:05:27.870

Alison Dachner: And that short of someone who you know did something illegal.

491

01:05:28.200 --> 01:05:35.670

Alison Dachner: That i'm the opportunity to be invited to the alumni network again if you're starting this one someone's on boarded and they're putting the realization.

492

01:05:35.910 --> 01:05:44.040

Alison Dachner: they're already a member of it, so your current employees are connected with the alumni and so really then you're thinking about who do we take out of it you're not thinking, who do we invite to it.

493

01:05:44.460 --> 01:05:53.130

Alison Dachner: Right and so who do you remove from it would be okay you've done something really bad, we have to remove you but otherwise you're already in it and that way, I think there's a lot more equity.

494

01:05:54.060 --> 01:06:04.470

Alison Dachner: When someone does leave it's not determining Okay, what should they get you know I know those tier two approaches do exist, but I think it's more of who do we remove when they leave rather than who do we add when they leave.

495

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James Sinclair: Okay, great way of thinking about it because I conversation happens, you can imagine, with every single person that we speak to.

496

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James Sinclair: I like the idea of assume everyone's in how bad does it have to be to literally take them out and that's a really yeah that's a huge change in opinion.

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James Sinclair: When it comes to I know around the last few minutes when it comes to understanding what those benefits the matrix trails all of those things.

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James Sinclair: You know, as people on this phone who are just starting this conversation and let's just assume the worst of the worst they have no budget no resources someone upstairs is looked down at them and said, by the way, it's not an alumni programming, you need it like Tuesday.

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James Sinclair: You know what is the.

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James Sinclair: asset, my view is always like well it's one step closer to alumni programs want to say closer yeah Is that what you generally found is like just start somewhere do something, as you said just do alyssa I don't care what you do do something.

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Erin Makarius: So.

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Erin Makarius: Our best place to start is to think about what are your goals and what do you need to get there, and so many times, it might be you have that data and an HR is.

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Erin Makarius: system and you better utilize it or connect with HR to create those programs, so it might be thinking about what programs or initiatives are already in place that can lead to successful alumni Program.

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Erin Makarius: And I agree, I think you can start small it's really looking about those you know exit interviews recognition.

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Erin Makarius: But we we realized it from a research what was more successful is having a really proactive approach so preparing for employee departures advanced providing support along the way.

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Erin Makarius: and creating formal programs so alumni can stay connected to the organization that's what led to more long term value for companies.

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James Sinclair: yeah totally I know we're at the top of the hour, I just want to say, on behalf of me and your 463 new best friends who signed up for this webinar.

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James Sinclair: will be on the priest of your time your i'm sure you're gonna get a host of people i'm going to put your contact information out there, as you requested i'm sure you're going to get amazing organizations are really excited.

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James Sinclair: For the next step of research for the next step, how to measure how to value and your guidance your insights I want to just tell you again, personally and on behalf of the new.

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James Sinclair: 500 dispense friends Thank you so much for taking this time with us Thank you so much time for going into the details it's beyond appreciate it.

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Alison Dachner: Thank you for having me oh yeah there's kind of a.

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James Sinclair: Perfect with that I wish everyone an amazing day an amazing week and I will do a follow up email with the recording trails all the other bits and pieces all the other nuggets of amazing wisdom i'll do as a follow up in an email, so thank you again everyone and have a great day.