5 Ways To Create The Best Alumni Onboarding Experience To Your Program

by Alumni Content in Corporate Alumni   |    Last Edited: 24th September 2020

Heading up a successful alumni program that creates value for its members is a seamless alumni onboarding experience. This initial process plays a vital role in setting the tone for member engagement and retention in the long run.

There are many reasons to keep bridges intact with exiting employees. They are an army of experts who can fulfill key business goals, play a part in employee development, offer invaluable leverage in the recruitment space, and so much more. 

As such, it only makes sense that an alumni program should be tailored for optimal engagement straight off the bat. This is the ideal opportunity to motivate new members to explore the program and play an active role in the community.

Here are a few tips that will help your company to create a seamless onboarding experience that excites and inspires.

Pointers To Consider Leading Into Onboarding

1. Roll out the white glove service – treat every interaction with every new member as you would do if they were your best customer.

2. Celebrate the wins – each person’s exit from the company and subsequent onboarding into the alumni program should be as awesome as their initial onboarding to the organization. 

If you’re sending a swag bag, or tweeting or posting on LinkedIn when new people start a job or have a great experience, you should be doing the same for your program.

You were trying to woo them then, you should still be doing the same now.

3. Be human – be there to help, because often someone needing help is indicative of another 1,000 people who needed it but didn’t ask. You have to anticipate where your alumni recruits might need support during onboarding, and step up to help them when the time comes. The best thing to do is run through the process yourself. 

You have to think like executives heading up McDonalds; every now and again someone from C-Suite works in the store on the frontlines. This is to ensure that they feel the pain, the challenges, and the opportunities felt by employees, the business, and their customers.

5 Ways To Create The Ultimate Corporate Alumni Onboarding Experience

  1. Craft a series of compelling emails
  2. Leverage video tutorials
  3. Share engaging resources
  4. Provide a dedicated point of contact
  5. Make the most of alumni feedback

Creating An Onboarding Experience That Sets The Right Tone

Compelling Email Series

1. Craft A Series Of Compelling Emails

When an ex-employee signs up to become a member of your alumni community, it’s safe to assume that they know your business and understand what the platform offers. Nevertheless, a concise recap in the form of a welcome email will not go amiss.

Better yet, up the ante by crafting a series of compelling introduction emails that break down the benefits and functionalities of the alumni platform and how the person stands to benefit

Instead of telling your readers things they already know, use these emails to highlight surprising elements of your alumni offering and provide them with simple ways to become involved in the community by encouraging immediate action.

Here is an example of a compelling introduction email series:

Email 1: Hello and welcome – let us usher you into our newcomer space that will give you a very brief overview of how you can use this platform.

Email 2: Awesome resources that can help you in your career beyond Company XYZ

Email 3: Join us for a live Q&A webinar with our community manager!

Email 4: Share your future goals and let’s see how we can help you achieve it.

Email 5: Here are 5 Company XYZ alumni you should connect with!

2. Leverage Video Tutorials

Getting to grips with yet another online platform can feel like a chore, even if the benefits thereof have been made abundantly clear. In fact, user friction is one of the main reasons why many digital platforms fail. The key to facilitating ongoing engagement with ex-employees lies in making your program completely effortless to use.

Video Tutorials

To make the alumni onboarding experience seamless, start by creating resources that help your alumni to get the most from their membership. Video tutorials are a great resource – most people don’t have a lot of time to read through Q&As and value the ability to watch a quick video instead. As such, live and recorded webinars and user tutorials are your best bet. The trick is to keep it short yet informative. 

A regular beginner’s webinar is another way to increase engagement. It provides your new members with the opportunity to ask any questions they may have and simultaneously offers valuable insight into the needs of the growing community. The questions they raise could very well illuminate focus areas you hadn’t previously considered at all.

If your alumni community is small enough, it may even be worth considering the option of scheduling one-on-one chats with interested members. Use this time to point out special features of the platform, and to focus on their goals and expertise so you may point them in the direction of any suitable business opportunities that may arise in the future.

3. Share Engaging Resources

One of the easiest ways to ensure that your alumni keep coming back to your platform is to make it a one-stop resource destination for everything related to your industry. If they know that you keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening, they are far more likely to use the alumni network as their preferred source of news than seeking it out elsewhere.

When going through onboarding, make a point of highlighting where these resources can be found. This type of content can also be shared in the form of a regular newsletter that concisely summarizes relevant articles, with a convenient embedded ‘read more’ link for those who want more information.

4. Provide A Dedicated Point Of Contact

Alumni Community Manager

While chatbots do have their place on platforms and technology, 86% of consumers still prefer a human point of contact. As such, it stands to reason that offering your alumni program members the opportunity to engage with a living, breathing human if they have any questions or queries is an excellent way to improve the alumni onboarding experience.

Appointing an alumni community manager is one of the simplest ways to streamline communications with your valuable network. Having a dedicated person or team to serve as the face of the program means they can place strict focus on discovering opportunities for the network to benefit siloed business departments.

5. Make The Most Of Alumni Feedback

Sometimes figuring out what your community members need is as simple as asking. Make the most of alumni feedback by sending out pulse surveys and regular questionnaires. Even if only a few of your alumni take the time to fill it out, you will still have valuable data at your disposal that may be used to improve UX at onboarding even further.

Final Thoughts

Following these guidelines to ensure that the onboarding experience for corporate alumni is seamless, will lay the groundwork for a lasting connection that yields exceptional value in the years to come. By making the process of joining and getting familiarized with the program effortless, the notion of participating in it becomes all the more attractive to prospective members.

Get in touch to learn more about how Enterprise Alumni enables organizations from mid-sized companies to Fortune 50® enterprises to pave the way for mutually beneficial alumni relationships.