Building a thriving company alumni program takes a bit of creativity and a reliable stream of data – the intersection of art and science. With 5 generations of users to attract and engage, data is necessary to reinforce the creative choices behind building out a successful community.
In addition to the features and functions that are required for Alumni to want to engage and highlighted in our 2018 Alumni Survey, there are 6 core attributes Alumni Managers can leverage as they think about how to engage their community.
Company Alumni Program: 6 Tips
Here are 6 key tips to help company alumni program managers strike the balance in achieving a stellar alumni community.
- Be Relevant– No two alumni in your ecosystem are identical, which means their experience needs to be unique and relative to their interests. Alumni are busy, with their interest spread across their personal and work lives, your alumni program will be in competition for their attention. Make it count.
- Be Progressive– Provide your alumni with fresh and innovative benefits. Keeping your program apprised of the latest thought leadership and program features keep your alumni population engaged and plugged into your organization.
- Be Tangible– Having a digital ecosystem is key. Providing in-person events for alumni to attend– even better. For example, creating an alumni event during a conference allows alumni the opportunity to come back into the fold, connect, and potentially contribute with new ideas and innovation.
- Be Out of the Box– It’s easy to engage active users, but what about passive ones? Typical solutions do not solve atypical challenges. Engage your outliers to learn how to best serve their specific needs. This helps re-energize your program, making the necessary changes to better develop your alumni ecosystem.
- Be Flexible– It’s important to look at your alumni program as an entity that is in a perpetual state of transformation. This helps you to keep your eyes open for fresh ideas and opportunities to fine-tune your community. As the talent ecosystem continues to shift, so does the needs of your alumni. Adapt by being flexible to give your program the agility to better serve your alumni community.
- Be Experimental– Keep an open mind and embrace leading sales and engagement technologies and software that can further your program to the next level. New tech can inspire strategy, birthing new insights based off of the new data it provides. Running with current innovations can reinvigorate your alumni engagement on a great scale.
All of these ideas are based upon having empathy for your end-users and considering how you as an organization can best serve them, whether that be through cutting-edge design and experience or diving deeper into the outcomes they are looking to achieve through design thinking.
Running a successful company alumni program requires a forward-thinking and strategic mind. The best managers understand that fusing data with ingenuity and creativity yields the best results for the organization and alumni alike to thrive.