Monday, February 1, 2016

Former employees can be an asset--if you do it right

See ya--but love ya, baby
When fast-rising employees quit, the assumption is usually that they were driven out by a bad boss. But University of Illinois researchers looked at this and found such employees often leave good bosses, too, and in that instance, an “alumni” of the company can be an asset.

The lead investigator, Ravi S. Gajendran, a professor of business administration, said these former employees or “alumni” can be assets to your company in terms of a source of future business or as a back channel of information.

So why do workers leave despite having such good  relationship with their manager?

According to Gajendran, people leave good managers, precisely because good managers invest in and develop their employees. They typically get a better job with more responsibilities at their next employer.

Even employees who are leaving can be valuable somewhere down the line, Gajendran says.

As a result, companies need to pay closer attention to the "off-boarding" process.

 "When people are leaving, you shouldn't just stop with an exit interview and a pat on the back. You should be thinking of them as a contact you can tap in the future,"

According to the paper, it also helps if managers at least make an overture to retain employees, even if they think it's unlikely they'll accept the offer to stay.

In short, if you're a manager who has poured a lot of resources into developing an employee, your first instinct might be to take their leaving badly. But it's to your advantage to keep good ties with them.


When I left my 16-year defense job, I was recruited back for a project. Never hurts to not burn bridges.

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