When top talent leave for better opportunities, it’s a tough pill for any employer to swallow. They wish them the best, watch them leave, and that’s it — they’re gone. But they don’t have to be gone forever. A new survey conducted by Workplace Trends found that more and more organizations are welcoming back former employees.
Engagement with former high-performing employees should not end when the work relationship is over — since organizations receive many benefits from hiring boomerang employees. Yet, 80 percent of employees say former employers do not have a strategy in place to encourage them to return, with 64 percent saying there appears to be no strategy for maintaining a relationship.
HR can and should maintain relationships with departing employees. Use these tips to stay on good terms with former high performers and entice them to return:
1. Tell them they’re welcome back.
Open the door for employees to return by telling them they are welcome to come back. Telling employees they have the option is a simple way to plant the idea of returning by letting them know their work is valued. Employees who feel valued are more likely to come back.
Telling employees that the organization would be happy to have them back shows them their work is highly valued by the employer. If professionals feel important to their team and organization, they are more likely to want to work where they feel valued again in the future.
2. Keep in touch on social media.
Employees already know what it’s like to work for the organization they’re leaving — but they don’t know what to expect from other employers. This is a huge advantage. Remind employees about the company culture and their workplace relationships by keeping in touch with them on social media. Commenting on pictures, liking posts and chatting about their new job and more personal topics will maintain the relationship the employer has already built with the professional. That’s important to bring employees back on board.
Keeping up with former employees on social media not only helps to build a stronger relationship, but also it helps to build trust and transparency. Use social media to create more open and personal relationships with departing professionals.
3. Write a great reference.
Employee recognition goes a long way, and appreciating work when employees are walking out the door will encourage them to come back in the future. Employees want their managers to recognize and appreciate their hard work and achievements. Show departing professionals their work was not unnoticed by writing a stellar reference letter or LinkedIn recommendation. If top employees leave without a recommendation, don’t expect them to come back.
4. Offer more.
Professionals switch jobs to move up in their careers, not to stay stagnant. To bring employees back on board, offer them more.
More may mean a better position and a clearer view of how they can advance and grow in the organization. The LinkedIn survey found that the top reason employees leave companies is a lack of advancement opportunities, and the number one reason they join companies is for a better career path and more opportunities.
Boomerang employees act in similar ways. When employees were asked for the top reason they would go back to work for a former employer if pay was comparable in the Workplace Trends survey, employee benefits and better career path tied for the number one response. With a better position, employees also expect a better salary, to get them back offer desirable employees more than what they had — and more than what they have with their current employer — to get their attention.