Treat Departing Employees Like Gold

Salary, Money

The traditional wisdom as an employee has long been that you don’t burn your bridges when you leave a job. But flip it around. Do you burn your bridges when an employee leaves?

Writing at Inc.com, entrepreneur Dave Balter tells of being angry when employees gave notice, and of actively trying to sully their reputations before they left. It’s a wonder he could still hire people.

In these days of Facebook, Twitter and sites like Glassdoor that allow workers to rate their bosses anonymously, it’s easier than ever to get a bad reputation. But just as workers never know when they’ll need a recommendation, employers burn departing employees at their peril as the tech talent market grows tighter.

Balter’s had quite the change of heart:

If handled appropriately, relationships with former employees can be a source of immense, incredible benefits for both parties.

He tells of joining with his company’s former PR director on “shared projects, co-authored thought pieces, ideation sessions, retweets and Facebook updates.”

Madeline Laurano, talent systems analyst and advisory practice manager for the Newman Group, advocates creating a formal alumni program as part of your company branding. She urges businesses to treat former employees with the same care as customers, since they might be your customers in the future.

And she makes another excellent point: With so many companies using referral hiring programs, former employees could be gold to your recruiting programs.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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