Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Buzz Marketing with Former Employees

While some employees leave on bad terms, many others leave out of boredom or to increase pay. Many employers take it personally when someone leaves, but I look at it as an opportunity to send an advocate to a new location. Since we only hire highly skilled people and I know they will perform well in a new company, that immediately shines a good light on us. However, I am more proactive than that. I encourage everyone to be open an honest and support decisions to move on. I have only one requirement, and that is to stay in touch. These people already know well what we do and how we encourage Buzz and word of mouth, and I know many keep that going beyond working for us. How can you keep former employees buzzing about your company?
  • Email them at least every other month. Maybe do an ex employee eNewsletter.
  • Do an exit interview. Find out why they are leaving, if they would be interested in returning at some point, and let them know you appreciate them continuing to talk about the good aspects of the organization.
  • If appropriate, offer a commission on any sales they bring your way, including their new employer.
  • Build a online staff and alumni community. This could be a good way to find about something that was done before an employee left.
  • Outsource additional weekend work to ex employees, if they are interested.

Employees that leave your organization can be a great resource, and if they are leaving on good terms, had a positive experience and are kept up to date and excited about your company, even ex employees can be a great source of Buzz.