Inclusive Corporate Alumni Programs: Who to Include in Your Community?

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“Who should be included?” is one of the most frequently asked questions when launching a corporate alumni network. While culture plays a pivotal role, the best practice is to create an inclusive program that embraces a wide range of individuals.

When building your corporate alumni program there are a number of different audiences to consider beyond just former employees.  Thinking through all of the different groups can enrich your program and by including these diverse groups, you can foster a vibrant community that thrives on shared experiences, continuous learning, and professional growth.

1. Former Employees at All Levels: The Starting Point

The primary focus of corporate alumni programs is to reconnect with former employees who have moved on to new endeavors. Whether they left for career advancements, entrepreneurial ventures, or personal reasons, inviting all former employees ensures an inclusive and comprehensive network. Inviting all former employees is a best practice, however companies do decide to not allow anyone who was terminated for cause. Employees that were laid off, managed out, or voluntarily chose to leave should all be considered as you never know where they are now!

Encourage participation from alumni at different stages of their careers, from entry-level employees to executives. By allowing alumni from various hierarchical levels to join, you can nurture relationships through targeted events and content, creating a multi-generational and multi-level community. This approach fosters knowledge sharing, cross-functional collaboration, and promotes professional growth within the alumni network.

2. Current Employees: Engaging Early

According to our latest benchmarking report, 60% of the surveyed alumni programs invited employees, signalling an upward trend of supporting brand recognition early on. By encouraging engagement with the alumni platform and content before they leave, the likelihood of continued engagement post-departure increases.

Some companies are introducing the alumni concept during the hiring process (upwards of 48%) and onboarding process, signaling the value they place on their people and showcasing alumni success stories they’ve played a part of. Why not dangle the "alumni carrot" during interviews or onboarding with exclusive access to a rich network of professionals and potential mentors?

3. Retirees: Continuing the Connection

Retirement doesn't mark the end of an individual's connection with an organization. Including retirees in your alumni program acknowledges their valuable contributions and allows them to remain involved. Retirees bring a wealth of experience, wisdom, and mentorship opportunities to the community, enriching the collective knowledge and nurturing cross-generational connections. There are a few corporate alumni programs that only cater to retirees or those who left the organization after a set number of years (I.e. 10, 15, or 20).

4. Interns and Contractors: Nurturing Future Success

While interns and contractors may have had short-term engagements, their influence in the market can be long-lasting. Including them in the alumni program fosters a sense of belonging and enables you to maintain connections with individuals who may have grown into successful professionals in their respective fields.

Share company insights and remind them of the positive experiences they had during their time with your organization, as their voices can have a lasting impact. With PeoplePath you could even create a separate network just for these part-time hires.

5. Alumni from Acquired Companies: Bridging the Gap

In today's dynamic business landscape, mergers and acquisitions are common. Including alumni from acquired companies within your alumni program not only acknowledges their diverse experiences but also brings fresh perspectives and valuable industry insights to the community. By using an alumni management platform like PeoplePath, you can create a dedicated group to honor and represent the former company, fostering connections and bridging the gap between the two entities.

Inclusive corporate alumni programs have the potential to unlock a community's full potential. By embracing this inclusive approach, you will create a dynamic network that fosters collaboration, knowledge exchange, and lasting connections. So, who will you include in your corporate alumni program? The possibilities are endless, and the potential for a thriving community awaits.

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