I was invited to my alma mater yesterday to judge one of their literary events at the inter college fest. This was my first visit since graduation. Although college always holds a special place, I did not expect the wave of nostalgia that hit me. It was probably the best day of the entire month and for a long time to come. Judging the event bought back memories of the days I’d been on the other side and I’d do anything to get another chance to visit the college again.
Why am I saying this here? A lot of people feel the same way about the organizations they’ve worked for too. There might be a lot of negatives that an employee feels at the time of leaving, but we have to remember that if an employee has spent a couple of years at your workplace, nostalgia will have a strong role to play.
It is up to us to determine how strongly we build this feeling. In all our retention tactics and strategies, we have to think about what next? If the employee was someone we’d want to retain, would we like to have him join back a couple of years later? If yes, can we build on the emotional aspect? Have we given him enough reasons to leave with fond memories or will the bad ones dominate?
Most importantly – when an ex-employee visits your campus, how do you treat him? I have seen a lot of organizations tackle this in different ways. I’ve seen companies make it extremely tedious for their old employees to visit. On the other hand, I’ve seen an equal amount of organizations make them feel welcome. There are some reasons put out there to discourage the older ones from visiting. While they cannot be denied, it is important to sit down and weigh it out.
It is important to remember that connections are important to all of us. Making it harder for an employee to maintain an emotional connect may only work against us in the future and the future is something we need to be vary of.