What do your former employees say about your organization? Would they recommend you to another individual looking for a job?

Your organization’s alumni can have a bigger impact on your company’s ability to hire than you might realize, which is why it’s important to tend to employees throughout their entire lifecycle with the company. From candidate to employee to alumnus, an employee’s experience with your organization can have a profound impact on your employer brand, which will inevitably influence your future talent acquisition and retention. If your organization is experiencing a layoff, tending to alumni relationships are even more critical.

So, how do you turn your alumni into brand ambassadors?

Empower your employees. It is vital for employees to feel they have the ability to grow professionally and move up in the organization. Give your employees opportunity to advance and the confidence to do so. Employees who feel that their employers have made an effort to facilitate professional development are more likely to remain loyal to the organization, even after they have left.

Be transparent and authentic. A key to employee empowerment is transparency from the organization’s leadership. A simple way to implement a culture of transparency is to communicate business and departmental goals, and show employees how their work helps achieve those goals. It’s also important for employees to hear from their leadership honest accounts of the state of the organization and where the company is headed. This type of communication makes employees feel like trusted contributors to the organization, which goes a long way. “The more [dialogue] you have that is based on trust, truth and authenticity, the better,” says William Tincup, Principal Analyst at Key Interval Research.

Prioritize redeployment and provide assistance. During restructuring or layoff events, termination should be a last resort. In large organizations, restructuring might eliminate positions in one department while opening up opportunities in another. In cases like this, make an effort to help impacted employees apply for open positions elsewhere in the company. If this isn’t possible, however, then make sure to offer transition assistance to departing employees. If you’ve put in effort to cultivate employee loyalty, don’t let it wash away during a workforce reduction. Combining authentic communication and transition assistance—like outplacement programs—can make the difference in whether or not that loyalty is preserved.

Layoffs can be a difficult experience for leadership and employees alike, but they don’t have to result in unhappy alumni. With careful nurturing of employees throughout the employee lifecycle (and including after they have left the organization), your alumni can be some of your biggest advocates, which will make a significant difference for your recruiting efforts.

Want to learn more about creating brand ambassadors for your company? Watch this #SmartTalkHR webinar with branding expert William Tincup on the best ways to build brand advocates, even after a layoff.

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