Corporate alumni engagement is a strategy a business implements to create powerful alumni connections and relationships that will benefit it in the long term.
In years gone by, when an employee left a business, the doors closed, and the relationship would end.
Today, forward-thinking companies know how important it is to keep in touch with their former employees. The working landscape has changed – many people would go back to work for their former employer, and there’s a lot of advantages in it for the business.
However, the strategy involves carefully planned content creation, communication, and delivery to guide community members to take certain actions.
With the right engagement strategy, you’ll be able to generate more brand awareness, inspire company loyalty, and realize specific company goals.
Here are eight best practices to help you achieve this.
Eight Best Practices For Corporate Alumni Engagement
Start Engaging Early
Strike up the conversation about your alumni program early on in the employee-business relationship. Introduce your alumni program as early as during the recruitment and onboarding phases.
A prime example of this in action is to look at Mckinsey & Company . When eyeing out graduates to join the firm, recruiters sell two things. They sell the benefits of working at the company.
Plus, they sell the highly-lucrative rewards of being able to join their alumni network after leaving; it’s jam-packed with some of the biggest names in the industry. And people buy into this. After all, this is one of the most widely known and successful consulting firms on the planet.
By onboarding your employees to your alumni program in their early days with the business, you can give them a feel of what they can get out of it in the years to come. It’s also a sign of your long-term commitment to the relationship.
2. Use Dedicated Alumni Software
Using the right software solution is key. Simply relying on social media networks won’t be nearly as effective or engaging as using built-for-purpose alumni software.
The right alumni software will provide a secure network where alumni can communicate and connect more effectively. All content and events can be shared through this space, which makes managing your alumni objectives a more efficient process. This will make a major difference to your overall alumni engagement.
Providing a great user experience for your alumni on his platform is critical. They will not engage with a problematic platform that slows them down or is hard to navigate. This means that your alumni platform should go above and beyond to enhance your alumni’s online experience.
For example, can your alumni access the network from their mobile devices? Or is it a platform that requires them to sit down and log into? Does the platform offer the same sort of seamless experience that people come across every day in social networks or streaming platforms? If not, why would they pick up another platform if it requires a P.H.D to navigate?
Also, does the platform have a space where alumni can interact with each other? Corporate alumni networks shouldn’t be a one-way flow of information. These networks should provide spaces for communication and collaboration.
3. Highlight What’s In It For Your Network
Once employees leave a place of work to strike up employment elsewhere, they are under no obligation to keep up the relationship with you. That’s why it’s critical to offer alumni members something in return for their continued engagement.
As a result, it’s non-negotiable to offer alumni benefits through your program. Many organizations offer their alumni the same benefits they give to employees. This could include continued access to professional training, employee perks and benefits, mentorship programs, and company discounts.
It might be that your former employees want to keep up their involvement in your CSR initiatives or D&I programs they have worked on over the years. Leaving the doors open to them in this respect is a desirable benefit to support engagement with your program.
4. Offer Personalized Experiences
If you want to achieve strong levels of alumni engagement, then you should offer personalized experiences. A one-size-fits-all approach won’t interest alumni, and it won’t develop a strong network.
With technology being where it is today, corporate alumni expect high levels of personalization. The good news is that there are some great digital tools to help you achieve this.
These tools ensure that you share information relevant to each person’s role, skillset, geographic location, and interests on an individual level. The more personalized the alumni experience is, the more interested and engaged the individual.
The reality is that if your alumni platform isn’t offering a personalized experience with the kind of content each person is looking for, they will soon stop using it.
5. Host Events Throughout the Year
Events make up an essential part of corporate alumni engagement. Hosting them is necessary to keep alumni connected and engaged with the program. A major benefit is that they provide and encourage personal connections among alumni, enabling lasting relationships.
The best approach for event management is to run events consistently throughout the year. You can host a range of smaller events to complement the big ones and engage your alumni around the globe.
Of course, each event should add value and give your alumni a reason to attend. Virtual events have earned their place in the lineup. One of the big reasons for this is that virtual events can span the globe and bring together an international alumni network.
By bringing guests together who otherwise would not be able to attend, you can add even more perspectives and value to the event.
6. Offer Quality Content
If you want to see outstanding levels of corporate alumni engagement, you’ll need to offer a steady flow of quality content to add value and keep alumni engaged.
Deliver content to your alumni regularly, ensuring it’s relevant, up to date, and adding value to the recipients. Content could refer to anything from a newsletter to videos, webinars, blog posts, or even social media feeds.
The important factor is that this content is delivered consistently, and it always offers something of interest to the alumni network.
7. A Single Alumni Platform
In today’s digitally-focused world, app fatigue should not be overlooked. As more and more digital trends and solutions arise, people easily become overwhelmed by the amount of information and different platforms available. A different app is required for everything, from communication to networking and hosting meetings.
It’s important to use an alumni platform that doesn’t require you to use other apps to stay in touch with their communities. This makes it much easier to stay in touch with your network and access all of the information you’re after in one place.
Whether you’re looking for events, want to reach out to connections, or find new people within your alumni network, this can all be done in one place. Having all your alumni data in one place makes it more convenient for users to stay connected and engaged.
8. Establish a Knowledge Network
Creating a knowledge network that promotes thought leadership is one of the main advantages of a corporate alumni network.
With a network of alumni who are advancing in their careers, you’ll have a valuable network of skill sets, contacts, and networking opportunities.
To achieve this, your alumni experience should encourage engagement and allow members to easily connect with each other and with the organization.
Some effective ways to achieve this is to use a platform that has:
- A networking profile that each member can customize
- A searchable networking directory to help members find the right connections
- Messaging and chat functionality that allows members to connect with each other
- Enables members to create and join groups with similar affinity’s
- Highlights events and shows if people are going
- Networking tools that consider your profile data to help you find suitable recommended connections
Effective corporate alumni engagement can allow for many benefits for organizations and community members alike. To achieve this, you’ll need to follow the right strategies and use an alumni platform that offers users an all-inclusive experience.
With a platform like Aluminati, it’s easy to build engaged alumni communities. Aluminati creates an extension of any community experience by providing an innovative place for strategic connections, networking, events, career opportunities, and easy alumni engagement. Our team are more than happy to offer you a bespoke demonstration of our platform to show the benefits to your organisation.