Encouraging boomerangs: Staying connected when you part ways

March 28, 2022

The modern working environment means that staff are more likely to come and go than ever before. This isn't necessarily to be seen as flippancy on the part of the employee though, as so many factors can contribute to the decision to change jobs. Of course, COVID-19 had a huge impact on employment figures in the U.S., per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and in the wake of this, the country is expecting to see a resurgence of job seekers.

What has also become a noticeable trend, however, is the number of employees reevaluating their careers. This has resulted in the ongoing "Great Resignation," with record numbers leaving their employment for many different reasons. But not all of them are likely to stay gone; with such huge numbers of quits reported through 2021, it's likely that rehiring boomerangers is going to be on the horizon. So how do you encourage employees who are leaving the company to feel welcome to come back?

Upgrade your exit interviews

It's easy to write off an employee who hands in their notice, assuming that they are leaving simply because they don't want to work for you any longer. That assumption isn't always going to be accurate, so take the time to sit down with them and have a frank discussion about their reasons for leaving. You may be surprised to learn that it's due to external factors that would mean they are likely, should circumstances change, to want to come back in the future.

If this is the case, it's worth iterating their value to the company and expressing interest in maintaining contact for both your benefits.

Give them a proper send-off

On an employee's last day, don't simply say goodbye and good luck as they exit the building. Take the time to wish them well with their colleagues. It doesn't have to be anything extravagant, but laying out a cake or some treats in the staff room can go a long way toward making them feel valued and appreciated.

Stay social

Thanks to social media, you can now stay connected with potential boomerang workers with very little effort. Use LinkedIn and Facebook to keep up a laid-back relationship, sending them congratulations on new jobs, liking their vacation snaps, or wishing them a happy birthday.

It's likely that leavers will stay in touch with some of their former colleagues too. Ask after them and have your employees pass on your best wishes. Also consider extending invitations to work social events through other employees to maintain a friendly rapport that isn't too pushy.

Keep them in the loop

There will be times when you are undergoing a recruitment drive to fulfil vacancies. Take this opportunity to reach out to former employees to let them know you have positions available and that you thought of them. Ask how they are doing and reiterate your openness to them rejoining the team should they be interested. You never know, with just a few emails or phone calls you could solve your staffing problems in record time!