Next Level Alumni Management: Growing an Existing Alumni ProgramNovember 11, 2015
The full benefits of corporate alumni programs are only realized by companies that have highly effective alumni networks in place. Many organizations struggle in the growth period between the beginning of their alumni program and its development into an engaging channel that helps them achieve business goals.
Here are a few ways to develop a new or ineffective alumni program into one that successfully engages former employees and helps bring an organization closer to its desired alumni program ROI.
Improve Alumni Segmentation
Alumni segmentation is important for making alumni content more valuable to its recipients. The different kinds of alumni in a network have varying interests and goals: some are looking for a new position, while others may want to develop their professional network. Still others may be looking for business opportunities. Distinguishing these alumni from each other is important to ensure that a company's alumni program helps meet the needs of each group.
Even smaller companies can segment their alumni programs by gathering feedback to find out about what their alumni are interested in. This data can then be used during the planning and creation of alumni program content. Segmentation makes it easier to create alumni content that is relevant to the tastes of all program participants, even if they have varying interests.
Leverage Alumni-Generated Content
An engaging alumni program shouldn't be a one-way communication channel. Most alumni network participants want to hear from their peers and are interested in what their former colleagues are doing. Alumni-generated content also helps improve an organization's brand – it shows they are genuinely interested in the careers of employees, even after they have left the company.
Alumni-generated content doesn't need to be created by alumni members. It can come in the form of blog posts, articles or e-mail announcements about a notable event involving an alumnus. McKinsey offers a great example of this in a recent article on their alumni portal profiling former McKinsey consultant Derek Bouchard-Hall and his appointment as CEO of USA Cycling.
Hold Alumni Events
One of the major advantages of alumni networks is that they keep an organization's brand top of mind with previous employees. In a Harvard Business Review article LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman points out that alumni are probably going to form a network among themselves whether their former employer is involved or not. By hosting an alumni event, a company can ensure their brand is still engaging previous employees, creating a positive association with their former employer.
Alumni events can also be used to further professional development goals for alumni. Global consumer goods company Procter & Gamble hosts a multi-day alumni conference that is open to previous P&G employees from all around the world. The event hosts speakers across several different industries who inspire and educate attendees, offering wisdom about career advancement and leadership.
For more information about how corporate alumni software can help take your alumni program to the next level, schedule a tailored demo of Insala's alumni software.