Challenges For Large Alumni ProgramsFebruary 24, 2017
What are the biggest challenges for large alumni programs?
- Communication: Communication is number one because it is imperative to the organization as it is to the alumni as well as the current employee - really, this is the key element for all parties. If the organization fails to inform their employees of the goal of the alumni program, or the specifics, or even if the "buzz" sounds more like "crickets," the program will never reach its potential.
- Alignment: The big idea for a large alumni program is current employees understand that they are the future alumni from day one and the organization must adopt progressive human resources, policies, and development experiences that extend from on boarding to post-employment consistently. Employees cannot have an inconsistent experience in a large organization and then be expected to be brand ambassadors years after they leave.
- Involvement: If the whole organization is allowed to partake in the program, then everyone in it may examine the actual program but fail to ever go further in creating relationships. This is exactly the opposite of what the program is intended for.
- Relationships: Larger programs have a higher risk that relationships won't work partly because the human side is lost. Not every employee is going to be satisfied in a large organization environment and therefore may not be suitable brand ambassadors.
How has Insala eliminated these challenges?
- Before the program is launched we recommend that organizations create a strong, exciting philosophy that engages the entire workforce around the benefits of an alumni network. Overcome the challenges and fears that are well known, for example: top talent going to competitors. Marketing campaigning for the program that will enhance involvement but also provide a clear, concise effort to communicate to employees with what the program is all about. This means continuous communication, the benefits of the program and why the organization is doing it.
- Managers and leadership must agree on the ground rules of the journey from employment to alumni. For example: attitudes must be positive when people take the decision to leave. They must not be seen as the enemy, or turn coat. Treat all leaders with respect, dignity, respecting their life decisions and encouraging ongoing communication and involvement via the alumni network.
- In large programs we have created specialized alumni software communication tools that will remind those in the program on specific items that they need to do, gather feedback, log and update goals that way the organization receives the data they need to support alumni and to benefit the organization from the alumni engagement.
- Data and privacy. A large organization's alumni program is truly a service for the internal market; business development, CRM, re-employment, and referrals. For this to work smoothly, the large alumni program must have access to fantastic amounts of data that is up to date and easily manipulated for reporting purposes to very different audiences. Easier said than done.
Insala's alumni solutions support the world's largest and most sophisticated multinational, multilingual, matrix, decentralized regional geographic programs with tremendous abilities for automation of data, integration with internal systems and reporting.