Don’t burn bridges you want to cross again

Once an employee gives notice they are leaving a job, the process of erasing said employee from our brain space begins. We start working on bringing in a new person and writing off the former employee. Good riddance, right?

Wrong, at least if job trends are any indication. In recent years, the rise of “boomerang employees” has become more pronounced. These employees leave an employer only to return years later. A survey by Krono and Workplace Trends indicated that 76 percent of human recourses professionals, managers and employees said they are more accepting of hiring former employees than they were five years ago. Employees reported feeling less anxiety about returning to a company, however only 15 percent of employees surveyed said they had actually returned to a former employer.

If employees are more open to the idea of returning, employers should be doing everything they can to make their businesses attractive for rehire. This means treating employees well and being attentive to their needs for career growth when they are with the company, and not burning bridges when an employee leaves.

The process of hiring someone new and losing good workers is incredibly frustrating, but we can’t take it out on these employees. A marine technician may leave tomorrow but in four years be ready for a service manager position, and if your company is hiring and that employee feels he or she left on good terms, the employee may be willing to return. However, if he or she was treated poorly upon giving notice, the employee probably feels sour toward the company and would even discourage fellow professionals from applying.

As always, we have to remember the importance of employee satisfaction. We also have to be cognizant that employee satisfaction reaches beyond the tenure of an employee at your business. Make your business a great place to work, and even if an employee leaves, treat them with respect and gratitude, assuming this employee is in good standing at the time. They may pay you back someday with more years of service, refreshed and fully prepped with new skills that can drive your business’s success further.

One comment

  1. In today’s corporate environment, many companies are disconnected from their employees. Diminished benefits; pensions a thing of the past; employee loyalty unrecognized; etc., etc. Interesting considering companies like Google and Facebook are such standouts with employee benefits that other companies do not emulate them.
    As a consumer, I prefer doing business with companies that have tenured employees. I have dealt with the same service adviser at the Cadillac dealer that services my car for eighteen years. My server at Grand Lux Cafe has been serving me for about eight years and the General Manager at the same restaurant has been doing a great job for at least the last four years.
    I could list a dozen or so other examples, but you get my point.

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