How strong is your corporate alumni network?

yourencoreIf you’re a graduate you’re no doubt all to aware of how keen your school is to keep in touch with you as an alumni.  Granted, most of this attention is in the hope that you’ll give them some cash rather than in an attempt to foster greater links between alumni, but still, it’s a level of attention that is seldom granted to corporate alumni.

It’s far more common in the business world for people to move on, and for the company to then lose touch with them.  All that knowledge and all of those contacts walk out of the door with them as they go, which is a shame, don’t you think?

There is another way though.  Look at YourEncore for instance.  YourEncore is a network of retired and veteran scientists and engineers providing their clients with proven experience to help accelerate their pace of innovation.

The site was founded back in 2003 after Proctor & Gamble and Eli Lilly wanted to find a better way of tapping into the expertise of retired employees.  The concept was one that appealed to a wide range of companies, with the likes of Boeing and General Mills soon getting involved as well.

Companies that participate in the site pay a membership and network access fee, which varies depending on how the site is used.  They then work with site managers to define projects, before recruiting the best people for each job.  The bounty they pay for each expert depends on that individuals experience and so on, with bills charged either per project or on a daily/hourly basis.

Eli Lilly use the site for around 100 projects per year, with the diversity of thought available via the platform a key draw.  For instance a pharma company such as P&G can easily tap into the knowledge of an engineer from Boeing.

If a company anticipates a need for, say, a team of aseptic package specialists in two months, YourEncore will vet candidates and have a team ready to go. YourEncore’s Innovation Community, a Web-based tool that lets companies post problems confidentially and receive solutions from experts, is increasingly popular.

With the baby boomer generation beginning to retire in large numbers, sites such as YourEncore act as a fantastic way to keep your corporate alumni together, whilst also allowing you to tap into those from other companies.



3 thoughts on “How strong is your corporate alumni network?

  1. What a cool idea. Great to see. Sadly I think few organisations have any kind of KM plan for when people retire, much less any way of keeping in touch en masse like this.

  2. Former employees, retirees and former partners are a valuable resource that companies often neglect, John Hagel and John Seely Brown write. Companies can continue to engage former employees by helping them network and providing career services. "An alumni program that encourages both past and current employees to work together across organizational boundaries is more likely to succeed," Hagel and Brown write.

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