Does a corporate alumni club add value?

Some companies are taking a new approach toward employees who retire or leave to pursue new challenges. They are establishing groups to help everyone stay in touch and keep the lines of communication open. These programs have many em­ployees wondering what the company benefits from in return.

That’s what one reader asked recently on the Admin Pro Forum. Readers offered their take on the issue.

“The company where I worked did this, and it lasted for at least a couple decades,” wrote Mark. “They would meet for a luncheon twice a year, and someone from management was there to update the retirees on the current status of the company.”

“I think it is a good idea, especially if the former employees had a remarkable effect on the organization and its business. If so, I believe they would help to deliver the vision, experience, and motivation for the new generation,” wrote Ahmad Shaeab. “If you organize the club activities and manage them properly, I think you shouldn’t have any concerns about the expenditures and the payoff.”

DeeCee and Patti weren’t quite as positive about the prospects of the program.“It sounds like one of those projects that eventually just dies and goes away because of lack of interest or involvement,” said DeeCee.

“I would assume that your boss only wants ex-employees who retired or left on good terms,” said Patti. “Then for those who are not in­­cluded, everyone would know they were fired or are otherwise not worthy of rehire. I don’t think that sends a good message to anyone—current or past ­em­­ployees.”