Capturing the best practice and expertise of retired professionals?


(Finman) #1

Good Day Friends,

Have any of you implemented a successful strategy to capture the knowledge of pasts employees?

  1. To allow them to reconnect and engage with the current team
  2. To allow them to be part of mentoring programs

If so, how were they incentived to partake or recognized for their contribution?

(Katie Paffhouse Bussey) #2

Hi @Finman - I’m answering your question with more questions:) Would this be for a for profit company? And have these past employees contributed to the community before?


(Finman) #3


Clarification questions are always welcomed! :smile:

This would be for a non-profit organization. I am trying to find ways to keep the knowledge from past experts relevant to the new crop of employees.

The individuals have not contributed to the online community because this is still a conceptual exercise.

(Katie Paffhouse Bussey) #4

Thanks for the clarifications! I’ve worked for a few non-profit orgs that did not have an official alumni offering, but had informal ones appear. One specific one comes to mind evolved from a happy hour meet up. This org wasn’t the best at management, but did do a nice job of helping employees forge friendships. Some folks left on bad notes, but the large majority remained friends with past coworkers. This led to an alumni happy hour (and current employees managed to sneak in.) The low key approach established an ‘open door’ feel for current employees to interact with alumni.

I suspect a formal program could be tricky, as it could diminish authority of current staff who serve as mentors or are successors to the alumni. An idea is to make the program hyper organized, where employees organize the meetings and set the questions. For instance, a cross-departmental group could monthly fish tank meetings with past employees. This employee group solicits questions from current employees and vets them with the successors to the alumni (to avoid him/her feeling like this is a job performance.) Then, the actual meeting could occur with the alumni, the successor asks a few questions as do some other employees. Of course, a happy hour is beneficial!

Personally speaking, I most value the opportunity to continue relationships in case our paths cross in the future. An incentive then would be to ensure the people they want to impress (CEO, past boss?) are there to keep the relationship going. And any branded schwag is always nice to feel you are part of the crowd.

(Sarah Hawk) #5

I wonder if the teams from @Greenpeace or @Pachamama have ideas on this one.

(Josh Wolf) #6

No one has left Pachamama Alliance in the 1.5 years I’ve been here, but we have a couple of people stepping away in January so I may have more for you then.