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    Boomerang Employees: Keep the Door Open

    By: Jeff Gau
    March 14, 2019

    We’ve all heard the phrase, “The grass is always greener on the other side” and sometimes it is natural to feel like that at work. People leave their jobs for a variety of reasons – a better opportunity, a different environment, location or pace, or a desire for a new challenge or industry.

    I’d like to believe that if we attract good talent and keep them engaged, they will stay with Marco for their entire career. But that’s not a likely scenario anymore.

    Workers in my generation started with a company and often retired there 30 or 40 years later. That’s rare today. It’s common for professionals to have 12 to 15 jobs in their lifetime, according to the recent labor statistics. Even the most committed employees can be enticed by a new opportunity.

    Something that I am seeing more of is what is called the “boomerang effect.” It’s where people leave the organization and then return – within a few months or even years. We have seen a recent increase in this at Marco. Sometimes it’s because as we grow, we create new opportunities for people. Many times, it’s because they realized the grass is not greener – and we intentionally kept the door open.

    When good employees decide to leave and I know that they’ve made up their minds, I am deliberate in telling them that they are welcome back. I encourage them not to be “too proud” to call us – even call me – if they want to return to our company. Imagine how Apple would have turned out if the company did not rehire Steve Jobs.

    Boomerang Employees
    Here are some key reasons why we hire back good people that have left the organization:

    • They bring back a better perspective.
      They have a greater appreciation for what we do that they previously didn’t see. They realize the good culture we have and become some of our best ambassadors. Their perspective and energy can be felt in the workplace. They’re more committed.
    • We know they fit.
      Team fit is important to us at Marco. We hire for team fit and have used a variety of tools to assess this. When someone is returning to Marco, we can be more certain it’s going to be a good fit.
    • It saves us money.
      That’s even if we offer them a higher compensation. The training and orientation to onboard a person who returns to the organization is far less. They know us. We know them. We can quickly pick up where we left off.

    My advice for employees:
    Don’t be too proud to go back to an organization – or role – you enjoyed more. You don’t have to wait years. Make the call within 2-3 months or even a couple of days if it is not feeling like a good fit.

    My advice for employers:
    When a good employee is leaving you, intentionally let that person know you’re leaving the door open. Make them feel comfortable that if something doesn’t work out, you are genuinely interested in having them back. Sometimes even the best employees will leave. And when they return, they can be even better for your organization.

    So if retention of a good employee is not an option, sincerely let them know that you would welcome them back. Conversely, if you are departing, always leave on good terms. It’s a better practice for a lot of reasons. 


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