The Corporate Culture And Boomerang Employee Study

In a modern workplace, no employee is an island. Collaboration and teamwork are key tenets for any successful business and company culture. The problem is that many businesses aren’t making this a priority in how they organize and conduct their company. 

According to a survey by Clear Company: 

  • 39% of employees believe that people in their own organization don’t collaborate enough
  • Around 75% of employers rate teamwork and collaboration as “very important”
  • 97% of employees and executives surveyed believe that lack of alignment within a team directly impacts the outcome of a task or project
  • 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures

Collaboration can help an individual project succeed, and a culture of collaboration can make an entire company succeed. Luckily, new technologies are making modern teamwork even easier. In particular, these three technologies will help foster a culture that prioritizes collaboration.

Enterprise Social Networks

Enterprise social networks aren’t your standard Facebook or Twitter; they are a new wave of social corporate intranets that put employees — not just executives — front and center. These ESNs open the lines of communication among employees, allowing them to assist each other with their jobs and showcase that teamwork is important to company culture. No longer are the tutorials and expert info created just by management; every employee can help each other with contributions through wikis, tips, and message boards.

Job help isn’t the only reason employees should be connected to each other. In addition to hosting in-person social events like barbecues and holiday parties, managers can boost employee bonding by digital means in social forums on these ESNs, such as book clubs and recipe sharing.

Multifunctional Video Conferencing

As modern companies stretch across the globe and freelance or remote employees become more common, putting in face time in the office becomes even more important for teams. But Skype and FaceTime aren’t built for corporate life. Rather, new technologies like Speak, BlueJeans, and others join company workflow and management platforms with video calling to create seamless meetings no matter where the participants are located.

Project Management Platforms

Email is often the go-to collaboration medium among employees, but email doesn’t have many of the capabilities new cloud-based technologies have. Email makes it hard to see project changes at a glance; instead you have to sort through an entire chain of back and forth. Plus, it doesn’t offer the same technologies for collaboration on a project, like a Word doc or a slide deck — especially with the influx of mobile. Instead, technologies like AtTask can smooth out the wrinkles in collaboration and ensure colleagues are on the same page with their team task.

Boomerang Employee Study

There’s a new type of candidate circling the hiring pool: the boomerang employee. Today, in the first study released in the Employee Engagement Series commissioned by The Workforce Institute at Ukg Incorporated, survey data shows a changing mindset about hiring boomerang employees – i.e., someone who left an organization, for whatever reason and then rejoined that same organization at a future date.

In the national survey of more than 1,800 human resources (HR) professionals, people managers, and employees, responses show that employee engagement should not end once the working relationship is over – especially between high-performing alumni and organizations with a strong corporate culture. However, this era of the boomerang employee creates a unique type of competition for job seekers and new challenges for organizations to maintain relationships with former high-performers.

Survey News Facts

  • Organizations and workers alike are coming around on boomerang employees.
    • Based on survey results, nearly half of the HR professionals claim their organization previously had a policy against rehiring former employees – even if the employee left in good standing – but 76 percent say they are more accepting of hiring boomerang employees today than in the past. Managers agree, as nearly two-thirds said they are more accepting of hiring back former colleagues.
    • While only 15 percent of employees said, they had boomeranged back to a former employer, nearly 40 percent said they would consider going back to a company where they previously worked.
      • Looking deeper, 46 percent of Millennials would consider returning to their former employer, compared to 33 percent of Gen Xers and 29 percent of Baby Boomers. In an era where job-hopping amongst young professionals has become the norm, this could suggest that Millennial employees might be leaving organizations too soon.
  • Boomerangs are creating increased – and unexpected – competition for job seekers as the hiring market continues to improve.
    • In the past five years, 85 percent of HR professionals say they have received job applications from former employees, and 40 percent say their organization hired about half of those former employees who applied.
    • This high hiring rate is not surprising since HR professionals (56 percent) and managers (51 percent) say they give high or very high priority to job applicants who were former employees that left in good standing.
      • Conversely, only six and nine percent, respectively, said they give zero priority to former colleagues.
    • Boomerangs are not the only type of job seeker, adding increased competition, as 75 percent of HR professionals say that customers have also applied for positions at their organization, with 60 percent saying they have hired at least one former customer.
  • Familiarity, easier training, and knowledge of employers are benefits for both boomerangs and organizations – yet some concerns still linger.
    • HR professionals (33 percent) and managers (38 percent) agree that familiarity with the organization’s culture is the biggest benefit to hiring back former employees, while nearly one-third appreciate that boomerangs do not require as much training as a brand new employee.
    • When employees were asked for the top reason they would go back to work for a former employer if the pay was comparable, employee benefits and a better career path tied for the number one response (20 percent each). However, this answer varied greatly by generation.
    • But while the overall acceptance of boomerang employees has changed direction, HR professionals and managers still have concerns. Nearly one-third of HR professionals and managers claim boomerang employees have a stigma hanging over their heads that they might leave again, and more than one-quarter say these employees may have the same baggage they originally left with.
  • HR says they have a strategy for maintaining relationships with former employees, but workers and managers disagree.
    • While organizations appear increasingly more accepting of boomerang applicants, 80 percent of employees say former employers do not have a strategy in place to encourage them to return, with 64 percent saying there appears to be no strategy for maintaining a relationship.
      • Nearly half of the managers say their organization has no alumni communication strategy.
    • HR practitioners, on the other hand, say they use several strategies for keeping in touch with former high-performing employees, including email newsletters (45 percent), recruiters (30 percent), and alumni groups (27 percent).
      • Facebook is the platform of choice for alumni groups, according to HR professionals (42 percent), with email (39 percent) and LinkedIn (33 percent) close behind.

Supporting Quotes

  • Joyce Maroney, director, The Workforce Institute at Kronos

“In an age defined by social media and job hopping, it’s much easier for employees to search for new opportunities and equally as easy for recruiters to poach talent from competitors. This fierce competition could be contributing to the changing mindset of boomerang employees. With this boomerang trend on the rise, it’s more important than ever for organizations to create a culture that engages employees – even long after they’ve gone – and organizations should consider how the boomerang employee factor should affect their off-boarding and alumni communications strategies for top performers.”

  • David Almeda, chief people officer, Kronos

“No one organization is the right fit for every employee and vice versa. Sometimes making a change is the best thing for both the employee and the employer.  But this data shows that it’s mutually beneficial for highly engaged employees with outstanding performance and organizations with strong cultures to part ways in good standing. The best boomerang strategy for forward-thinking organizations is to ensure that employees are engaged and feel appreciated while at work – that way, if employees decide to leave to explore other career options, the organization will be on the short list of employer options if their career situation changes and they are looking for a more positive opportunity.”

  • Dan Schawbel, founder of, and New York Times Bestselling Author of “Promote Yourself”

“Organizations should consider giving hiring priority to potential boomerang employees who had been a great cultural fit because they can reach a high productivity level quicker if rehired. In previous research we’ve done, we’ve found that Millennials are switching jobs every two years because they are searching for the job – and organization – of the best fit. But this new study indicates that this younger generation is more likely to boomerang back when they’ve experienced other company cultures and realized what they’ve missed. We will see the boomerang employee trend continue in the future as more employees adopt a ‘free agent’ mentality and more organizations create a stronger alumni ecosystem.”

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