Design an Impactful Organizational Alumni Program

Optimize the alumni network through meaningful connections to support strategic objectives.

Onsite Workshop

Most organizations fail to leverage alumni talent:

  • The lack of a formal program impacts the organization’s ability to strategically strengthen talent acquisition, brand management, and business development objectives.
  • Without a strong connection to the organization after employment, alumni can expose gaps in areas such as equity and inclusion and broadcast them through social media, rather than sharing them directly with staff who can take action and address concerns.
  • Organizations are losing the chance to turn alumni into advocates who view them as a future potential place to work for either themselves or others in their network.

Alumni programs have several benefits for both the organization and the alumni, including:

  • Increased brand awareness with desirable audiences (e.g. customers, expansion into additional markets).
  • Access to desirable talent pools (e.g. boomerangs, alumni referrals).
  • Mentor/mentee opportunities (e.g. alumni provide employees with insight into cultural aspects for success).

Module 1: Define Program Purpose and Goals

The Purpose

Create a data-driven purpose for the program that can produce observable results.

Key Benefits Achieved

Defined goals for the alumni program including appropriate metrics to measure success.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Review strategic documents and organizational data to identify organizational needs.
1.2 Define the purpose of the alumni program and identify target alumni sub-groups.
  • Draft of program purpose statements and identified alumni sub-groups.
1.3 Define program goals and metrics.
  • List of program goals and metrics.

Module 2: Draft Program Structure

The Purpose

Establish responsibilities and determine necessary technology that can support the scope of initiative delivery.

Key Benefits Achieved

An alumni directory and program structure has been determined.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Select the level of support provided through the program and governance structure.
2.2 Assign stakeholder accountabilities.
  • Stakeholder accountabilities assigned.
2.3 Identify implications for technology (e.g. to establish and maintain an alumni directory).
  • Alumni program technology requirements identified.

Module 3: Plan for Program Initiatives

The Purpose

Review what alumni hope to get out of the program to align it with organizational needs.

Key Benefits Achieved

A shortlist of initiatives that will achieve mutual program benefit is created.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Review data on alumni needs.
3.2 Identify opportunities to connect alumni needs to program goals.
3.3 Create a list of potential alumni program initiatives.
  • List of potential alumni program initiatives.

Module 4: Assess Feasibility and Select Final Initiatives

The Purpose

Produce a final list of initiatives that balances the needs of both the organization and alumni.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A final list of initiatives that have a medium or high positive impact on program goals.

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Estimate the feasibly of initiatives and create a shortlist.
4.2 Prioritize shortlisted initiatives based on anticipated effort and impact.
  • Final list of prioritized initiatives.
4.3 Identify implications for other HR programs (e.g. offboarding).
  • Implications for other HR programs identified.

Module 5: Plan for Implementation

The Purpose

Identify the modifications, training, and communications necessary to support successful implementation of the program.

Key Benefits Achieved

A clearly defined action plan that supports program implementation and ongoing success.

Activities: Outputs:
5.1 Identify manager training requirements/needs.
5.2 Draft high-level plan for internal and external communications.
  • Draft plan for internal and external communications (e.g. alumni calendar).
5.3 Create a high-level action plan.
  • HR action and communication plan.
5.4 Establish an annual program evaluation and planning process (as time allows).

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