When working as an employee retention, speaker, an audience member brought up that a person who had left their organization wanted to come back. In the past, many organizations had very strict “no rehire” policies. Like many past management past practices, a policy like this is a dinosaur. When faced with the reality of a tight labor market where people, much less good people are hard to find, when you have an opportunity to rehire someone who has left, you take advantage of it.
Assuming the person was a good employee, this is a golden opportunity to bring a person back who is fully trained and can come up to speed quickly. You also save on extensive training costs as well. But, more importantly, you have a person who has gone to work somewhere else and is coming back because they have found the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. These people generally turn out to be your biggest advocates once they return.
When that person returns, everyone will know it. Everyone will see it. They will naturally be attracted to that person to find out why they decided to come back. They will hear from someone other than management that their current employer is not as bad as they think. They will make the comparisons, talk about management, and discuss what environments are like elsewhere. Most people need to hear this because if they have been in your organization for a while, they tend to focus on the negatives.
If all goes well, the returning person will tell the complainers to shut up and be thankful they are working where they are. I have seen people who were chronic complainers come back and be the biggest cheerleaders for the organization they used to complain about.
Rehiring a person that was a good employee has no downside as far as this employee retention expert is concerned. You not only get a good worker to return but you also get an example or, perhaps even an advocate that your organization is a place where people want to stay. From an employee retention strategies perspective, it is a win-win scenario.