Managing The Business Impact Potential Of Your Alumni Network

Managing Business Potential Of Alumni

In an article published on LinkedIn, Director of SAP Alumni Relations Dr. Christian Mencke discusses how to approach alumni management in a way that consciously develops the size, trust, and diversity of the network to maximize its business impact.

The SAP Alumni network is one of the most successful in the world. According to recent findings based on a survey among members of various alumni groupings, their members recommend the business as a great place to work up to 7 times per year. Additionally, almost three-quarters of these employees take the next step in their career by collaborating with SAP customers or partners. 

Here are a few key takeaways from Christian’s article as published on LinkedIn:

How To Lay the Groundwork For Authentic Engagement With Focused Alumni Management

1. Make It Scalable By Managing Size

The global SAP alumni network is huge, to say the least. Within the next year, membership is likely to reach 10,000 people. This means that the business gets approximately 70,000 first-tier recommendations as a great place to work per year. 

Take into account that these recommendations filter through to second and third tiers (Johnny tells Suzie, who tells Mary), and you quickly have a very large candidate pool. These trust-based word of mouth recommendations are invaluable. 

The crux lies in growing your network to the point where the size of it is one of its unique drawing cards. Start by being highly visible on platforms like social media and offering new members tangible assets like newsletters with tailor-made content. 

Your registration process should also be easy and convenient – ideally, an integrated part of the standard offboarding procedure.

2. Make It Authentic By Managing Trust

Build Trust With Alumni

SAP alumni members are as engaged with their network as their peers who are still employed by the company. This is a fantastic statistic and is wholly based on the authenticity with which the platform is managed. The company realizes that they need to look beyond the benefits to the enterprise and focus on the reasons why ex-employees should choose to stay connected with their network. 

The managers of the network focus on generating trust with its members by sharing regular, honest communication and taking ownership in actions. This, in turn, leads to predictable, trustworthy behavior among its members. 

3. Make It Diverse By Managing Variety

The SAP alumni network is beautifully diverse when it comes to age, career stage, tenure and hierarchy, geography, and professional focus. This immense variety allows its members to reach beyond their own sphere of influence to connect with individuals who can be very helpful in both business-related and personal contexts, but it can also be overwhelming.  

To make the scope of alumni management less staggering, alumni relations managers develop communities of local alumni ambassadors and host regionally specific alumni events to facilitate the development of partial networks within the whole.

Conclusion

Driving strategic transformation in business with your alumni network is only possible if you manage it in the right way. This includes managing network size, promoting network trust, and actively developing network diversity to pave the way for scalable, authentic impact.

Join the mailing list for early access to the upcoming release of The Alumni Advantage, an end-to-end understanding of how organizations are recognizing and leveraging their former employees; authored by James Sinclair, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of EnterpriseAlumni.