25 MAY 2019


Another area making a paradigm shift in today’s world, is the frequency of employees returning to their earlier organisations. Often this is a hot topic being discussed at various forums, especially when there is a combination of old school and modern scholars within the forum.

Earlier, the very thought of welcoming back any ex-employee was unheard of. There were many schools of thought ranging from ex-employees being considered as black sheep and ones who deserted the organisation, to loyalty being given precedence to an ex-employee. However, this perspective is different these days, where many organisations also welcome back their ex-employees with 'arms open wide'. They see it as a benefit when compared to hiring fresh talent. Irrespective of how you see it, it would be worthwhile to ponder over the pros and cons of an organisation welcoming back its old employees.

Ready-made resources:

Modern organisations see this as their biggest advantage, especially in a competitive market where talent pool is limited, salaries are soaring and cut-throat markets to operate in. Normally such people are productive on day one of their return and hence time to market is reduced. Through this employment they also feel that they are one up on the ex-employee’s demands and that the employee would be at their mercy for having come back.

The Poster employee:

Any return of ex-employees would be considered as poster employees, to showcase to the world that their organisation is the best and more importantly that the outside world is not as rosy as the existing employee’s think. The organisation would see the advantages from such cases greater than the probable attrition post such events. There are many great cases of employees returning in every organisation too.

Employee morale:

One of the main disadvantages of such a home coming could possibly be the morale of existing employees who may feel that their loyalty has been undermined and hence may turn disengaged for a brief period. Sometimes situations could worsen depending on the number of ex-employees returning. To make things worse, all existing employees would tend to believe that the home coming would have cost the organisation a lot of money, which again could damage their own ego.

Since remuneration is not a public topic in any organisation, it becomes difficult for the Management in an organisation to defend such allegations as well. One must confess that in such times the grapevine surfaces to its fullest as though it is high tide.

Amidst the entire quandary, the one person who would be in a bigger state of anxiety would be the ex-employees themselves.

They could in most cases, be at the receiving end from their colleagues, either by hearing the grapevine speak about their deemed incompetence that they had no other place to go or that they were blatant to have returned at higher positions or remuneration than the others.

The key is that the returning employees know their competence more than others do.

Irrespective of the consequences, such returning normally attract the attention - such as the return of the prodigal son and that’s why in a sense it is truly an organisational home coming – dramatic or otherwise.