Leverage Your Former Technicians to Close the Skills Gap

warehouse manager with workers | closing the skills gap

The success of any organization heavily relies on the expertise and competencies of its workforce. In today’s dynamic business environment, skills gaps are inevitable due to rapidly evolving technologies and industry demands. While we continue to find ways to navigate the Global Skills Gap, there is one option to bridge this gap that we haven’t talked about yet, and it poses a significant value to the industry alumni. 

As an example, if a Ford dealership technician leaves the dealership to explore other career options, there is still value to having a Ford-certified technician operating in the industry, even if it isn’t at the dealership.

Offering these technicians the ability to maintain their certifications, even outside of the Ford dealer network, still poses a benefit to the brand. That technician will still maintain the presence and knowledge of the Ford brand in the industry. 

Life is dynamic for all of us, and many of the members of our workforce will eventually follow new paths to different opportunities. During this transition, how can you maintain a connection with your alumni and leave the door open for knowledgeable, capable members of your workforce to continue to benefit your brand and the industry overall?

Leveraging learning assets with alumni presents a unique opportunity for the industry to address skills gaps effectively, benefiting both the organization and its former workforce. There are several ways that organizations can harness the knowledge and experience of former employees to bridge the skills gap and maintain a competitive edge.

The Hidden Potential of Alumni Employees

Industry alumni hold a wealth of knowledge about the brand and organization’s inner workings, processes, and culture. Their firm understanding of the industry and technology makes it easy to fill in the gaps of what may have changed over the course of just a few years. 

Allowing your alumni to maintain a connection with your brands and to continue to access their existing certifications, as well as providing them resources to achieve new certifications, keeps your organization on their radar. They may keep you in mind when new career opportunities become available, and by maintaining a connection with them through accreditation resources, they may desire to return to your organization or partner network after a period of time elsewhere. 

Their familiarity with the company can significantly reduce the onboarding process, allowing them to quickly adapt to new learning initiatives. Additionally, they already possess a vested interest in the company’s success, making them an engaged and motivated group to invest in for upskilling.

Re-engaging Alumni Employees

Engaging with former employees requires effective communication and a compelling value proposition. Develop a plan to reach out to former employees and invite them to participate in the learning initiatives. 

This is best accomplished by utilizing communication channels such as email newsletters, alumni networks, and social media platforms to spread the word. Emphasize the benefits of upskilling, including potential career growth, staying updated with industry trends, and maintaining a strong professional network.

Explaining the benefits that accessing and maintaining certifications can pose for alumni can help keep them engaged as well. Typically, once alumni leave your organization, they lose access to their certifications and cannot take them elsewhere in the industry. Offering them an alternative to this is valuable and can keep them engaged in your organization, even if they aren’t working for you. 

Cultivating an Alumni Learning Community

To foster a sense of engagement and camaraderie with your alumni, create a dedicated online platform or forum where they can access learning resources, interact with each other, and share their knowledge and experiences. This community will not only encourage continuous learning but also help in creating a vibrant knowledge-sharing environment.

The feedback that your alumni can provide is also a very valuable resource. If you leave a channel open for them to tell you what they like, what they don’t like, and what materials they would like to see more of, you can continue to create relevant, customized content to keep your alumni engaged.

These communities can also lead to mentorship programs, where more experienced technicians can offer their expertise to developing technicians. 

Tailoring Learning Paths

Recognizing that alumni employees have diverse experiences and needs, it is crucial to enable them to tailor learning paths to suit individual preferences and career aspirations. Offering personalized learning journeys will increase the chances of engagement and commitment from the alumni network.

This is where an extended enterprise LMS can make all of the difference. With an extended enterprise LMS, you can curate custom learning plans for alumni, much like you would for current workforce members. Based on the information your alumni consume and how they perform on assessments, algorithms can suggest additional materials that are in line with their interests or that can help fill any gaps in their current understanding. 

Offering Incentives For Alumni

The benefits of maintaining branded certifications in the industry is evident. You need more people in the industry that are certified at repairing and installing your products. An incentive to offer your alumni is continued access to their certifications and resources by which they can maintain their accreditations. 

Allow your alumni to access any existing certifications they may have achieved while working at your organization to further the development of your brand – even if it’s outside of your dealerships. 

An incentive you can also offer your alumni is splitting the cost of continuing their certifications. With options like credits toward a certain certification, the alumni are incentivized to continue their certification process and further the development and knowledge of your brand in the industry.


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Encouraging Alumni Return

Engaging alumni through learning initiatives also opens up the possibility of inviting them back to the organization. As they upskill and remain connected to the company culture, they may be more inclined to consider rejoining the organization in the future, bringing their updated skill sets with them.

The learning platform used to deliver the learning content can also be an effective way to keep your alumni up to date on the recent happenings in your organization, including open positions and job boards. By allowing your alumni to maintain access to their learning platform and using it as a resource for recruitment, alumni who choose to apply for open positions will have their entire training history attached to their application. This can streamline the application and interview process because you are already versed in what that individual knows and what their experience is.

Leveraging learning assets with alumni is also a strategic and cost-effective approach to address skills gaps within an organization. By tapping into the expertise and familiarity of former employees, companies can create a mutually beneficial relationship that fosters continuous learning, knowledge-sharing, and potential future collaborations. 

As the job market continues to evolve, investing in the development of alumni can be a wise and forward-thinking strategy for any organization seeking to stay competitive in the long run.

Maximizing Your LMS for Alumni Engagement

When you begin to consider leveraging different avenues with your LMS, you’ll want to ensure that your current platform has the capacity, functionality, and tailoring that you need to maximize the benefit of alumni engagement.

LatitudeLearning is designed with the extended enterprise in mind and caters to all of your organization’s needs. By providing highly customizable modules, you can ensure that the content you deliver to your workforce and your alumni is relevant and engaging. LatitudeLearning has the capability to suggest additional materials to fill knowledge gaps or offer suggested courses based on user preferences. 

With integrated metrics and reporting capabilities, LatitudeLearning makes it easy to compile your analytics into information that you can use and interpret for your workforce and your alumni pool. 

Whatever your extended enterprise LMS needs are, LatitudeLearning has it covered. Discover how to build capabilities and drive performance across your entire value chain — download our ebook.


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