Breaking Up to Make Up—A Modern-Day Office Relationship

Date: September 04, 2015

More employees are returning to their old workplace after a hiatus.

Businesses and employees are taking a page out of the high school dating handbook: The two might break up for a time, but that doesn’t mean they’re, like, done-done—at least not forever. 

“Boomerang employees”—employees who leave and come back—are becoming more common, and attitudes are shifting about the practice. According to a recent Kronos and WorkplaceTrends survey, 76 percent of human resource professionals, managers and employees said they’re more accepting of hiring former employees than they were just five years ago, Bloomberg reports. Almost two-thirds of managers are more accepting of such practices, and 40 percent of employees said they’d consider returning to a former employer. 

See what you can do to boost employee satisfaction with NFIB’s resource section for training and retention

The Small Biz Impact

“What we’re seeing at the workplace level is a fundamental shift in [the] employee-employer relationship that is at the root of this,” Dan Schawbel, the founder of WorkplaceTrends, told Bloomberg. “It used to be that the control was with the employer…I think that has changed quite a bit, driven by the war for top talent in the marketplace.”

Job hopping, especially among millennials, is more common than ever. Average job tenure is now less than five years. As such, owners can benefit by not feeling scorned. And small businesses can actually save money by hiring former employees because it costs less to recruit, hire and train someone who has already worked for the company, Bloomberg reports. 

But there’s no need to designate part of your office for returning exes just yet. While attitudes are shifting, only 15 percent of those surveyed had returned to a former employer. 

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