This Week's Herman Trend Alert

in Normal 2.0


  The Herman Trend Alert

February 29, 2000

Boomeranging Will Increase

306 days until January 1, 2001

When an employee leaves an employer to take a different job, there's often a question in the worker's mind: "Is this the right move for me at this time?" But, the societal and career development pressure is there, and the worker jumps the fence to find the greener grass.

In the dynamics of today's workplace, an increasing number of workers is discovering that the grass they thought was greener is, in fact, crab grass. They were better off before they made the move. Sometimes this discovery comes quickly; sometimes a few weeks or months-or even years-of experience confirm that the worker will not find happiness and fulfillment at the new employment. Sometimes, employees try to go into business for themselves and fail.

Faced with this situation, many workers wish they could turn the clock back and return to their previous work. Some are embarrassed and just move on to something else. But more workers are returning to their previous employers, anxious to pick up where they left off. The boomerang move, is easier for them because they've maintained relationships with co-workers at their previous employers. From a strategic perspective, savvy employers are cultivating ongoing communication with valued employees who have left as part of their recruiting efforts. The boomerang employees are a known quantity and are easier to find than job candidates who aren't yet identified.

With the ease of return, more workers will experiment with other employment, including working for themselves, then return to their home nests. They may even do this several times, with benefits for both parties. New ideas and perspectives will be brought back to the nests each time they boomerang.

As more workers boomerang, the practice will become more accepted. This increased acceptance, combined with the difficulty of finding replacements in a tight labor market, will encourage more people to leave and return. The concept of working for a company for a while, on a particular project, for example, then leaving to return later for another project, is consistent with how we see the design of the corporation of the future.

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