The Boomerang Effect: What Pulled 3 Team Members Back To Former Employers
Much has been said and written about The Great Resignation, but “Boomerang Employees” — the significant number of those who eventually returned to their old positions — dominate far fewer headlines.
According to a LinkedIn survey, 61 percent of respondents said they planned to leave their job in 2023, while 95 percent said they felt confident about their prospects. On the contrary, a 2022 UKG survey found that 43 percent of people who quit their jobs during the pandemic said they were better off at their old companies.
Enter boomerang employees; the same UKG survey found that one-fifth of those who quit their jobs eventually returned to their former companies.
Of the respondents who boomeranged, 77 percent said that their managers had made an effort to keep them and fostered a culture where voicing frustrations was encouraged.
“While I left in hopes of personal and professional growth, I quickly learned that my success has more to do with the makeup of my team rather than the strength of myself individually,” explained Director of Strategy Fyonna Salazar, who re-joined tms after eight months elsewhere.
“I experience the most motivation and growth when surrounded by supportive team members who play well together.”
These professionals shared what factored into their respective departures and their personal decisions to return.
tms, a global company uniting technology, marketing and sourcing to drive transformational change, and one of Built In’s Best Places to Work in 2023, is comprised of more than 1,000 employees in 26 countries who empower brands to create memorable customer experiences.
Describe your original tenure at tms. When did you join, and what was your role?
I originally joined the company in 2017 as a retail strategist dedicated to McDonald’s’ restaurant experience. When I left tms in July of 2021, I was an associate director of strategy, managing the customer experience team for McDonald’s North America.
Tell us about your return. When did you return to tms? What motivated you to reapply?
After only eight months at another organization, I returned to tms in March 2022. Upon leaving tms, I feared that I was leaving behind amazing people and irreplaceable company culture.
This company embraces a people-first culture and employs some of the kindest humans I have worked with. We have organization-wide huddles that are surprisingly engaging, even though hundreds of team members attend globally. Everyone, from senior leaders to interns, is welcome to share their insights. Our customer experience team has a monthly meeting called “Coffee and Donuts,” where we acknowledge and celebrate each team member’s birthday. The president of the company walks around our office, saying hello and thanking everyone for their unique contributions. It became clear to me after leaving tms that this warm and engaging culture was not only extremely rare but an essential component of my success.
It became clear to me after leaving tms that this warm and engaging culture was not only extremely rare but an essential component of my success.”
When did you know you made the right choice returning to tms?
I knew I had made the right choice when, upon my return, I was immediately welcomed back by even the highest-ranking members of our senior leadership team. The managing directors of our organization publicly acknowledged and celebrated my return. They called me a member of the “tms alumni” and assured me that ‘boomerangs’ have been some of the most successful members of our organization. It truly felt like a homecoming, and it was clear that I had returned to where I belonged. This warm welcome and recognition confirmed not only that I had made the right move at the time but that this choice was also going to have long-term rewards within tms overall.
Global digital transformation consultancy Kin + Carta helps clients reduce data and technology anxiety.
Describe your original tenure at Kin + Carta. When did you join, and what was your role?
I joined Kin + Carta in November 2020 and was here initially for a year and six months. I have always supported the Google Cloud Partnership and love working alongside their teams. Today I am a senior partner development manager for Google Cloud.
Tell us about your return. When did you return to Kin + Carta? What motivated you to reapply?
From May 2022 to March 2023, I took a “semester abroad,” supporting the Google Cloud Partnership for another company. This experience was invaluable as I got a crash course on how Google Cloud sells with ISVs and how customers can leverage the Google Marketplace. My team was wonderful, and I learned so much, but when I was approached by K+C earlier this year, after a long hard decision, I decided to come back. Even though K+C had been remote since I joined in 2020, I was able to build strong relationships through affinity groups and social Slack channels. I missed these connections and the work that we did together. Kin + Carta is a B Corp, which means they balance people, planet and profit, which is very important to me.
I missed these connections and the work that we did together. Kin + Carta is a B Corp, which means they balance people, planet and profit, which is very important to me.”
When did you know you made the right choice returning to Kin + Carta?
When I returned, some of the opportunities I was working on had closed, and we were expanding our business with those accounts. I was able to jump right back in and help support the team like I didn’t miss a beat. It felt good to be back. With all the new buzz around GenAI and Cloud Retail Search, I’m excited to continue to drive strategic growth with the Google Cloud business at Kin + Carta.
Document and email management platform iManage is an AI-enabled, governance-focused solution used by intelligence professionals worldwide.
Describe your original tenure at iManage. When did you join, and what was your role?
I originally joined iManage in May 2019 and worked as a legal practice lead for two and a half years. It was a role that was new to both the company and me. During this time, I focused on two newer products to the iManage product suite. It was an interesting role with a mix of sales, marketing, customer success and consulting all rolled into one as we strategized on go-to-market strategy, product use cases and workflows, and helping our customers be successful with our solutions.
Within a couple months of joining, I found myself at the International Legal Technology Association conference with a full schedule of meetings, coffees, lunches, dinners and parties. It was a whirlwind, and it was exhilarating! I was one of the lucky ones who was able to enjoy many more of these experiences, including meetings in London and the LegalWeek conference in New York before the COVID-19 pandemic shut all travel down. I had the opportunity to learn that iManage is not only well-connected but, more importantly, well-loved by employees, customers and partners alike.
Tell us about your return. When did you return to iManage? What motivated you to reapply?
I returned in November 2022. That’s right — I was not gone for long. I came back to iManage for the culture. Culture is a loaded term and may be considered a trendy concept that is merely about words on a website or a wall at an office. I’ve always found it hard to define company culture, but I know what it is now. Culture is about people, and specifically about people who choose to be intentional about creating and maintaining a sense of belonging, while allowing everyone to bring their authentic selves to work. It’s about a team that encourages and enables personal and professional growth and makes room for that to happen. If you find a company that fulfills all of this for you while still having fun — buckle in, enjoy the ride, and don’t get off!
iManage has managed to attract and retain some of the most talented, genuinely kind and authentic people around. My motivation to reapply was quite simply to get back to working with those people — people who think about diversity and inclusion and prioritize the wellness of others — because it will make us better, more committed employees but also because the leadership team and others at the company are just all around good people.
iManage has managed to attract and retain some of the most talented, genuinely kind people around. My motivation to reapply was to get back to working with those people.”
When did you know you made the right choice returning to iManage?
Our annual sales kickoff was just two months after I re-joined. I attended and re-engaged with colleagues, partners and friends — many of whom I kept in touch with while I was gone. I felt back at home. I know some don’t like to mix work and home, but there is no other way to describe it. It felt as if I had never left.
Conversations were easy, starting with a big smile, hug and welcome back, and culminating with catching up personally and professionally with everyone interested in my new role and how we would work together. Like my first time at the company, I felt fully supported and knew there were plenty of open doors when I needed help, information or a sounding board. Likewise, my colleagues know that my door is open to them.
Like every company, we have our ups and downs and challenges to overcome, but we learn from them. We give and receive the required feedback so we can all improve together. It’s not easy striking the right balance in all these areas, but that’s why they call this work, right? It’s serious business, but if you can find a company where you can conduct that serious business and still have a lot of laughs with good people in the process, then congratulations, you’ve found your home.