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Friends 4-Ever Say goodbye, but not good riddance. You may still have a use for those ex-employees.

By Ellen Paris

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Used to be that when employees quit, they were consideredtraitors and told to clean out their desks on the spot. No more.Today, the split is usually amicable; going-away lunches and giftsare common. And it doesn't always end there. When a valuedemployee leaves your company, there are several reasons to keep intouch.

Former employees who stay in contact with their old bosses willtell others what a good employer you are and what a great placeyour company is to work at. That kind of person-to-personadvertising can bring you more business and help you recruit newemployees. The potential for former employees to return later withmore skills and experience is another benefit of alumniprograms.

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