Boomerang Employee: Navigating the return to success
In today’s ever-changing work environment, the practice of “boomeranging” has become increasingly popular. Boomeranging refers to when an employee exits an organization, becomes employed elsewhere and then returns to the initial company after a period of time. Boomerang employees can be valuable to an organization as they come with previous knowledge of the organization’s culture, processes and procedures. Elizabeth Quenneville, a Walgreens boomerang, shares her experience and thoughts about what brought her back to Walgreens.
The Decision to Return: A journey back to purpose and impact
In her original role at Walgreens, Elizabeth served as a director of internal communications, supporting pharmacy and retail operations. When she made the decision to leave Walgreens, it was driven by an eagerness to explore a unique career opportunity at a public relations agency, where she led employee engagement solutions across a client portfolio. While in that role, she realized her passions and ambitions lie in health equity and became re-interested in Walgreens as it began its evolution towards transforming into a healthcare organization. Fate intervened when a former colleague shared an exciting new opportunity, with Elizabeth, to return to Walgreens as a senior director of enterprise internal communications.
Returning to Walgreens after three years away, Elizabeth was determined to make a lasting impact. Today, she leads the enterprise internal communications team at Walgreens, with responsibilities for developing broad messaging for internal communication channels such as W Connect (an internal, mobile-first team member communications platform) and WBA Worldwide (internal company intranet). She plays a crucial role in supporting major initiatives collaborating with partners across the business to inform and engage Walgreens team members. Some of her team’s notable achievements include integrated communication plans to inform and engage team members for Walgreens owned brand offerings, immunizations, and COVID-19.
Earning top industry accolades
In 2022, Elizabeth and her dedicated team launched an innovative internal communications platform called W Connect, designed to provide all U.S. based Walgreens team members with the latest company news, leader updates, access to tools and benefits, and more. Since its launch, Elizabeth’s team has been recognized for outstanding work on the W Connect app with a prestigious Superior Achievement in Branding, Reputation and Engagement (SABRE) award and a PR Daily’s Social Media and Digital Award.
Reflecting on company changes
When reflecting on the changes within the company since her previous tenure, Elizabeth highlights several significant Walgreens transformations that have taken place.
1. Pharmacy technology. One notable advancement has been the significant enablement of pharmacy technology which has revolutionized the way patients access and utilize various tools and services. This technological progress has empowered individuals to take more control over their healthcare journey, resulting in improved patient experiences and outcomes.
2. Pivot to a heathcare company. Walgreens has undergone a strategic pivot, expanding its focus beyond traditional retail pharmacy to establish itself as a healthcare company.
3. The good in the community. Walgreens has become a catalyst for positive change, striving to improve the overall well-being and health outcomes for those they serve in the communities.
Elizabeth's return to Walgreens serves as a testament to the value boomerang employees can bring to an organization. Her story illustrates how embracing new opportunities played a pivotal role in rekindling her sense of purpose and realigning her mission with internal communication strategies at Walgreens.