What makes an employee return to a company after they’ve left?

December 7, 2022
return to a company

What would it take for you to go back to a company after you’ve left? 

Your answer might heavily depend on the reason you left in the first place, of course. But when we heard of the unusual number of returning employees at Megaport, we thought it was worth investigating what it is that keeps bringing them back.

For the five returnees we spoke to, it seemed to all come down to the irresistible and irreplaceable people and culture at Megaport

Why they left in the first place

The reasons for leaving ranged from health and personal factors to COVID-19 restrictions to opportunities for fine-tuning their skills elsewhere. For several of the employees, we spoke to, even as they were leaving, thoughts of returning were already in their minds. As Darryl Attwood, Security Operations Team Lead, says:

darryl family

“When I left, I wasn’t looking to escape Megaport. An opportunity came up to work on a specific set of financial skills I was keen to improve – but six months later, I was back, and it felt like I’d never left.”

Leticia Dorman, Head of Finance, also says she knew even before she left there was a possibility she’d return: “I always felt I wasn’t finished at Megaport.” 

So, what is so special about Megaport that makes people miss working there so much?

The family atmosphere

Everyone we spoke to had only positive things to report about their experience of returning to Megaport, all saying that it felt like they had never really left – in a good way! Accountant Lanean Smart’s return couldn’t have gone better:

“My first day back was like riding a bike. I got straight into the thick of it. It was amazing to see a lot of old faces I had missed since I had left – I really missed the people I used to work with!

And all the new people were friendly and welcoming too. In short, it was bloody amazing to be back!”

For Elise Fields, Channel Manager, it felt like she was coming back to the family business:  

return to a company

Megaport feels like another family to me and returning was like a family reunion! Everyone welcomed me back with open arms. Having spent time away, I really appreciate the small company feel at Megaport. I realized a large company is just not for me. Working here enables me to have a great relationship with the CEO and that, to me, is invaluable.”

The CEO’s strong and supportive presence was also praised by Lanean, and is one of the ways he feels Megaport differentiates itself from rival employees:

“There is a big difference in how our CEO communicates and gets the company pumped up, which I haven’t found with other CEOs in other companies. He also kicks us off our desk at 4pm on a Friday to come join him for a quick drink in the kitchen to ask how we were doing (and he is the master of the baby Guinness)!”

Employee well-being is key

The family feel at Megaport also extends to how it looks after its employees’ welfare. Another main motivation for returning that we heard time and again was the emphasis on work-life balance. Although all the employees we spoke to said that, at times, Megaport can feel “fast-paced”, they also agreed that well-being remains a top priority. One way this is shown is through the flexible working hours policy. Leticia, who has recently returned from parental leave really appreciates this forward-thinking approach:

“One of the main reasons I wanted to return to Megaport was the flexibility. There is zero 9 to 5 here – truly, no one watches the clock when you come in and/or leave! It’s about what you can deliver and by when, which means you are in charge of how you get the work done and where.”

The extra perks of working at Megaport haven’t gone unnoticed either! Danielle De Launey, Group Accounting Manager, says it’s often the smaller things that can help create a collaborative environment – which she says ultimately increases productivity across the business:

“It is all the day-to-day support Megaport gives its employees through a lot of small perks which make a big impact. A cup of coffee with your colleagues, healthy snacks to keep that brain going, and comfortable fun work environments that bring us together.” 

Success focused

At Megaport, all the employees we spoke to were unanimous in their view that there is a real professional drive to chase ‘the next big thing’, with a proactive, can-do attitude felt across the company. Danielle says this approach also appeals to her personal values:

“I am a fast-paced, slightly impatient, and success-driven individual with an insatiable curiosity. This aligns with Megaport’s values of ‘accelerate’ and ‘innovate’. We move faster than everyone else and are always questioning the status quo, in the never-ending pursuit of the next product/project and revenue stream to grow the business. It’s fast paced, fun, and focused on success.”

Elise also enjoys the future-focused ethos: “I appreciate the passion to drive 100mph and I thrive in a fast-paced environment. I am a goal setter and goal achiever and flourish in a competitive setting.”

But while everyone acknowledges that Megaport is very results driven, always seeking to improve, they also love that those achievements are properly acknowledged along the way. Lanean observes:

“There is a great team atmosphere here – no other companies celebrate the wins like Megaport!”

Taking time out to reflect on how far they’ve come is an important aspect of the company culture and is seen as a contributing factor to overall employee happiness. After all, as Danielle asks: “Who doesn’t like to celebrate with others, especially after a shared achievement?!”

Work hard, play hard

The continual desire to keep improving and to see growth across the business, all the while maintaining a good work-life balance was a huge draw across the board. This attitude speaks to Darryl personally:

“I think the values at Megaport align closely with the way I like to work. At times, there may be potentially a little too much focus on the accelerate – but that’s how we remain competitive! Work hard and have fun doing it would be a good way to summarize the culture here.” 

Did you know that Megaport is a WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality?

Find out about this and other employee benefits and incentives.

All ideas welcome

At Megaport, everyone’s voice is seen as equal and it’s this collaborative culture – with its “open-door policy”, as described by Elise – that they feel has contributed to the company’s ongoing success. Lanean says that “Megaport wants to hear from employees about how to do things more efficiently” and Leticia really values this too. She believes that listening to other people’s perspectives is how to fast-track positive change:

“Senior management really listens if you have an idea, and there are continuous opportunities to improve things. But it’s up to you to suggest how to get it done: less red tape, more action!”

Final thoughts on returning to Megaport?

With Leticia describing the feeling of returning to Megaport as “a whole lot of excitement,” and “feeling super lucky to be back,” and Elise joining the team because she “wants to be a part of the revolution,” it sounds as though by treading over old ground, these five employees have made the very best decision to keep their careers on track going forwards.  

Want to learn more about the benefits of a career at Megaport?

Visit their employer profile or check out their current job vacancies.

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About the Author

Jacynta Clayton’s career started in recruitment advertising and employer branding, working with global clients to create and deploy strategic and creative content. Now she combines her industry experience with the knowledge from her psychology and professional writing degrees to write unique and resounding stories. As a WORK180 storyteller she relishes the opportunity to elevate the voices and experiences of so many amazing people, while also empowering and educating audiences on how to choose a workplace where they can thrive.

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