You might ask in return, "What the heck is off-ramping?" I didn't know either until I read a new report issued by the AICPA Work/Life and Women's Initiatives Executive Committee.

Off-ramping is when a firm member exits the workforce, such as to raise a child or care for a sick, elderly parent. The Guide to Building a Successful Off-Ramping Program explains that many firms are taking a hard look at those who decide to exit the workforce, and looking it an opportunity, rather than a loss. The stated conclusion is, "By facilitating the off-ramping process with guidance and training--and maintaining strong relationships with those who have chosen to off-ramp--firms are successfully tapping them for future employment needs, temporary work, contract work, and other unique opportunities." Six best practices are identified in the report to build loyalty through an off-ramping program. They are supplying technology, offering training, communicating via different channels, providing networking opportunities, making available support circles with other parents and people who have chosen to off-ramp, and facilitating the on-ramping process when people choose to return to work.

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