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6 Stages of The Employee Life Cycle

6 Stages of The Employee Life Cycle

The Employee Life Cycle Model maintains that all employees pass through six individual life cycle stages during their employment.

The Employee Life Cycle Model maintains that all employees pass through six individual life cycle stages during their employment.

Each stage of the employee life cycle exerts a heightened responsibility upon managers and HR professionals. It is their job to adequately nurture employees throughout all stages of the employee journey.

What is the Employee Life Cycle?

The employee life cycle can also be referred to as the ‘HR life cycle’, or ‘HR cycle’. This process operates under the pretence that employee satisfaction should be held in equally high regard as customer satisfaction.

Companies that fail to acknowledge this find themselves with high employee turnover rates and lack-lustre engagement.

A different engagement strategy must be employed for each stage of the cycle. As corporations grow, it can be different to maintain an impetus for employee satisfaction.

The 6 Employee Lifecycle Stages

  1. Attraction
  2. Recruitment
  3. Onboarding
  4. Development
  5. Retention
  6. Separation

Why Is The Employee Lifecycle Important?

Placing onus upon all stages of the employee life cycle helps your company to connect with top industry professionals, optimise their performance and retain them for as long as possible.

Retaining top employees reduces employee turnover which can be an expensive and time-costly process. Furthermore, existing and departing employees act as valuable company ambassadors. This can help acquire better talent in future recruitment. 

What Are the 6 Stages of the Employee Lifecycle?

Viewing each employee's journey in the following six stages ensures that attention is distributed equally from the first stage to the last. This inevitably results in reduced absenteeism, longer employment and the retention of top-performing talent.

1. Attraction

The attraction phase is continuously evolving. It doesn’t simply occur when you are on the hunt for a new employee. How your employees, your stakeholders, and the general public perceive your company is crucial to the attraction phase. 

These perspectives directly impact your companies ability to acquire and retain talent. A great example of a company with a fantastic employer brand is Scribe Media. Scribe Media was rated #1 Company Culture in America by Entrepreneur Magazine.

Tips for Building Employee Attraction

  • Raise brand awareness: Have managers speak at and attend seminars. Become a sponsor of websites, events, blogs, magazines, etc.
  • Develop outstanding company culture: Your employees are the most important promoters and ambassadors for your company. Social media is a great way to advertise your great culture.
  • Offer benefits and compensations: Simple gestures go a long way. Offer to pay travel expenses, offer discounts, or rewards schemes. Celebrate birthdays and offer paid days off once in a while.

2. Recruitment

The recruitment phase reaps the benefits from improved attraction and employer branding. A stronger brand image helps employers to acquire hot new talent. Employers should take great care in the acquisition of new employees as this process can affect the company image if executed poorly.

A new position might become available because of a recent departure or a new role becoming available. The recruitment process should follow a well-defined workflow and include measurable KPIs to improve results over time.

Tips for Improving the Recruitment Process

  • Request referrals from your employees: This makes existing employees feel included in the hiring process. You can involve your employees further by asking them to review applications. After all, they know what’s important for that role.
  • Procure Passive Candidates: Don’t stick to the same old recruitment site every time. Find where potential talents might hang out online. This could be social media groups or online communities. 
  • Write specific job descriptions: This saves time for applying candidates and your recruitment team. More specific job posting reduces time spent filtering through ill-fitting candidates.

3. Onboarding

Once the recruitment stage is complete and you have selected the top candidate, the new employee has moved into the third phase of their life cycle - onboarding.

This stage is critical on several accounts. Firstly, it’s your opportunity to deliver a great first impression on the new hire. Secondly, employers should take this chance to implant the company culture and goals onto the new employee. Thirdly, the new hire must understand exactly how their role contributes to the success of the business.

Do these three things and you’re well on your way towards a successful onboarding process.

Tips for Successful Onboarding

  • Convey company values: Express the company vision. How does their position directly contribute to this goal?
  • Integrate new hires with existing employees: Feeling isolated in the first few days of the job is a top contributor to early separation. Organise group lunch breaks or assign a mentor. Consider team-building exercises or company retreats. 
  • Conduct regular follow-ups: Many employees feel disconnected from management. Conduct regular meetings, even if it's merely a casual catch-up.
  • Automate onboarding workflows: The best way to optimise onboarding processes is to automate the workflow. This enables a business to continuously improve upon the process.

4. Development

Once a new hire is on board, they should continue to receive personalised attention. Companies that wish to retain their best employees and develop new ones should offer professional development to their team regularly.

This might involve allocated a budget to the HR team to organise attendance to workshops and seminars. Alternatively, employees can be given a budget to dictate personal development. 

Offering opportunities for your team to develop Improves engagement and boosts efficiency. Your team will also become more flexible, reducing the chance of pitfalls because of illness or absence.

Tips for Improving Developmental Stage

  • Regularly assess knowledge and skills: Conduct employee pulse surveys and conduct regular meetings with employees to determine their skillsets. This enables employers to allocate tasks more effectively.
  • Encourage employees to learn in their own time: Pinpoints your most engaged employees. Make sure to reward employees when they do this.

5. Retention

By the time an employee has reached stage five of their life cycle, the company has already invested thousands into this person. Employee retention is perhaps one of the most crucial steps of the employee life cycle.

It’s every boss’ dream to keep their top employees. Fully engaged employees are highly valued, but keeping these employees happy and challenged isn’t easy.

Poor company culture is the catalyst that sparks the separation of much-loved employees. A departing employee leads to extravagant replacement costs.

Tips for Improved Employee Retention

  • Openly communicate your organisational mission: Team must be united and motivated towards a shared goal. Communicate regularly, help them understand where they belong within the company.
  • Conduct regular pulse surveys: Regular surveys are a useful technique for keeping tabs on overall employee performance and morale. Graphic Rating Scales are a quick and easy way to get started.
  • Take extra care during recruitment: The recruitment phase is a perfect opportunity to establish who is the right fit for your company. Look beyond credentials - do they share similar ethics to the rest of the company?

6. Separation

Inevitably, the time comes for most employees to move on. Even if you’ve done everything right until now, sometimes the unforeseen circumstances occur and there’s nothing you can do about it. There are many reasons why an employee might leave your company. This can be a frustrating and even upsetting time for employers.

Unfortunately, this is where many managers and HR teams fall. The separation process should be treated with the same magnitude as the onboarding process. After all, employees who are leaving will go on to become influential brand ambassadors.

Tips for Smooth Employee Separation

  • Gather honest feedback: The departure of a valued employee may be sad, but it shouldn’t become a missed opportunity to learn what it’s truly like to work for your organisation.
  • Maintain a positive outlook: Communicate with your existing employees, reassure them that the business will continue to function effectively. Try to alter their perspective or boost team morale with a fun event.

Automate Workflows for Each Stage of the Employee Life Cycle

Now that we fully understand the importance of the 6 stages employees go through during employment, it’s time to implement well-defined workflows for consistent results.

With AhoyTeam, you can create customisable workflows for every stage of the employee life cycle. Set up workflows for repeatable business processes such as onboarding, development and separation.

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