An employee life cycle is a journey at which a person is aware of a company, works for them, and then leaves.
What is the Employee Life Cycle?
Everyone engages in different stages of employment at an organization. Also known as the employee life cycle, or ELC, the phases entail when a person becomes aware of a company, to when they work at the business, and to when they leave it. This model was inspired by the customer journey, which details the steps in which a prospect learns about a brand and makes a purchase.
Human resources (HR) and workforce management teams emphasize the importance of mapping the employee life cycle. This is because it enables executives to assess employee engagement throughout their employment stages. With these insights, the business can build its reputation, implement effective retention strategies, and recruit top talent.
The Importance of the Employee Life Cycle
Understanding the employee life cycle will open a door to valuable knowledge for employers. For example, business owners can gain an idea of how daily life is for their staff members and their pain points. They can then restructure policies and business strategies to alleviate these obstacles. In turn, employees will have an enriching environment to work in where they can engage with their teams and be productive.
Managers that have a comprehensive overview of their employee life cycle can also effectively build a loyal and motivated workforce. An ELC will highlight the best company culture in which staff members can thrive. Employers can utilize this to promote innovation, job satisfaction, and retention.
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The 6 Employee Life Cycle Stages
Organization leaders can design and customize their employee life cycle to ensure longevity and success. While some companies will have unique life cycle stages, most ELC phases typically entail attraction, recruitment, onboarding, development, retention, and separation. The following are the 6 stages in detail.
Attracting top talent to a company is the first stage of the employee life cycle. This is the most critical step of an organization's growth because it ensures the business has a solid and talented workforce foundation. Businesses at this stage must present their brand as a great place for people to work. This entails promoting company values and missions, contributing to the community, and taking a stance on social issues. Other ways to attract people to a company include the following.
Raising brand awareness - Companies will hold conferences, attend events, or contribute to magazines to build their brand.
Showcase company culture - Employees will want to work at a company that values a transparent, welcoming, and enriching culture.
Provide competitive salaries and benefits - A competitive compensation will appeal to talented and motivated employees.
After attracting talent, the organization will begin recruiting and hiring staff. Recruitment most commonly occurs when a role is vacant or when the organization establishes a new position. This stage requires a comprehensive description of what the job entails and who would be the best fit. To source the right candidates, hiring managers may often complete the following processes.
Ask for referrals - Existing employees and business leaders in an industry may have insight on who could be a perfect fit for the open role.
Expand recruitment platforms - Hiring managers can utilize different recruitment platforms to find top talents, such as social media, industry events, and conferences.
Be specific - When publishing job listings, managers need to be specific about who they are looking for and what skills are necessary. This will make it easier to find the right person who has experiences that most align with the job.
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At the onboarding stage, organization leaders are making sure that new hires are adjusting and integrating well into the workplace environment. A proper onboarding process will make it easier for new employees to perform their roles quickly and seamlessly. Some onboarding strategies companies should employ include the following.
Communicate goals and responsibilities - Supervisors or managers should recommunicate the goals, responsibilities, and knowledge that the employee will need to utilize to be successful in their new role.
Discuss company values - Employees and organization leaders need to be on the same page in terms of the company's values and vision.
Define expectations - The company needs to ensure the new hire understands expectations that they need to fulfill and why it is important.
Check-in with new hires - Regularly checking in with new hires throughout the onboarding process will allow for quick corrective actions, identification of challenges, and remediation of questions.
At this point, the employee is developing professionally and personally within the company. Organizations should encourage staff members to continue to build their skills and further their career paths with the brand. The development stage oftentimes entails providing external learning, establishing career goals, and rewarding top employees with promotions and leadership roles.
The fifth stage of the employee life cycle entails retaining existing employees. Managers need to make sure staff members are happy, properly challenged, and succeeding in their roles. Maintaining positive and enriching company culture is a critical component for employee retention. Other factors for boosting retention and decreasing employee turnover include the following.
Hire the right person from the start - Hiring an employee that wants to grow with the company will help with retention in the long run.
Ensure proper management - Employees often leave because of poor management. Employers should train their managers to ensure they have the necessary people skills, conflict management, and leadership capabilities.
Communicate - Employees and organization leaders should have transparent communication so that both parties are on the same page at all times.
Ask for employee feedback - Feedback from employees will highlight workplace challenges and morale levels. These insights are useful for creating effective retention strategies.
Separation, which is when employees leave a company, is the final stage of the ELC. Staff members will oftentimes leave due to retirement, new job opportunities, or personal reasons. Whichever it may be, employers need to make sure their exit is fair and seamless. They also need to make sure that the staff member's leaving does not delay the business team. Practices to ensure a smooth separation process include asking for feedback, staying positive, and assisting current teams.
Benefits of Improving the Employee Life Cycle
Optimizing the employee life cycle can provide companies with significant benefits. For example, it gives employers better insight into how they can effectively manage employees. Other advantages include the following.
1. Improved Employee Retention
Part of the employee life cycle focuses on retention and ensuring staff members' job satisfaction is high. Effective ELC strategies ensure robust retention tactics, such as building company culture, providing benefits, and offering growth opportunities. With this, employees will thrive within the company and are less likely to find new employment.
2. Decrease Costs
With better hiring and retention efforts through the employee life cycle, managers can cut down various costs. For instance, successful recruitment will bring down onboarding and training expenses. Since there will be higher retention, companies will also minimize their hiring costs.
3. Boost Productivity
Via the employee life cycle process, employees will have a development-focused workplace environment. Staff members will be more motivated and productive in their work, knowing that they and their skills are valued. Additionally, an ELC ensures that employers are listening to staff needs and that delays to their productivity are quickly removed.
How to Optimize the Employee Life Cycle
Organizations can optimize their employee life cycle to reap its many benefits. To improve the cycle, however, executives need to be diligent and strategize specific techniques. Some proven best practices companies can use for the employee life cycle include the following.
1. Find the Ideal Candidate
A smooth employee life cycle depends on having the ideal talent from the start. With the right candidate, companies can ensure the business will achieve success and innovate accordingly. Typically, to find top talent, recruiters of a company must do target research and sourcing. Creating comprehensive job descriptions will also attract a diverse and qualified applicant pool.
2. Provide Competitive Wages and Growth Opportunities
Employees are more likely to stay with a company that recognizes their potential and compensates them competitively. Otherwise, they will seek another company that will provide them with a salary that matches their standards and skills. Additionally, employees prefer a workplace that offers growth opportunities where they can be promoted or take on new leadership roles.
3. Improve Onboarding
New employees are typically excited and eager to start their new role at a company. Employers need to make sure their first few weeks at their job are memorable and engaging. Feeding off on a new hire's positive energy will make the onboarding process more enjoyable and welcoming. It is also helpful to provide opportunities for mentorship and for team-building to help the new hire acclimate to the environment.
4. Ensure Employee Resources are Available
Ensuring that employee resources are accessible will allow staff members to gain the knowledge they need to be successful in their roles. It also gives current teams a chance to refer back to guides and refocus their vision and goals. Managers should include tools and strategies within their resources so that employees can continue building their skills.
Conclusion for Employee Life Cycle
An employee life cycle is a journey a person goes through when they discover a company, work for it, and then leave.
Understanding the employee life cycle is important for businesses because it provides insight into how a staff member engages with a company throughout their employment.
The 6 stages of the employee life cycle model include attraction, recruitment, onboarding, development, retention, and separation.
Companies can optimize their employee life cycle by providing competitive compensation and improving onboarding processes.
Frequently Asked Questions
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