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Extend Your Employee Life Cycle in All 6 Phases

When you hear the term “life cycle,” you probably think of biology before you think of human resources. Did you know that your talent pool has a life cycle, too? Lucky for you, you don’t need a biology book to learn what the employee life cycle is and how you can apply it to your organization’s workforce.

Employee Life Cycle

The term employee life cycle refers to the person’s tenure with an organization, from start to finish. There are six major stages: Attraction, Recruitment, Onboarding, Development, Retention, and Separation. The first three stages are primarily centered around new talent, and are functions most commonly associated with traditional human resources. The last three stages are often associated with established, more veteran employees, and are usually overseen jointly by HR and someone in a supervisory role.

Let’s take a closer look at each stage of the employee life cycle below.

1. Attraction

Far from the days of placing a help wanted ad in the local newspaper, talent attraction today can include a variety of modern and traditional methods, including company website pages, community outreach programs and social media. If you’re looking to attract talent, ask yourself how best to engage your target audience. Don’t forget to leverage cost-effective options like referrals from existing employees.

2. Recruitment

Once you’ve started attracting candidates for a new opportunity with your organization, you will need to sell them on why your workplace is exceptional. What’s in it for them? How are you different from your competitors? The recruitment phase of the employee life cycle includes selling your candidates on why they should join you.

3. Onboarding

You may want to breathe a sigh of relief once a candidate has accepted an offer of employment and shows up on their first day, but the hard work isn’t over yet. If you want your new hires to stay and reach or exceed performance expectations, you need to have a continue showing them why your workplace is a great place to be. During this phase, you also need to outline your expectations and performance incentives. While orientation may only last a day or so, onboarding in a long game. Your new hire will still be training and learning as part of their onboarding process. Make sure to follow up with them periodically over the first few months (and up to a year, if necessary) to ensure they feel confident in their ability to achieve goals and solicit their feedback on knowledge gaps so you can share this information with future new hires.

4. Development

Now that you have your new-hire superstar, how are you going to nurture them so that they grow their skill set and aligning their work satisfaction with the company’s success? For one, let them see that they can grow in your company, and give them the tools and training they need to succeed themselves. Have a conversation with your employee about career paths within your organization and offer suggestions for advancing their career. Consider partnering them with an experienced colleague who can serve as a peer mentor and help them to navigate your organization’s culture and procedures while they get comfortable.

5. Retention

This is the stage where most organizations find significant room for improvement. After your employee has mastered their current role, it’s up to you to keep them engaged so they don’t leave for a new outside opportunity. The culture at your organization can be heavily influenced by retention strategy, so keep in mind your employees long-term goals. Ask your seasoned employees what makes them satisfied enough about their jobs to stay, and listen to their feedback.

6. Separation

Whether voluntary or involuntary, employees eventually leave an organization. Some reasons are common and predictable, such as retirement or termination for poor performance. Others can leave you feeling blindsided, like being wooed away by the competition. Do you conduct exit interviews, or look for common reasons why your employees are leaving? Don’t underestimate the value of examining this critical stage of your employee life cycle.

Extend Your Employee Life Cycle

Now that we’ve reviewed the six major stages of the employee life cycle, you may be wondering how you can apply this knowledge to your organization. Start by mapping out your current talent management strategy; make note of where most of your resources are being directed and whether you’re seeing a ROI in those areas. Are the individual career goals of your employees aligning with long-term organizational goals? Are there any stages of the life cycle at your company that are helping or hurting the employee’s development and performance?

For strategic guidance in maximizing your employee life cycle, you can turn to the RAI Resources’ team of experts. We offer HR consulting services. We partner with organizations both big and small, and we can help you to identify key areas for improvement, and the KPIs to gauge what is working, and what is not. Contact us today to find out more.