Employee Life Cycle

What is the Employee Life Cycle & Why Does it Matter?

4 min read
Lynsey May Sutherland
Lynsey Sutherland

If you haven’t spent time thinking about employee life cycles, you might be missing a trick. Every employee who works for your company has their own life cycle – and how you manage the various stages can make a huge difference to the experiences you share. 

What is the employee life cycle?

The employee life cycle describes the various stages of the relationship between an employee and an organisation. Like employee experience, it can start before an individual even decides to apply for a job with you and continues long after they have left. 

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There are seven basic stages:

  • Attraction – this will be the first impression a potential employee has of your company. It can include everything from the job advert to information they can find out about the organisation online through review sites, website and social media channels.
  • Recruitment – from the interview to follow-up emails and questions, this is a time when ideas about an organisation will start to solidify. 
  • Onboarding – the onboarding process is crucial when it comes to helping an employee settle in and create a positive relationship with your company. 
  • Retention – once an employee is fully integrated, it’s time to start thinking about engagement and the factors that will ensure a good working experience for them. 
  • Development – employee development is a critical stage and hopefully one of the longest in any cycle. Helping people grow and change leads to higher satisfaction and expanded skill sets. 
  • Offboarding – the offboarding experience is also important as it can leave the door open for future collaboration or even return when handled well. 
  • Post-employment – how an employee feels about your organisation after leaving will colour how they discuss their experiences and whether they will recommend you as a place to work. 

Why is the employee life cycle important to get right?

Getting the employee life cycle right is important because each stage offers opportunities to strengthen or weaken a relationship. Familiarising yourself with the cycle’s various stages allows you to evaluate and improve employee experiences in a meaningful way.

How an employee feels about the place they work can have a massive impact on everything from their productivity to their mental health, so it’s something you want to be thinking about. If you’re among the 68% of senior HR leaders or the huge number of leaders rating wellbeing as a top priority, a life cycle strategy can help you achieve your goals. 

The benefits of implementing an employee life cycle strategy

Not sure how implementing a strategy really benefit your business? Here are just a few of the major impacts it can have.

Lower turnover

Higher retention levels is one of the biggest bonuses to investing in a life cycle strategy. 

The model offers an easy way to look for improvements in recruitment and retention and can let you identify any common drop-off points. Are you losing people before they’ve even had a chance to bed in? Do people tend to hand in their notice when they’ve been 12 months or less?

Identifying the various stages means you will be better positioned to spot the areas needing the most improvement and adjust accordingly. You may also benefit from the return of previous workers, letting you enjoy all the benefits of boomerang employees. With one in four employees regretting leaving a role during the ‘great resignation’, now is the time to consider the potential of welcoming employees back. 

Increased engagement 

Focusing on employee experience throughout the life cycle will likely drive and improve employee engagement. High engagement levels are essential if you want your company to thrive, but they aren’t always easy to achieve – especially if you’re not giving employees what they need. 

Paying attention to where an employee is in their cycle means matching your provisions with what they’re looking for is much easier. For example, there’s no point going too heavily into setting goals when someone is only just getting to grips with the onboarding process. 

Better skilled employees

One of the biggest strengths of a life cycle strategy is the opportunities it opens up for improving staff training and development. By keeping the cycle in mind, you’ll be in a better position to anticipate requirements and offer employees the kind of training or employee development opportunities that suit their objectives and ambitions. 

This allows you to develop a highly skilled workforce and boosts employee motivation and satisfaction exponentially. It can also help you hang on to the talent you already have. According to Just Eat, a quarter of office workers said that if they felt stalled in their current job, they’d leave to seek development opportunities elsewhere. 

Improved company culture and reputation

The better your employees’ life cycle, the better your reputation is likely to be. A good reputation not only makes the recruitment stage easier, but it can also influence the kind of organisations you can collaborate with or even which customers want to connect with you. 

If you’re willing to analyse the model and use the data you receive to improve your own processes, your organisation will inevitably change for the better.

Those high levels of satisfaction will positively impact company culture, making you a more desirable workplace and creating an atmosphere that makes it easier for everyone to thrive. 

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Mo is an employee recognition and engagement platform that can help leaders improve collaboration and morale, reduce employee churn and drive change. 

Our platform creates a vibrant culture by developing team habits, encouraging people to celebrate success, recognise results and appreciate colleagues.

Your complete toolkit for connecting and motivating teams in the new world of work. Book a demo with our team today!

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