The world is a complex one. But in this complexity, there are rules to everything. There are processes, and there are patterns. It is what makes us humans. I spend enough of my free time watching the animal channel to have learned that everything created here on Earth has a life cycle that it must go through. This realization made me start to think about the employee life cycle within an organization. If employers and leaders had a thorough understanding of the employee life cycle, they would take a different approach to retaining top talent.
From the company’s perspective, the employee life cycle may look like this:
1. Attract: In this stage, the company is all about preparing to recruit people to hold specific positions. This is the stage where advertisements are made and the search begins.
2. Recruit: In this stage, the company is all about finding the right person to fit into a position. Here, mistakes need not be made, else it will affect the company negatively.
3. Onboard: This stage is all about immersing the newly recruited employees into the company, which helps for retention too. It is more than just giving them office space and tools to work with. It is a stage where the employees are made to know what is expected of them as workers in the company.
4. Develop: This is where the real work starts. This is where many companies fail to deliver and most employees are left trying to figure out how to develop themselves so they can remain effective.
5. Retain: This stage is critical, as it is the climax of the life cycle in every organization and determines how a company will turn out. In this regard, every company needs to encourage openness between employees and management. This stage’s success depends on how well you carried out steps one through four.
6. Offboard: This is the final stage of the cycle where an employee leaves or exits the organization. Employees leave for various reasons, which may be that they found a better job, retired or were subject to retrenchment. Whichever one it is, both the employee and the organization need to handle it perfectly.
The employee life cycle model should work in a way that an organization builds the employee experience very carefully — as carefully as it would build its customer relationship. The sad truth I see, however, is that people are not being developed according to their personal and professional interests.
The Life Cycle From An Employee’s Perspective
From an employee’s perspective, the life cycle is a bit different. For starters, employees have plans for themselves before working in any organization. It may not be the same for everyone, but most people have dreams and aspirations, plans to make themselves bigger and expand their horizons while working as employees. These plans, dreams and aspirations make up an individual’s life cycle. It determines their next necessary step in life.
That personal growth is key to retaining your talent. I remember starting out as a recruiting assistant in HR and immediately starting to dream about becoming a recruiting manager. Then when the company fulfilled that dream, I started to dream about becoming a director. When I realized this wasn’t going to happen for me at my current company, I had to make a decision to go after my dream elsewhere.
What organizations need to realize is that everyone in the company has set personal goals for themselves. Your company serves as a stepping stone toward the accomplishment of those goals. People will be motivated to stay if they see the organization as a means to reaching their goals.
If you create an employee experience, the employee life cycle in your organization will be extended.
Do understand it is inevitable that people will come and go. During the recruitment stage, spend some time learning about the candidate’s personal goals. They should be in line with the company’s mission.
Develop your employee-employer experience (EEE Method, or Three E’s). This method will define the personality of your organization.
Finally, focus on creating an unforgettable employee experience. If you deliver the right experience, the talent will be retained.
As a corporate life coach, I spend a lot of time with organizations. In the companies that are thriving from a financial and people perspective, I’ve noticed their employees are enjoying the work that they are doing. Just like any relationship, you want to focus on the purpose of the union and how to make it as rewarding as possible for the time you have together.