Just like birds, bees, and every other living organism on the planet, employees undergo a lifecycle. And as a manager, it’s your job to develop an in-depth understanding of each ‘stage’ they experience. From welcoming fresh new recruits to receiving letters of resignation, you should be actively monitoring and enriching every stage of the journey, from start to finish.
Get it right, and you’ll be able to nurture your employees as they evolve from cautious newbies into fully winged, highly productive members of the team.
All businesses are different, which means your employees will experience their own unique lifecycles. Perfection is unrealistic, but what you can do is actively improve your strategies as you learn and grow. Ultimately, a tactical approach will heighten productivity, increase employee satisfaction and bolster your bottom line.
So, what employee lifecycle workflows should be on your radar?
It all starts with recruitment, which is usually instigated by the employer. Employees are the bread and butter of any business, and it’s important to realise that success all starts with hiring the right people for the job. This means you should have a strategic recruiting process in place that aims to attract the crème de la crème of the talent pool. Start with an informative, well written job advertisement. First impressions count, which means high calibre ads attract high calibre applicants. Make sure your job description offers a comprehensive overview of roles and responsibilities, so your employee knows what they’re committing to. Offer a brief overview of company values, and try to paint a picture of what the business stands for. This will help candidates connect with the role, and see it as more than just another application. Don’t be shy about using colloquial language or getting a little chatty, as this brings an upbeat, personal touch to the table. Be professional, but at the end of the day make sure your ad reflects your business’s personality.
It enters the mix early, but onboarding is quite possibly the most important of all lifecycle workflows. Basically, it describes the process of integrating a new employee into an organisation. This includes getting them up to speed with their role, as well as versing them in workplace culture, norms and expectations. And no, it’s not as simple as handing them a job description and letting them get on with it.
From global giants like Google and Amazon to high street retailers, national healthcare operators, fast food franchises, and small family run businesses, onboarding is all-important. In fact, it’s so important that the Aberdeen Group recently revealed that 86% of new hires make the decision to stay or leave within their first six months. First impressions count, and onboarding is your chance to make a positive mark.
One of the easiest and most meaningful ways to kick-off your onboarding process is with a new employee announcement. Stuck for inspiration? Check out our latest write-up featuring eight exciting ways to introduce your newbie. Then get stuck into building a Forbes worthy onboarding process that’s designed to educate, immerse and support. Our ‘8 Things Every Great Employee Onboarding Experience Includes’ is a great place to start, covering everything you need to build a ‘best in class’ experience.
Once your employee has found their footing, they’ll immediately start to flirt with the idea of career development. You’ll need to set sparks flying with opportunities that keep them motivated and inspired. Career development is especially important for millennials, as they’re notorious for their ‘instant gratification’ mindset. This means they’ll probably be keen to climb the corporate ladder, ASAP.
Whether it’s training up a new supervisor or offering a six-figure salary promotion, career development strategies are an important part of keeping top talent engaged. The best way to start is by discussing career goals and opportunities during the initial interview process, as this will ensure that the applicant’s goals are realistic and well-aligned with those of the company.
Performance reviews and recognition
Throughout your employee’s lifecycle you should continually be reviewing performance and offering constructive feedback. Not only does this provide an incentive to perform, but it also rewards them with a sense of accomplishment when they hit goals and targets. Even for low calibre employees, performance reviews provide structure, feedback, and an all-important awareness that their efforts are being monitored, and appreciated.
When an employee does perform, don’t hold back on congratulating them for their efforts. Remember, employees thrive on positive reinforcement which means recognition should always make an appearance in an employee’s lifecycle workflow experience.
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the idea that employees are simply labour vessels. This is an incredibly destructive attitude to take, as employees can provide invaluable insight into the company experience. At various different stages of an employee’s lifecycle workflow, take the time to actively source feedback. Ask them how they felt during their onboarding experience, and if they have any suggestions or improvements.
Issue anonymous surveys to get a better idea of what employees really think, and use responses to improve stages of the employee lifecycle that are lacklustre. At the very least, sourcing feedback shows employees that you care about their input. This reinforces the idea that they’re part of a team, and helps to build a strong workplace culture.
At some point, every employee lifecycle comes to an end. Whether its triggered by retirement, a new opportunity, personal issues or any other reason, offboarding is an important part of the final farewell. In fact, it should be just as strategic as your onboarding process. Before the employee departs, you should actively source feedback on their overall experience. Ask them to review the company, its managers, and any other aspects they’d like to highlight. Positive or negative, take them all to heart. And most importantly, dig deep into why they’re leaving. Some reasons are simple, like retirement and changing circumstances. Others can be far more enlightening, like issues with management, lack of opportunity and an ongoing sense of disengagement.
Managing employee lifecycle workflows
Managing employee lifecycle workflows from start to finish can be a little overwhelming. In some cases, lifecycles can span for years, if not decades. This is where Ento ups the game. As a purpose-built workforce management solution, Ento empowers businesses with a holistic suite of HR, WFM and engagement tools. The unified software platform actively works to streamline employee lifecycle workflows, and give you everything you need to support staff as they morph from newbies to prodigies.
This includes beautiful paperless onboarding, designed to spark outstanding first impressions. Plain and simple, it puts your people first which means that new hires enjoy a dazzling start to their lifecycle workflow.
Want to know more? Request a free demo today, and find out more about how Ento can help your business efficiently manage and enhance employee lifecycle workflows, from first impressions to the final farewell.