Employees are the most valuable asset a company has. With the current talent crisis reducing the pool of available workers and the exodus known as the Great Resignation, business growth is at risk. To ensure continuity, organizations must focus on retention and improving the employee lifecycle to accomplish their goals.
Performance management programs are critical to supporting this effort. The ultimate goal is to keep employees engaged and happy, which requires more than just a decent salary and benefits. We don’t always know why our best talent leaves, and we can’t prevent them all from moving on. Still, there are strategies and tools we can apply to improve the situation and create a more sustainable lifecycle for employees at any stage of their journey.
What is Employee Lifecycle Management?
Employee lifecycle management has six distinct stages. Each area can be exploited individually to ensure an employee’s time at the company is positive and fruitful. A holistic and thoughtful lifecycle process results in higher levels of employee satisfaction, increased productivity, and better retention.
Managing each of these stages requires clear goal-setting, repeatable processes, and systems for measuring success. A performance management program delivers on all points, ensuring consistency and continuity while providing the data you need to define success.
Here are the six steps for effective employee lifecycle management, along with insights and tips to guide you through each of them.
Your employee brand, how you attract and communicate with potential candidates matter. The outreach stage is their initial engagement with your organization and will make a lasting impression. It’s your opportunity to build trust and establish the foundations of a mutually beneficial relationship.
A structured hiring process builds on the trust you’ve already formed with the candidate. Build repeatable processes and consider outcomes to see how you can enhance future efforts. Using software to track tasks and activities ensures nothing slips through the cracks, and it also helps you identify areas that need improvement.
The first 100 days on the job are easily the most critical—and the riskiest. It’s here where missteps are most likely to happen. By the end of this period, your new hire will know whether they want to stay at your company or not. Should they decide to go, it could cost the company up to three times the employee’s yearly salary.
To mitigate this potential, your onboarding program needs to provide them with all the tools they need to feel supported and set up for success. While many companies see onboarding as something that takes place in the first couple of weeks after the hire, extending the process to encompass the first 100 days or more ensures the support continues until the new hire is fully comfortable in their role.
Performance reviews (30-60-90 day reviews or new hire assessments), feedback, goal management, and surveys contribute to onboarding success as your hire, their managers, and your HR team will have the data they need to keep the process on track.
Training is undoubtedly part of development. But when we talk about development in the employee lifecycle, it’s more about learning and advancement. Development should be more than just an afterthought—it ought to be a part of your employee lifecycle strategy. Your employees are looking for the next stage in their careers. If you can provide the vehicle that gets them there, rewards will follow.
Development improves retention, boosts employee engagement, and results in long-term benefits for the organization.
Goal management is a vital aspect of performance management and employee development. SMART goals align employee interests with company goals, so you’re effectively encouraging them to explore the possibilities while maintaining a clear path to achieving the results you want.
emPerform simplifies goal-setting, development planning, and career planning, ensuring your entire workforce is aligned to common objectives and that employees always have what they need to succeed.
Employee performance is highly indicative of engagement levels and happiness. But performance is more nuanced than simply tracking one’s ability to do a job. It’s about quality, efficiency, aptitude, attitude, and effectiveness. If you view your employees as an investment, tracking employee performance is about nurturing that investment.
If you ask the right questions and monitor the right metrics, you’ll see that investment grow and flourish. Every aspect of their engagement with your company has value and can be tracked.
Employee performance management software provides you with a centralized tool from which you can manage and track all facets of the employee lifecycle. It is fully configurable to your organizational needs, helping you track what matters most without additional complications.
Offboarding is the final stage in the employee lifecycle. It could come at the end of a long and productive career or as the employee transitions or moves into a new position at another company. These segues are as critical as the initial phases of engagement and should not be treated as a negative.
When employees leave, for whatever reason, you should use it as an opportunity to learn, grow, and improve. The insights you gain at this juncture could be massively valuable, even if the situation with the employee was not ideal.
When employees leave happy, they will continue to sing your praises. They may refer their friends and colleagues or potentially return to work for you again. Maintaining good relationships reduces the potential for reputational damage, lawsuits, and financial loss.
If you view your employee performance system as a cycle rather than a linear process, even closures will inform the way forward. In the effort to achieve continuity throughout the employee lifecycle, EmPerform delivers the data and insights you need to improve processes and enable better decision-making.
Performance Management Begins Before Day One
When employees have clear expectations from the start, they are more likely to give it their all and be 100% engaged in seeing things through. When they can visualize a path to success, receive regular feedback, are aligned with the company’s mission, and have a transparent rewards structure from day one, the benefits resonate throughout the organization.