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. 

  1. Outreach 

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.  

  1. Recruitment 

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. 

  1. Onboarding 

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.  

  1. Development 

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.  

  1. Performance 

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. 

6. Offboarding 

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.  

Get started with emPerform today

The HR press is filled with stories of companies that are abandoning their traditional Performance Management processes. But are we throwing the baby out with the bath water? Don’t Ditch that Performance Review – Reclaim it!

Join CRG emPerform and Edie Goldberg, Ph.D., principal of E.L. Goldberg & Associates, for this informative free on-demand webinar where you will learn which assumptions of traditional performance management need a modern day twist to help them be relevant again and what you can do to reclaim the process you rely on so heavily.

In this webinar you will learn:

  1. What traditional performance management assumptions are no longer relevant to a modern workplace.
  2. How you can replace traditional processes with new approaches that will help your organization thrive.
  3. 5 key areas of the performance appraisal to revamp.
  4. How today’s technology can go beyond automating a bad process to enabling a more dynamic process.

This webinar has passed. You can access the on-demand video here.

If you have any questions about this webinar or about emPerform, please contact us 1.877.711.0367

About emPerform: emPerform is trusted by organizations around the world to automate and streamline performance management, engage employees in ongoing performance dialogue, and align, develop, reward, and retain a modern workforce. Our award-winning software is easy-to-use and offers a complete suite of flexible talent management functionality: online appraisals, 360° reviews, succession, compensation management, reporting, surveys, social feedback + more. Learn more.

Driving Employee Performance through Year-Round Painless Performance Conversationsmarni webinar
Date: Wed, June 18th, 2014
Time: 1:00 PM EDT

Conversations transform organizations and entire organizations suffer when leaders fail to have continuous conversations that drive performance improvement.

Join us for this practical and interactive webinar that will offer real-life, tangible solutions and tools leaders need to tackle critical workplace discussions with confidence.

marni green Based on her new book, Painless Performance Conversations:
A Practical Approach to Critical Day-to-Day Workplace Discussions, author Marnie E. Green will give us a step-by-step, “here’s what to say” solution to tackling your toughest performance discussions and how to keep them going year-round. Through this session you’ll receive actionable tools you can apply immediately to transform your organization into one that is performance-driven and results-focused.

All attendees will be entered into a live draw for 5 copies of Marnie’s new book!

We hope you can join us for this exciting event!

Year-Round Performance Feedback at Your Fingertips:

Looking to give managers and employees the tools they need to engage in year-round performance conversations? Get started with a free trial of emPerform’s award-winning performance management software; including ‘tag’ for real-time feedback.

This webinar has passed and is available for viewing here: https://employee-performance.com/painless-performance-conversations.html

approved_forThis webinar has been approved for 1.0 HR General recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR, and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute. The use of this seal is not an endorsement by the HR Certification Institute of the quality of the program. It means that this program has met the HR Certification Institute’s criteria to be pre-approved for re certification credit.

successionSuccession planning is one of the most important elements of an effective staffing strategy, especially for managers and employers in the driver’s seat of smaller companies and start-ups. With a clear workforce deployment plan in place, employers and managers always know exactly how to proceed when a position becomes vacant. Employees who are ready to advance have already been distinguished from those who haven’t yet attained the necessary skills, and as soon as a position opens up, the right in-house candidate is ready to step in. If no in-house candidates are ready then the external hiring process can begin, but with strong succession planning in place, no qualified internal candidates go overlooked or unrecognized. Read More

exclamation mark

Upcoming Webinar: The Top 10 Talent Management Mistakes (and how to avoid them).

Date: Wednesday, Sept 19, 2012
Time: 1:00PM EDT – 2:00PM EDT

Click here to Register.

As companies invest more time and resources in talent management they expect meaningful returns on that investment. Yet surveys of executives and talent management leaders find that the fundamental processes for growing and managing leaders aren’t delivering their promised results.

marc effronWe know that talent management practices work if they’re implemented, so what’s getting in the way?

Join Marc Effron, author of One Page Talent Management and a leading voice in human resources effectiveness, to learn what isn’t working in talent management and how to fix it. Marc will offer practical solutions that you can quickly implement in your organization

What You Will Learn:

  • Top 10 reasons why talent management practices fail in many organizations.
  • Things that you can do to immediately increase the effectiveness of your company’s talent practices.
  • The skills needed to create effective talent management practitioners.

Event Details:
Date: Wednesday, Sept 19th, 2012
Time: 1PM EDT – 2PM EDT


*Registration for this webinar is on the HR.com website. If you are already a member of HR.com, please login to register for the webcast. If you are not a member of HR.com, you will need to sign up for a FREE HR.com membership before registering.

This webinar has passed and is available for viewing here: https://employee-performance.com/top-10-mistakes-in-talent-management

By: Natalie Trudel

Author Malcolm Gladwell recently spoke at the 2012 SHRM Conference and Expo. I have been a big fan of his for years and his visit prompted me to dust off ‘The Tipping Point’ and give it a second read.

The part of the book that stands out the most in my mind is the section dealing with The Rule of 150 in a business context. (For those unfamiliar, The Rule of 150 was coined by British Anthropologist, Robin Dunbar, and is defined as the “suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships and thus numbers larger than this generally require more restrictive rules, laws, and enforced norms to maintain a stable, cohesive group”). The theory is that when companies grow to over 150 employees, cohesion between business units breaks down, hierarchy hinders communication, and company goals become diluted.  An example of this is Gore Associates, a high-tech company worth millions that operates under this rule by never allowing any one building to contain more than 150 people. The results so far suggest that because of this philosophy, Gore Associates is a well-oiled performance machine.

business growthBut what about the multitude of organizations who HAVE grown past, or aspire to grow beyond the 150 employee mark? It isn’t feasible for all companies to take a cue from Gore Associates and start sub-dividing into smaller units of 150. I do agree that things are much easier below that magic number but that isn’t to say that cohesion is an impossible feat after that point. There are plenty of organizations that have avoided chaos and successfully grown way past 150 – the question is how do larger companies do that successfully and how can larger organizations re-align to reap the benefits of a close-knit group?

To help tackle this question, I am going to suggest that companies everywhere Read More

You make the most of every one of your investments, right? You value efficiency, you optimize your resources, and if an expensive strategy isn’t working according to plan, you trim your losses and make a change. As a business manager, the more experience you gain, the more likely you are to invest only in what works and avoid what doesn’t. But are you taking the same approach to your HR strategies? Are you making sure your talent management program is on track, efficient, and moving you closer to your goals? In the cutthroat business landscape where the economy takes no prisoners, leaders everywhere are realizing that they can hold a significant advantage if their talent pool is working at optimal levels and producing business results. Read More

Difficult Conversations With New HiresYou and your fellow managers are excited about your new hire. You managed to scoop her up just as she became available, frustrating countless competitors. And while you made the most generous offer you could afford, you were still relieved when she accepted. She won over her coworkers on her first day, and by the end of the week she was already attracting the attention of upper management.

But at this point, a few months have gone by and things have changed. Review time is just around the corner and it looks like you’ll have to prepare for a difficult conversation. While she’s clearly brilliant, the new employee doesn’t seem very motivated to impress you. She shows up late, is often distracted, and sometimes doesn’t contribute much during meetings.

What will this mean for her review? How can you use the review session to start getting more out of this potentially valuable asset? Here are few things to take into consideration when planning a difficult conversation with a new hire.


Reviewing a Talented But Unhappy Employee

1. Ask her directly if she’s having any specific problems. If she accepted the salary offer in haste and is now repenting at leisure, find out. If she’s not getting the resources and support she needs, you should know. Make sure your questions sound supportive, not accusatory.

2. Tell her exactly how you feel about her performance, but be diplomatic. And be clear about what you expected when you took her on. She should know that you’re still looking for way to make the relationship work.

3. At the same time, make it clear that her productivity will need to change. And start keeping meticulous records on all of her performance metrics, since these records may be required in the event of a dispute. Talent management software suites, like emPerform, can help you track performance across a wide range of metrics and time frames.


If you’re an experienced HR pro, you know how review season typically begins. You start nudging your managers to launch the review process. Your managers, in turn, start nudging their staff to complete self-evaluations. And for a few days, eye contact is dodgy and the air is filled with tense jokes. Then review sessions take place amid an atmosphere of shared embarrassment and everybody walks away from the process with a sigh of relief. Another year is in the bag. Perceptions of performance, good or bad, have been laid bare. Goals have been established, and a new cycle begins. Those who need to work harder have been counseled, and those who are doing well have been praised. Done and done.

But what happens when you don’t get Read More

21 Signs You Need emPerformWhat are you using for appraisals and performance management? Paper? Spreadsheets? Fax? A tediously formatted document that employees and managers don’t want to use? A makeshift in-house system designed by your IT department as an attempt to solve your appraisal nightmares? Nothing at all? Any of these answers wouldn’t surprise us.

Our close contact with HR professionals gives us access to plenty of horror stories. And too many of these stories are about outdated (pre-emPerform!) management strategies for appraisals and overall performance documents.

We admit we’ve seen some pretty crafty solutions, including meticulously formatted spreadsheet forms with umpteen versions floating around and some very ‘attractive’ and buggy intranet-based IT web forms. Over and over again, we see a focus on executing the process and very little time and focus left over for strategic performance management tasks and analysis. So what are some key indicators that it’s time to ditch your current processes and modernize?


21 Signs You Need emPerform


1. You answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions asked in the first paragraph.

2. You have to sort through mounds of file folders to find old appraisals (or even current ones).

3. Employees are using physical journals for documenting performance milestones or more likely – are not using anything!

4. Managers avoid you in the hall because they know you’re going to remind them once again to get their evaluations done.

5. You have different rating scales being used on different appraisals and then are forced to try to compare results.

6. Your company spends loads of time establishing strategic goals and for some reason, nothing is being translated into employee action.

7. You have no idea who the company stars are and definitely have no way of proving low-performance.

8. Your HR staff and department managers are experiencing communication and data sharing problems.

9. Your current system offers no cross-referencing capability.

10. Your current data just isn’t useful for any type of decision making.

11. Top management is demanding your voice in company decision making and your recommendations and insight into the current performance health of the company.

12. Employees and managers dread appraisals because the task seems tedious and not very valuable.

13. You have no way of using accurate performance metrics as a basis for fair and consistent compensation decisions and neither do managers.

14. Other than their own memory or some post-it notes, managers have no tools for employee goal management, monitoring, feedback assistance, journaling, competency management, or development planning.

15. Your company’s workforce is becoming larger and more spread out geographically, making it difficult to keep appraisals consistent and have them submitted on time.

16. Your competitors have been using an automated performance management system and are dashing ahead.

17. You know you want to start using 360 reviews for performance assessments but you just don’t have the right tools.

18. Having vacant leadership positions is costing your company far too much time and money.

19. You have a hunch that employee engagement is in the red but have no way of proving it.

20. You looked around for software to automate performance management but couldn’t find anything that was fully customizable to your workflows and content, allowed for hosted OR on-premise deployment, was easy-to-use and completely web-based, and had a price that didn’t make you gulp.

21. You want to automate the process of gathering data so that you can focus on analyzing and acting on it.


If you related to any of the points above, it’s time to get emPerform. We know…we get it…and we can help.


Get started with a free trial and we’ll work with you to get you started quickly and at a price that will have you regretting not updating your processes sooner.