Every employee interacts with your organisation on a cyclical basis. From the time they’re looking for a new employer to when they become an employee to their exit. Or as some say, from hire to inspire to retire.
Referred to as the employee lifecycle or cradle to grave HR, this is a strategic approach to people management that aims to connect employees more closely with their employer.
Whether your tactics need a refresh, or you’re looking for a wide-reaching strategic overhaul, consider applying a cradle to grave approach.
From Cradle to Grave - The Complete Picture
To provide complete care for your employees and your organisation, you need to have a clear picture of every stage of the employer-employee relationship. Here’s what this looks like in more detail:
1. Attraction - before an employee even applies they develop an opinion about your company. This can be influenced via your employer value proposition which communicates what your organisation is all about. Candidates are also influenced by friends, family, press reports, corporate social responsibility and reputation. If you use a recruitment agency, you need to ensure they represent your business appropriately. HR’s job (or your recruiter’s) is to get candidates to think: “this is a great organisation - I want to work there!”
2. Recruitment - from job description and advert to compensation and benefits to interview and offer and rejection letter, different aspects of the HR function combine to create the perfect recruitment experience. If you’re using a recruitment agency, they’ll support you with many of these elements. At this stage, HR needs to make potential employees feel special and wanted.
3. Onboarding - managers, peers, training and technology all need to come together to create a smooth transition into the organisation. This should be an experience that leaves new employees feeling your organisation is happy to have them. Again, your recruiting partner can support with elements at this stage but good communication is required for a seamless introduction.
4. Development - keeps employees up to date with everything they need to know through a combination of formal and on-the-job training. This can also include schemes like apprenticeships and graduate programmes as well as mandatory training. HR’s aim is to ensure staff feel that they’re learning, growing and making a difference.
5. Retention - recognising employees’ efforts through bonuses, pay increases, recognition and promotion are all key to keeping people happy, engaged, motivated and willing to stay. Career paths and development also play a large part so compensation and benefits and learning and development need to align. If your people feel that they matter to your company, you’re doing this right.
6. Separation - whether an employee decides to leave, is fired, made redundant or they retire, you need to have an exit process. Understanding the reasons for people leaving will help to improve your HR and management processes and keep turnover at the right level for your organisation. Exit interviews are a useful tool at this stage of the life cycle to understand undesirable exits. Do this stage well and your people might want to come back and work for you in the future. And they’ll also have good things to say about your organisation which will feed into the very first stage of this cycle.
For the life cycle to work effectively, interdependencies and employee touch points must be fully understood and supported. For businesses that get this right there’s a rich reward: talented, engaged employees who are committed to driving sustained results and competitive advantage.
So what does HR need to do to bring a cradle to grave strategy to life?
Collaborate. Communicate. Engage.
Implementing this kind of strategy relies on HR teams to stop functioning in silos or working in disjointed ways. It requires an honest evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses within the HR team. And it might mean a re-organisation of structures, roles or communications so each area works more closely together instead of competing for budget or influence.
To understand how to achieve this follow these steps:
1. Outline the desired outcomes for the company and employees at each stage of the life cycle
2. Identify gaps between the current experience and the experience that would drive the desired outcomes in terms of what people do and how they do it
3. Identify touch points where different areas of HR should work together. This might mean:
a. Internal communications working closely with recruitment to ensure job adverts align to the employer value proposition
b. Compensation and benefits working with recruitment to ensure jobs are benchmarked correctly and advertised with the right package
c. Learning and development collaborating with HR business partners to ensure changes to the career paths are rolled out effectively to managers
4. Pay particular attention to the transition between each stage where people might get lost then adjust policies, procedures, programs and communications to guide people effectively
Without a comprehensive plan that joins all the dots, your people will slip through the gaps between HR processes and will feel like your organisation isn’t doing enough. By taking great care of your people at every stage of their employment journey, you’ll get the very best from your workforce and enhance your bottom line.
We Are Adam provides high quality recruitment support across the first three stages of the employee lifecycle. Get in touch to discuss your latest recruitment challenge on 0161 359 3789 or on 0207 871 7665 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.