What Is The Employee Life Cycle? (Advantages and Stages)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 6 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many organisations follow the employee life cycle (ELC) model to build a successful and committed workforce. Often, managers focus on understanding the employees' journey to develop recruitment strategies and talent for the organisation. Learning everything about ELC can lead to longevity, success and employee engagement. In this article, we discuss what ELC is, learn about its advantages, review the 11 stages of ELC and explore an example to understand this concept.

What Is The Employee Life Cycle?

The employee life cycle model is an organisational model that helps visualise how employees engage with a company. It helps a hiring manager understand how employees advance and engage with the organisation. This model usually represents a customer life cycle model that a company uses for measuring customer satisfaction. The model works on the concept that employee experience is as valuable as customer experience. ELC is a comprehensive representation of the employee experience, giving a framework for different engagement strategies.

Typically, the ELC begins when an employee knows about a job, continues through their recruitment and onboarding and extends until employees leave the company. Depending on the company type and size, the stages of ELC might vary. By examining the intricacies of each stage, such as onboarding, recruitment and development, managers can ensure productive and happier employees. These strategies might benefit the organisation in many ways, such as reducing employee turnover, improving employee morale, driving success and supporting engagement.

Related: What Are The 6 Stages Of A Typical Recruitment Cycle?

What Are The Advantages Of Implementing An ELC?

Here are a few advantages of implementing ELC:

Ensures talent retention

The ELC model helps an organisation understand the leading way to allocate resources. This can empower the hiring manager to support effective hiring processes, especially by identifying the recruitment method. Managers using this model can help motivate employees, encouraging them to work with full productivity and remain loyal to the organisation. It can increase employee turnover rate and enhance employee retention. As ELC increases employee retention and reduces turnover, it helps in reducing recruitment expenses and labour demand associated with hiring new candidates.

Related: What Is Employee Retention? (And How To Increase It)

Enhances employee engagement

Employee engagement refers to employees' emotional connection with an organisation and how they contribute to reaching organisational goals. Companies that use the ELC model identify ways of improving employee engagement by valuing, respecting and supporting each employee's growth. Also, ELC helps employees understand their potential growth and learning opportunities with an organisation.

Related: Q&A: What Is Employee Engagement? (And How To Improve It)

Improves reputation

By analysing their ELC model and understanding the data about employee journeys, organisations can focus on areas of improvement. When an organisation addresses its weaknesses and concerns, it improves its operations and reputation. This can translate to creating a committed and loyal workforce.

11 Stages Of Employee Life Cycle

The stages of ELC can help in driving engagement and improving workplace productivity. These stages might vary depending on various factors. ELC stages can help optimise employee experience and ensure maximum productivity in the workplace. Here are 11 stages of ELC:

1. Attraction

The first stage of ELC is the employee attraction stage. This stage typically starts with an employee hearing about the organisation through a job post or advertisement. Though the employee attraction does not involve interacting with employees, they might learn about the company through research. Typically, the attraction stage is easier for renowned brands, local businesses and reputed organisations, but it still remains a critical ELC stage.

2. Recruiting

The recruiting stage of the ELC is the first time when hiring managers interact with the employees. During this stage, the prospective employee becomes familiar with the organisation's culture, mission and vision and what the job entails. Most recruitment plans provide an optimal candidate experience and meaningful data and support collaborative hiring centred on a defined process. Leveraging the professional network and current employees can ensure a successful recruitment process.

Related: What Is Headhunting And Recruiting? Definition And Process

3. Interviewing

The next stage in ELC is the interviewing stage, which allows both interviewers and candidates to know each other. This stage allows both parties to learn whether they are compatible and culturally fit with each other. While the employee uses this stage to understand whether the organisation is suitable for their career, the hiring manager might evaluate if the candidate has the required experience and can fulfil the job requirement.

Related: 12 Essential Virtual Interviewing Tips For Hiring Managers

4. Onboarding

The fourth stage of most ELC is the employee onboarding stage, which primarily focuses on welcoming new employees to the organisation. The onboarding experience is critical for employees because it helps them adjust to the organisation's environment and culture. These efforts primarily help new employee's complete paperwork and provide basic training. Often, this stage might include showing employees the office space.

Related: What Is The Onboarding Process In HR? (With Benefits)

5. Engagement

The engagement stage of ELC starts when an employee has been working in the same role for some time. This stage primarily focuses on engaging employees at work and promoting the company's culture. During the engagement stage, it becomes easier for employees to feel more valued and complete their duties with dedication. Also, it might motivate employees to remain productive while encouraging them to stay long term with the organisation.

Related: Employee Engagement Tools (With Features And Examples)

6. Development

During the development stage, managers focus on the team's overall development. This might involve periodic reviews and asking employees about their career aspirations and goals. Giving promotions and providing additional duties to employees might encourage them to outperform expectations and help an organisation reach its goals. Often, managers use this stage to give pay raises to qualified and hard-working employees.

7. Retention

The seventh stage of ELC is employee retention. During this ELC stage, managers focus on keeping the highest performing employees and ensuring they remain happy. Retaining these employees is essential because such valuable employees are hard to replace. Another way to increase employee retention is by implementing their suggestions, listening to their feedback and giving them reasons to stay with an organisation.

8. Recognition

During the recognition stage, managers focus on improving employee morale. Applauding an employee for the jobs they complete can make them feel respected and valued. Workplace recognition might encourage other employees to work above their expectations. Even acknowledging colleagues can be beneficial for everyone involved.

9. Offboarding

The ninth stage of the ELC is offboarding. During this stage, an employee leaves an organisation. Ensuring a smooth transition of duties and cross-training is essential during the offboarding stage. When an employee provides their resignation letter, managers can use their remaining time with the organisation to plan the responsibilities they might complete before leaving the organisation. This stage involves providing information about their benefits and remaining payments.

10. Separation

The next stage of the ELC process is employee separation. This stage includes the actual act of leaving the organisation. During the separation stage, employees focus on returning the company's assets, such as access cards, computers, laptops and technology. Managers might conduct an exit interview to determine the reason for leaving and incorporate employee feedback into the organisation. Also, managers ensure that employees who leave the organisation exit in a way that does not disrupt other team members.

Related: Simple Resignation Letter: How To, Tips And Example

11. Alumni

The last stage of the ELC model is the alumni stage, which involves maintaining a good relationship with the former employees. This might involve creating an alumni portal or resources to gain future referrals to fill the vacant position. It can help an employee remain connected to your organisation.

Example Of ELC

Here is an example to help you understand the ELC model:

Once new employees sign the employment contract, employers ensure a smooth and low-stress onboarding experience. It helps new employees feel comfortable. But when a company does not have an onboarding process, new employees can get bored, frustrated and lost in their new roles. An employee's onboarding experience can influence how long they stay with the company. It might even inspire others to stay longer in the company. Also, the moment an employee leaves an organisation, it can have a negative impact on other employees. Monitoring and improving the ELC can be critical to the long-term success of the company and its profitability.

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