Understanding a customer’s journey, from first attracting their attention to making them an advocate for your brand, is key to driving your company’s growth.
But what about the people who deliver your product or service to customers? Understanding the employee lifecycle is just as important to growth as caring about the customer journey, but often receives less attention from business owners.
In this article, we’ll look at each stage of the employee lifecycle and explore strategic improvements to boost employee wellbeing, productivity, and, ultimately, your bottom line.
Why employee engagement drives business productivity
An employee’s level of engagement reverberates through the rest of the workforce and is eventually noticed by customers and clients.
Put simply, a disengaged employee is less productive. They take twice as many sick days as engaged employees, are four times more likely to leave, are less eager to collaborate, and ultimately lower profitability.
Increasing engagement is therefore good for employees and businesses alike. The more workers care about the business, the more they get done and the happier they are while doing it. To encourage employees to care about your mission, you must care about them at every stage of their lifecycle: attraction, recruitment, onboarding, development, retention, and separation.
Embrace the power of referrals
Research shows that an employee who joins your company based on a recommendation from an existing team member is likely to stay longer than a non-referral hire (38 months vs 22 months). You could even consider incentivising referrals that result in successful hires.
Consider every brand touchpoint
According to Glassdoor, 84% of job seekers say a company’s reputation matters. That means they will look at online reviews, ratings and social media to assess your ethos, culture and workplace.
Audit your online presence as if you’re looking through the eyes of your dream candidate. What impression are you giving of what it’s like to work for you?
Don’t skimp on the job spec
Being ‘punctual’ and having ‘excellent communication skills’ is all well and good, but does asking for qualities like these attract only the most qualified candidates? Swap vague and clichéd requirements for highly specific, role-relevant responsibilities so candidates know precisely what’s expected of them. Describing a typical ‘day in the life’ for the advertised role can be a good way to ground your expectations in reality.
Save money by screening applicants
Remember that every in-person interview represents not only a cost in person-hours for those conducting it but also the time it takes to continue the search if a candidate is unsuitable. A 10-minute call to get a feel for their personality and experience could be more cost-efficient than a 45-minute face-to-face interview.
Provide a job description
A full list of their duties and your expectations can help a new hire focus their efforts faster, instead of taking weeks or months to learn by trial-and-error. Give them time in their first week to absorb the contents of your company handbook and follow up to learn what your values mean to them.
Face-to-face follow-ups can help new hires feel welcome and glad that they joined your company. Ask how they’re getting on, what challenges they’ve faced, and if there’s anything they need. A new hire might be too polite to ask if they can arrive and leave half an hour later to avoid rush hour traffic, but a small change like this could drastically boost their motivation.
1 in 3 UK businesses don’t offer workers opportunities to learn new skills or invest time in their development. This can leave employees wondering if the grass is greener elsewhere.
Training can range from free online courses to conferences and seminars. Whatever form it takes, training should help employees feel that their skillset is keeping pace with their career length and job title.
Make development a two-way street
The longer an employee is with you, the more insight they’ll have into your customers and clients and how the wider team operates. Seek their feedback on processes and company culture to help them feel more integrated with the business and integral to its ongoing success.
Offer the best perks and benefits
When benefits match employees’ interests, they add to productivity and offset their cost. ‘Hard’ benefits include private medical insurance, dental cover and eye tests, while ‘soft’ benefits include flexible working, on-site parking, vouchers and gym memberships.
Use rewards to acknowledge excellence
Recognising when employees go the extra mile motivates them to maintain a high standard. Big rewards like bonuses, team events and company holidays are great, but small gestures, like a handwritten thank you note, go a long way too.
If you want to reward your team but don’t want to spend too much on it consider getting an American Express® Business Card. For every pound you spend you’ll get Membership Rewards® points1 that you can use on a wide range of perks and gifts for your team.
Find out why they’re leaving
You may have a general idea of why they’re moving on based on their resignation letter, but an exit interview or informal chat can help you understand their motivations on a deeper level. Is there anything about their reasons that could apply to other employees?
Be transparent with your team
It can come as a shock when a long-serving employee resigns. To prevent rumours and assumptions from hurting morale, update your team at the first opportunity on your plans for rehiring.
1. Membership Rewards points are earned on every full £1 spent and charged, per transaction