Supporting the employee lifecycle through every stage

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min read
August 23, 2023
January 18, 2024
Line manager and employee checking-in
In this article

Employee expectations have changed. It is less about money and more about experience. Making sure employees are supported effectively at every stage, hopefully means their time within a business will be as happy and productive as possible. Creating check-ins that support every stage will help employees feel they are on the right track.

Every employee will go through different stages during their time at an organisation. No two employees will follow quite the same path, but there will be similarities along the way. It’s important that employers recognise this and have a framework in place that supports all eventualities to help employees enjoy as successful and productive a journey as possible.

To help create this framework, we’ve developed 12 check-in forms (coming soon) to support each stage of the employee lifecycle. These have been designed, based on our experience of working with hundreds of clients, to act as a guide, covering the basics that reviews at these stages should cover. We know each organisation and their employees have their own unique requirements, so we encourage these to be used as a base, to be adapted as necessary.

Here are just a few reasons why supporting the employee lifecycle is so crucial.

First impressions count – the need for successful onboarding

While employees will experience a very personal journey, all will start in the same place. Being the new one, not knowing anyone or how things are done in an organisation is daunting no matter what level you are. Creating an onboarding process that provides clear structure and direction helps to settle the nerves enormously.

A good onboarding experience can make or break the overall employee experience. It can either energise the new employee and make them feel part of the team or alienate them from day one, placing them at risk of leaving, searching for somewhere they feel more at home. 

A staggering 20% of employees leave within 45 days of joining an organisation. This is hugely costly, taking up valuable time and resources and leaving a hole in the business that other employees need to fill. Holding an effective onboarding check-in within two to four weeks of an employee starting makes sure the relationship between them and their line manager begins on a positive note. Taking the time to find out what is going well and what could be improved could be the difference between them settling in or feeling out of place.

Retaining key talent – the need to support career planning

The biggest current concern facing senior HR leaders is retaining talent. In fact, a poll conducted on behalf of WTW, found this was an issue for 95% of them. As the shortage of skilled employees persists, how to keep hold of the best and brightest employees is a conundrum facing many businesses.

One of the most effective ways to retain talent is to create clear career paths for employees. Knowing there are opportunities to develop, gaining new skills and being trusted with more responsibilities shows employees that they have a bright future and are a valued member of the team. 

Many of our clients, including IT consultants Mircobyte, find this one of the most beneficial aspects of Appraisd.

Rolling out and embedding employee development roadmaps has been a priority over the last few years. Appraisd has given us the firm foundations to build these upon and without it the rest of our plans would not be possible.”

General Manager, Anna Fletcher

Having those development opportunities is especially important to younger employees. 87% of millennials state that professional growth and career development are very important. Holding discussions once a year, or more frequently for employees who are early in their careers, focused on their career aspirations can be extremely motivational. It gives them a clear idea of what they need to do to progress and an enticing target to aim for.

Ending the relationship on a positive note – the need to understand why employees leave

Most employees will leave your organisation to go to a different organisation. Understanding why employees choose to leave and their motivations can be extremely useful and prevent others from following them out of the door.

Of course, some employees will feel their journey with you has come to a natural end, but others will leave for reasons that you can control. This could be down to a clash with their line manager, a lack of development opportunities or a failure to support flexible working. Unless you find out what the exact reason is, you won’t be able to take corrective action to prevent other employees from leaving.

Holding exit check-ins, where employees are encouraged to be candid and feel free to have their say can be enormously helpful. If you discover there is a problem with a particular team or department through these, you may also decide to hold stay conversations with people in those areas to highlight you are facing issues head on and will strive to make improvements.

Check-ins for different situations

On top of the check-ins already mentioned, the set also includes:

  • End of probation check-in - to review an employee’s progress to assess what support they require as they cement their position in the organisation
  • Objective setting check-in - helping line managers and employees to collaborate and agree on their goals
  • Personal development check-in - to review an employee’s development outside of their day to day work
  • Wellbeing check-in - to make sure an employee feels supported wherever they are working
  • Realignment check-in (when performance is declining) - to review what support and/or training an employee may require to maximise their potential
  • Hybrid or remote working check-in - to make sure an employee remains connected and aligned with their team while working remotely
  • Regular monthly/quarterly check-in - to review progress and explore what adjustments or support an employee may need to meet their objectives
  • Performance review (end of year/period) - to assess how an employee has performed and agree their objectives for the next review period

While an employee is unlikely to need every type of check-in, these should cover every situation an employer is likely to face, helping to create a framework that supports a better employee experience and aiding increased employee retention. 

Appraisd has the flexibility to successfully accommodate all these types of check-ins, ensuring any organisation can create a tailored process that matches their precise needs.

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