Published: 28th March 2023
B2B Insights: The Employee Experience Series: the Employee Experience Lifecycle
Welcome to the first of our blogs in our B2B Insights: The Employee Experience Series, explaining the employee experience lifecycle and why it matters.
The Employee Experience Lifecycle Explained
Understanding and supporting your employees is essential to the success of your business. As we all know, a strong, skilful, and engaged team is the backbone of any organisation.
The employee experience lifecycle is the journey of an employee through your company. From the application process to their exit interview, every stage of the journey allows employers to measure employee satisfaction and promote success and longevity.
Why the Employee Experience Matters
Let’s not forget that there’s a war for talent right now.
In the second quarter of 2022, there were over 1.28 million job vacancies in the UK - the highest ever! This equated to a 94% increase from figures in March 2021.
If a job seeker has an unsatisfactory experience with your business or representatives at this early stage, it will negatively impact their decision-making process.
The employee experience lifecycle encompasses all aspects of the workplace, including tools and resources, the physical environment, development and progression, relationships, and company culture.
The perceptions your people have of your workplace will impact employee engagement, performance, retention, and talent acquisition – all areas that can affect your bottom line.
Think of it this way. A negative employee experience could lead to an employee becoming disengaged, and disengagement costs employers 34% of an employee's salary. Furthermore, the subsequent loss in productivity costs the UK economy £340 billion per year!
The Benefits of a Positive Employee Experience
Prioritising the employee lifecycle can benefit your workforce and your business.
Helping to retain talent.
Reducing recruitment costs — did you know it costs up to 213% of an employee’s salary to replace a highly skilled employee?
Boosting productivity and profit. According to Gallup, your business could benefit from a 17% increase in productivity and boost profits by 21%
The Stages of the Employee Lifecycle
Whilst we say that the employee experience starts when a job seeker submits their application, the perception of your business begins before then.
Rather than just capturing those scrolling through jobs pages, aim to become an employer of choice, so potential employees seek you out.
Stage 1: Attracting Talent: Your Brand Value
Almost three-quarters of companies found it difficult to attract the right talent in 2021, a figure three times higher than the previous year. With statistics like this, it’s never been more important to focus on this life cycle stage.
So, how do you attract the right candidates?
Building brand awareness, defining your brand values, and embedding them into your company culture are vital. 86% of millennials would take a lower salary to work for a brand whose mission aligns with their values.
Stage 2: Increase Applications: Your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
In 2021, Randstad revealed that a quarter of the UK’s employees considered leaving their jobs for greater flexibility and a better employee benefits package.
To attract the best talent, your EVP needs to stand out from the crowd, so it’s essential to communicate what you can offer job seekers in the following areas:
- Employee Benefits
- Career Development Opportunities
Stage 3: Practising What You Preached: The Onboarding Process
The onboarding stage is an employee's first real experience of your organisation, so it’s essential to ensure it’s positive. As the old saying goes, ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’.
This means delivering on the workplace experience and culture you advertised. These first days, weeks and months are integral to how an employee views your organisation, and if they do not see evidence of the culture and values you sold them on, they may not stick around.
Stage 4: Investing in Your Employees: Career Development
A 2020 study found that 4 out of 5 employees leave their jobs due to a lack of progression, making development an essential component of the employee experience lifecycle.
During this stage, employees focus more on their future career paths. From external learning opportunities to internal mentoring, it’s vital to create a development programme that caters to each employee's needs, wants and goals.
Stage 5: A Future-Proof Experience: Employee Retention
Your employee retention plans should never sleep because the landscape is constantly changing. Enhance culture, monitor engagement, recognise and reward, and nurture your talent – these are the essential ingredients of a positive employee experience.
Stage 6: Nurturing Brand Ambassadors
Brand ambassadors can be current and former employees – so long as stage seven is handled correctly.
When you follow steps one to six effectively, and you’ve nurtured a loyal and engaged workforce, you can encourage them to become brand ambassadors. From posting your corporate updates and sharing pictures of volunteering activities and away days to advertising job vacancies to their social and business network – the voice of your employees is often more powerful than that of your business.
Stage 7: Ending on Good Terms
Whether they’ve found a new position, decided to retire, or they’re leaving for personal reasons, the exit stage is an inevitable part of the employee lifecycle.
The exit interview can be an opportunity and a challenge. First, an exit interview can be a great way to get honest feedback about their time at the company — which is a chance for a business to learn and grow. You may also require that employee's support with the handover to their replacement — an opportunity to pass on invaluable knowledge.
However, in some cases — leaving to join a competitor, for example — this may not be an option.
Make the Most of Your Employee Experience with Sodexo Engage
Mapping out an employee’s journey allows HR professionals to ensure employees are engaged, feel supported and have a positive experience in the workplace.
Here at Sodexo Engage, we focus on offering employee benefits, rewards and recognition products that make a real difference to your employees in the workplace and beyond.