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Essential Milestones in the Employee Lifecycle for Unlocking an Exceptional Employee Experience

Lauren Nolan
March 25, 2024

The employee lifecycle directly impacts an organization’s overall success, productivity, and reputation. It’s important to understand the key milestones within the employee lifecycle and develop strategies for creating thoughtful approaches for ongoing employee engagement and appreciation, from recruitment and onboarding to performance management, career advancement, and even employee exit and alumni relations. A well-managed employee lifecycle helps attract top talent and retain skilled employees. 

Recruitment & Hiring 

The employee lifecycle actually begins before hiring. The recruitment stage of the employee lifecycle is all about attracting qualified candidates, and to do that well it’s important to present an accurate picture of your company culture and employee experience. 

During the recruitment process and hiring stages, employees are actively assessing your organization and anticipating what their experience will be like if they are offered and accept a position. At this stage of the employee lifecycle, it’s important to provide a regular cadence of communication, clear next steps and timeline, and an authentic representation of what’s to be expected in the role and the experience within the organization.

Make sure your talent and recruiting teams are empowered with the tools and resources they need to do their best work, accurately presenting the company, and availability to share their knowledge and help guide a candidate through the recruitment and hiring process with ease.

Onboarding & Orientation

Once an employee has accepted a job offer, the employee lifecycle is officially in full swing. Organizations can capitalize on the early excitement and eager anticipation of new hires by kick-offing the employee-employer relationship on a high note and delivering a custom welcome kit before day one. 

Custom welcome kits can include branded delivery boxes filled with gifts such as branded apparel, work supplies like notebooks and pens, coffee mugs, and tech products such as wireless headphones or any other gear that will make your new hire excited about all that’s to come. 

According to a 2024 Workforce Study, the majority of employees (86%) report wearing branded gifts, or swag, from their employer featuring a company logo on it made them feel connected and proud of the company and its mission. Swag and custom kits are a perfect way to establish a culture and earn an employee's sense of belonging. This stage of the employee lifecycle sets the foundation for success in the role and within the organization.

Performance Management & Employee Recognition

Performance management and assessment includes goal setting, performance evaluations, and ongoing feedback sessions with managers. Performance management is an integral part of the employee lifecycle. For an organization to succeed it’s important to align an individual’s performance with organizational objectives, all while supporting and encouraging opportunities for employee growth and development.

During these ongoing milestones of performance assessment and development, it’s important to understand the differences between employee recognition and employee appreciation and create moments for both.

Employee recognition is tied to specific outcomes, contributions, and accomplishments. One in 5 employees (20%) report they feel their contributions at work are not recognized. When employee contributions are not recognized, employee satisfaction, wellness, and motivation all suffer. 

Create employee recognition moments at regular intervals, such as quarterly business reviews or project launch presentations. Managers and people teams can automate moments of gratitude with tools like Snappy. Snappy provides gift givers with a dedicated platform for seamlessly sending high-quality gift collections and experiences at any budget to recipients around the globe, spreading joy, appreciation, and employee recognition through the power of gifting.

Employee Engagement & Retention

When employers put in the effort to create a culture of gratitude, showing a regular cadence of appreciation for their employees, it results in more engaged employees, higher employee retention, innovation, better collaboration, and overall, improved employee wellness. 

Employees are seeking roles that not only provide them with a paycheck but also where they can contribute to a larger purpose and mission. Employees also desire a sense of belonging and want to feel close to their company's mission. The majority of Americans (96%) report they believe in their company’s mission and values, according to a 2024 Workforce Study

Engage employees at regular intervals in their employee lifecycle to improve retention and keep teams engaged by developing a strategy. Leverage tools like Snappy to create dedicated campaigns for celebrating employees for personal and professional moments and milestones including everything from promotions and big project launches, to birthdays, work anniversaries, and major life stages such as welcoming a new child, getting married, or earning a new degree or professional certification.

According to a recent Birthday Gifting Study, the majority of Americans agree that “if employers celebrated personal milestones such as birthdays, employee morale would be higher in the workplace” (81%), as would employee retention (75%). Automated gifting for milestone moments ensures ongoing appreciation and high impact, without ever missing a moment.

Career Advancement, Promotion & Ongoing Professional Development

As employees gain experience and demonstrate their valuable performance it's par for the course for them to seek career advancement opportunities. Keep your talented workforce in your organization. Make sure your employees feel seen and are recognized for the value they provide through programming such as in-house mentorship programs, career development workshops and conferences, and promotions to higher-level roles within the organization.

Mentorship programs are a great way to foster meaningful relationships and professional development within your organization, empowering senior leaders and managers to share their knowledge and experiences, while giving less-tenured talent a direct line to leadership that benefits their professional growth and development.

Providing the support, encouragement, and financial coverage to send employees to conferences, workshops, and other opportunities for continuing education is key to retaining ambitious talent, and ultimately helps your employees grow their skills while bringing valuable new experiences, knowledge, and perspectives to your organization. Encourage employees to share about their role and promote your organization at these career advancement opportunities by gifting them high-quality swag they’ll be proud to wear.

Celebrate promotions and professional achievements by going the extra mile and sending a gift along with a personalized note that outlines the impact the employee has on their team, their role, and within the organization. 

These extra touches of personalization and thoughtfulness help with employee engagement and retention. Feeling appreciated and valued in the workplace is the number one reason employees across all ages and genders reported wanting to stay in their current positions, according to Snappy’s 2024 Workforce Study. Feeling appreciated and valued was especially important to workers ages 18-24 (20%) and 35-44 (26%). 

Transition & Exit

Employees leave organizations for several reasons, including the pursuit of outside career opportunities with other organizations, launching their own business or self-employment, retirement, or termination. This stage of the employee lifecycle involves managing the transition process, conducting exit interviews to gather valuable feedback about their employee experience, and ensuring a smooth handover of responsibilities.

When honoring a retirement, you’re also celebrating a long career. Create a memorable farewell with an experience and gift that your employee will cherish. Retirement will look different for everyone, it’s often seen as an opportunity to rest, but also to explore new interests, activities, or locales. Snappy empowers gift recipients to choose products or experiences that suit their needs and wants, so no matter what’s next for the retiree, you can be sure you’re sending them a goodbye gift that will have a big impact and leave a lasting impression.

When it comes to employee exits where they’re seeking new opportunities elsewhere, you have the opportunity to leave a good impression on team members with a positive offboarding experience, helping to build your reputation as an employer. Gratitude never goes out of style, so take the offboarding experience as an opportunity to thank your employee for their contributions and wish them well in their next endeavor. 

Alumni & Rehire

Former employees who leave your organization can become valuable alumni, serving as brand ambassadors, potential rehires, future referrals, or even business partners. This stage of the employee lifecycle involves maintaining relationships with organization alumni and considering them for reemployment and partnership opportunities when suitable.

Organizations may want to include former employees on a holiday mailing list or continue to credit them for their work and accomplishments within the organization even after their departure.

Scale employee lifecycle gifting and swag moments

Each stage of the employee lifecycle is crucial in shaping the employee experience, building a strong employer brand, and contributing to organizational success. Effective employee lifecycle management requires proactive communication, supportive leadership, strategy, award-winning tools, and the continuous improvement of initiatives to meet the evolving needs of employees and the organization.

Snappy offers scalable solutions for global employee engagement through the power of gifting! Snappy’s all-in-one gifting platform empowers employee recognition and appreciation.

Get started with employee lifecycle programming that makes an impact…

Create custom welcome kits for employee onboarding, share your appreciation with employees through the power of gifting, or start scheduling work anniversary celebrations today with Snappy and our suite of HRIS integrations.

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