Skip to navigation
6 Min Read

Working Retention Into Your Employee Lifecycle Management Strategy

David Mizne
David Mizne

Investing in your employees is the most financially sound place you can put your time, effort, and money as a business. While recruiting great talent can help ensure your company comes out on top, your job isn’t over when a candidate signs their offer letter. In fact, that’s just the beginning.

The six stages of the employee lifecycle are attraction, recruitment, onboarding, development, retention, and separation. Through each of these stages, it’s HR’s job to ensure employees have everything they need to succeed.

We recently teamed up with Namely to create The Complete Employee LifeCycle Management Guide. In it, we explore best practices for every stage of the employee lifecycle, so you can set employees up for a successful career at your company.

In this post, we are republishing the chapter on employee retention. But it’s important to remember that all of the stages of the employee lifecycle are interrelated, and creating a great employee experience early on can inform success in every stage which follows.

For example, research from Francesca Gino and her colleagues, shows that an employee-centric onboarding program that focuses not just on the company but also on the employee, results in greater employee retention down the road. Francesca and colleagues explain that “employees who receive onboarding emphasizing individual identity were more than 32% less likely to quit”. Everything from name tags and personalized swag, to group exercises that emphasize a new hire’s best self has an impact.

So assuming that you’ve made your new hires feel welcome during onboarding, and you’ve been continually investing in their growth and development, you’re halfway towards retaining them for years to come. Now let’s focus on that second half of the equation.

Extend the employee lifecycle with transparency

Nothing inspires employee loyalty and trust like organizational transparency. Open door policies, executive office hours, and frequent company all-hands meetings are great ways to keep employees in the loop on strategic initiatives and business decisions. Objectives and Key Results, or OKRs, are another great way to show employees how their work contributes to larger business goals and impacts the bottom line.

To increase trust, hold yourselves and other business leaders accountable. Open and consistent communication is imperative, not only among managerial staff but also throughout the entire organization. Celebrate wins, acknowledge disappointments, and focus on change all together as an aligned team. Follow through on promises to set the standard for a culture of respect and accountability.

Looking for advice on the other 5 stages? Download the Complete Employee Lifecycle Management Guide.

Give workers flexibility

Giving your employees the ability to work when and how they want can also inspire employee trust and loyalty. Flexible working schedules and telecommuting can actually improve productivity and employee retention.

74% of workers would switch jobs for the opportunity to work off site more often.

Source: Softchoice

Not quite ready to institute WFH Wednesday? Ask employees what is important to them and do your best to fulfill their requests. For example, generous parental and sick leave policies might be a bigger priority for your employees than remote work.

Give credit where credit is due

A study conducted by Gallup showed that companies that approached employee recognition strategically had nearly 25 percent lower turnover rates. Additionally, a Forbes study demonstrated how companies that fostered a “recognition-rich culture” enjoyed a 31 percent lower voluntary turnover rate than companies with poor employee recognition programs.

Taking the time to make employees feel valued at work, regardless of their role and title, can increase company morale and employee tenure. So prove that the work your employees at all levels perform every day genuinely matters to the company by recognizing employees who do exceptional work.

Think outside the box or try out one of these suggestions to recognize employee accomplishments:

• Give employee “shout outs” in a company-wide newsletter or at your next all-hands meeting
• Encourage peer-to-peer recognition on the company newsfeed
• Create an award that shows appreciation for those who go above and beyond
• Throw an office happy hour
• Give extra paid time off
• Provide a special treat like catered lunches
• Write a note…by hand!

Measure company morale

How can you know what’s working if you don’t ask? Ask employees what your company is doing right and how you can improve with quarterly satisfaction surveys. Their helpful feedback can give you insight into where you need to double down your efforts, but always take action based on the results. This proves the worth of each survey and encourages your employees to take them seriously.

Employee net promoter score (eNPS) surveys usually consist of a number of statements that employees can respond to with a number from 0 to 10. Employees who select 0 to 6 are considered “detractors”, 7s and 8s are passive, and 9 to 10 are “promoters”. Here are some eNPS questions to get your survey started:

• “I would recommend ______ company as a great place to work”
• “I am proud of the work that I do”
• “When I get up in the morning, I’m excited to go to work”
• “I’m happy when I’m immersed in my work”
• “I would recommend my manager”

Don’t keep the results a secret. Review the survey findings as a company and call out your team’s commitment to improving certain issues. Consider facilitating a deep dive or a cross-departmental focus group on an opportunity area that surfaced during the survey results. Reviewing the survey results shows that you’re holding yourselves accountable and are committed to improving the company.

The #1 factor impacting employee satisfaction (and therefore retention) is still to tie the work that people do every day to the big goals that the company is trying to deliver. That means that the daily work they show up and perform genuinely matters to the company. So communicate early and often, and let your beloved employees know just how important they really are.

David MizneDavid Mizne is Communications Manager at 15Five, continuous performance management software that includes weekly check-ins, objectives (OKR) tracking, peer recognition, 1-on-1s, and 360 reviews. David’s articles have also appeared on The Next Web & The Economist. Follow him @davidmizne.

Namely’s award-winning, powerful, easy-to-use technology allows companies to handle all of their HR, payroll, time management, and benefits in one place. Namely is used by over 1,000 clients with over 175,000 employees globally. For more info, please visit

Image Credit: Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash