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9 Stages of the Employee Life Cycle

Cassandra Rose, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Near­ly all com­pa­nies will expe­ri­ence their fair share of employ­ees com­ing and going.

For that rea­son, busi­ness­es need to eval­u­ate and improve their employ­ee life cycle.

From the moment an employ­ee learns about a com­pa­ny to the sec­ond they leave, there needs to be a clear plan and process. This life cycle can be bro­ken down into nine crit­i­cal stages.

1. Attraction

Three people are looking at a computer and pointing things out of the laptop screen.


In gen­er­al, the employ­ee life cycle starts before any offi­cial con­tact is made. This is called the attrac­tion phase, and it’s the part of the cycle where peo­ple find out about a prospec­tive com­pa­ny. For nation­al brands, like Google or Tar­get, there is a quick attrac­tion because they’re already a house­hold name. How­ev­er, for small­er, less­er-known com­pa­nies, attrac­tion is a piv­otal part of the employ­ee life cycle. It’s why mar­ket­ing teams devote whole por­tions of their bud­get to attract the right talent.

2. Recruitment

Recruit­ment is where con­tact begins. It’s when com­pa­nies start to share infor­ma­tion about the employ­ee roles, com­pa­ny cul­ture, and oth­er details. Some com­pa­nies use recruit­ment teams for this part of the employ­ee life cycle, but oth­ers man­age it internally.

Recruit­ment can take many forms, includ­ing post­ing on net­work­ing sites, inter­fac­ing with con­tacts, putting out help want­ed ads, host­ing recruit­ment events, attend­ing job fairs, and more. Recruit­ment is sim­ply the phase where com­pa­nies are active­ly look­ing for cer­tain types of can­di­dates and using myr­i­ad meth­ods to do so.

3. Onboarding

Four people are sitting around a table. The table has computers and papers on it. The people are all wearing black and white clothing. Three people are wearing glasses.


After a per­son is inter­viewed and hired, they move on to the onboard­ing process. This part of the employ­ee life cycle can be par­tic­u­lar­ly stress­ful for new employ­ees. It’s a company’s job to ensure new hires start on the right foot and receive the right train­ing, team intro­duc­tion, and tools.

Often, the HR depart­ment and IT team col­lab­o­rate to cre­ate a seam­less employ­ee onboard­ing expe­ri­ence. How­ev­er, no mat­ter who’s in charge, the goal of the onboard­ing process is to make it as stress-free and straight­for­ward as pos­si­ble so that the new employ­ee gets inte­grat­ed into the team with min­i­mal hiccups.

4. Engagement

Once the new­ness wears off, new hires will begin to set­tle into the rou­tine of the job. At this point, it’s easy for employ­ees to become com­pla­cent and lose engage­ment and excite­ment for their role. That’s why it’s so impor­tant for lead­ers to have a plan in place for con­nect­ing and keep­ing their peo­ple engaged dur­ing this time.

Com­pa­nies can do sev­er­al things to keep their employ­ees engaged. This step is fourth in the employ­ee life cycle, but it’s worth men­tion­ing that employ­ee engage­ment is an ongo­ing endeav­or that requires con­tin­u­al thought and attention.

5. Development

Five people are in a meeting room. A person wearing a white shirt and khaki pants is standing, smiling and holding a paper. There is a T.V. at the end of the table.


Some work­ers will want to stay in the same posi­tion, but many often hope to grow and move up with­in an orga­ni­za­tion. Com­pa­nies need to have a plan in place for ongo­ing devel­op­ment and pro­vide plen­ty of oppor­tu­ni­ties for promotions.

From giv­ing the team mem­ber new respon­si­bil­i­ties to pro­vid­ing on-the-job train­ing, there are many ways to help an employ­ee devel­op and grow.

6. Retention

With res­ig­na­tion rates hit­ting all-time highs, HR depart­ments are par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ed in this por­tion of the employ­ee life cycle. Employ­ee reten­tion isn’t a straight­for­ward task.

It requires com­pa­nies to keep their peo­ple engaged, empow­ered, hap­py, and healthy — both phys­i­cal­ly and men­tal­ly. To do this, many com­pa­nies use proven tools for reten­tion, like Fringe’s cus­tomized lifestyle ben­e­fits plat­form.

With the plat­form, employ­ees can choose ben­e­fits that make them feel hap­pi­er and sup­port­ed. Ulti­mate­ly, because the com­pa­ny is giv­ing their peo­ple the pow­er to choose what they tru­ly want and need, they’re much more like­ly to stay loy­al and engaged for the long haul.

7. Recognition

Two people are sitting on a window sill talking to each other. One person has a laptop in their lap. They are both wearing dark-colored blazers and dark pants


Employ­ee recog­ni­tion is a sure­fire way to improve employ­ee hap­pi­ness and ded­i­ca­tion. In fact, most younger employ­ees will leave a job if they don’t get enough feed­back and recog­ni­tion. Peo­ple want to feel like their super­vi­sors val­ue their work.

One great way to show recog­ni­tion is with extra points toward the Fringe ben­e­fit plat­form. Every time an employ­ee deserves recog­ni­tion, the com­pa­ny can give the employ­ee extra points to use for ben­e­fits they actu­al­ly want.

8. Offboarding

It’s nev­er easy when employ­ees leave, and com­pa­nies need to have an off­board­ing plan in place for when they do. The off­board­ing peri­od is a time when com­pa­nies can gath­er hon­est feed­back. It’s also a peri­od to hand over respon­si­bil­i­ties, pro­vide cross-train­ing, and pre­pare the final ben­e­fits and payroll.

The goal is to make the tran­si­tion out of the com­pa­ny as smooth as it was com­ing into the com­pa­ny. Employ­ees should leave with respect and admi­ra­tion for the com­pa­ny rather than har­bor­ing hard feel­ings, so lead­ers should be sure to make the off­board­ing process as stress-free for them as possible.

9. A Fond Farewell

A group of people is standing around in a semi-circle. They are holding champagne glasses and are laughing.


Once the off­board­ing peri­od is com­plete, com­pa­nies will need to do things like revoke net­work access and col­lect keys or oth­er com­pa­ny assets. If the sep­a­ra­tion is ami­ca­ble, a com­pa­ny can host a good­bye lunch or some kind of event to cel­e­brate and hon­or the person’s time with the com­pa­ny. Hav­ing a for­mal good­bye par­ty helps to keep the rest of the team in high spir­its when anoth­er per­son leaves.

Fringe Helps Through Entire Employee Life Cycle

Whether it’s an employ­ee that’s been a part of the team for 20 years or a new hire that start­ed just a few months ago, Fringe’s cus­tom ben­e­fits plat­form is ben­e­fi­cial to each and every per­son on a team, no mat­ter where they are in their work jour­ney. Fringe makes improv­ing employ­ee well-being easy, offer­ing a mean­ing­ful and fun avenue for employ­ee ben­e­fits. Chat with our team to see how it works today!

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