Where is your staff in the Employee Life Cycle?

The holidays are around the corner so hopefully our local businesses are staffed up and ready to deliver exceptional service to our guests. Although hiring well is important, employers also need to ensure employees stay engaged, inspired and fresh.

The Employee Life Cycle (ELC) model is a common tracking tool to identify the stage an employee is at while employed with your organization. Different variations exist but here is a five-stage model that simplifies the process.

Stage one is orientation, where new employees are introduced to your organization and are trained to handle their responsibilities.

Stage two takes place during the first six months of employment and is known as ‘settling in’. Employees should be clear what is expected of them and still feel challenged and motivated at work.

Competent performance is stage three of the model and takes place six to twelve months after starting with the organization. Highlighted by confidence and still motivated, employees do start to experience less learning opportunities but changes in their responsibilities and roles can keep them engaged.

After those changes dissipate, monotony defines stage four and may set in following the first year of employment. The employee knows their job inside and out and possesses the ability to perform duties with little effort. They may become less enchanted with both their position and the organization, and begin to get bored.

Finally, boredom can lead to disengagement in stage five. The employee’s attitude may digress and result in poor work performance.

If employers can use the ELC tool to determine where their employees are in the life cycle, it opens up the opportunity to identify actions that can be made to preserve the relationship. Should employers see that a staff member is at stage three, they can assess performance and re-engage individuals by creating more challenging opportunities. Finally, if employers are in stages four or five, it’s imperative to turn that situation around through performance correction and reigniting that spark they came with. Your training budget will thank you!

Cathy Goddard is the Principal of Lighthouse Visionary Strategies.  Lighthouse offers small business consulting, mentor programs and workshops.  She writes this weekly column for the Whistler Question newspaper.  Cathy can be reached via cathy@lighthousevisonary.com or by calling 604.905.8660.

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