The human resources cycle is the journey of employee within the organisation they work for. It begins from the moment they get on-board with organisation, and continues until the day they leave. Each stage throughout the cycle has its challenges, but it’s important for HR to continuously improve their process for each stage to better the success of their employees
What are the key stages of the human resources cycle?
A well-executed human resources cycle ensures the right people are in the right role. There is a high degree of overlap between the different stages of the cycle and the overall HR strategy, and together they play a large role in the overall employee experience. When the two are managed effectively, organisations see an increase in employee commitment and productivity, as well as a decrease in staff turnover.
Some of the core aspect to the human resources cycle:
The first stage of the employee life cycle starts before they are even employed by the organization. Growing your business starts with hiring the right people. This is a crucial part in business development, and in order to succeed, your HR team should have a strategic recruiting process in place
Recruiting is about building a good candidate pipeline to ensure you have the best people available for each role. Success in selection is determined by much more than just the recruiter-candidate relationship, with your committed and loyal employees being your greatest champions
As a business, it is important to ensure the new employee feels inspired by their new role, becomes engrained in company culture and settles within their team. Employees should feel welcome, valued and properly equipped to do their job right from day one
What companies should work to avoid, is overselling the offer. Don't make promises that you can't actually deliver on, as employees quickly become dissatisfied if they're not experiencing what they were sold
Once your employee is established, the focus is on providing an opportunity for them to grow. A key part of this stage is how you deal with performance management. After each performance appraisal, you may want to reward your employees in recognition of everything they've achieved, whether intrinsically or extrinsically. You can also offer individual or team incentives for the new goals you set
Career development strategies are a good way to keep top talent engaged. It’s important to discuss career goals in the initial interviewing process to make sure that the person’s goals are realistic and align with the goals of your company
To seek out and hire a better class of employee is where all businesses need to start increasing their productivity — this falls to HR departments. HR departments not only recruit and interview potential candidates, but also pick out the standouts and leave the rest
Keep turnover low with ongoing employee satisfaction surveys and non-monetary benefits. Another retention tool is training and mentoring, which reduces turnover and internal strife. Managers can also cross-train team members so they can capably fill in when colleagues are on vacation or ill
There's a lot of time and money invested in the cycle for each employee - losing someone means that the entire process must start again. So ensuring that you are able to retain talent
In terms of the day-to-day, the best way to retain good employees is to give them the tools, environment and skill set they need in order to do their job effectively. When this doesn't happen, employees become frustrated and the organisation loses high-performing, specialised talent
This stage is simply a paper-pushing exercise, but it can be extremely valuable when executed effectively. Understanding why employees leave is a key part of retaining the best people going forward. Having a conversation about their choices early in the exit process also promotes a positive atmosphere, and helps to leave the door open for good employees to return and ultimately continue recommending your organisation to others
An early conversation also allows you to start rectifying problems quickly
How can organisations improve their human resources cycle?
While the overall stages of the cycle remain largely the same, how it's implemented varies largely according to in-house resources and organisational approach. Small organisations may not have an in-house HR team to manage the cycle, while a large company may have a big HR department but be bound by budgetary constraints. However, all organisations can be proactive in doing what they can to improve their existing employee life cycle and should consider:
Taking a holistic approach
Organisations should never treat the stages of the human resources cycle in isolation. Every stage impacts an employee's relationship with the organisation.
Consistently reviewing the approach
The labour market and needs of the work force are ever changing. What worked 20 years ago won't satisfy employees today, and HR teams must adapt and review new processes on a regular basis.
Identify problems at various stages
Figure out what is working, what isn't and why. If you have high employee turnover, for instance, then you may need to look at each stage to pinpoint where the problem is. Potential problems within your recruitment process could be that you lose your preferred candidate right at the end stages or if you are receiving a whole lot of unsuitable applications due to problems with how you are advertising and communicating the vacancy. When something doesn't go as planned, look in detail at that stage of the cycle to understand where the changes required.
Managing communication channels
Poor communication methods and transparency are a large problem that organisations face. Improving how each stage and important announcements are communicated is critical to the smooth running of all HR processes.
Prioritising the onboarding process
Organisations often don't place enough emphasis on integrating their employees and making them feel a part of the team. First impressions count for a lot, and ensuring that the right people are available to meet, train and welcome new employees is a step in the right direction.