The 10 Stages of the HR Life Cycle

An HR life cycle encompasses all activities as done by the Human Resource Manager. What does the HR cycle involve, and how can companies improve their approach to ensure employees have the best possible experience?

Like many other areas of life, human resources has a unique life cycle. However, instead of focusing on the biological aspects of a lifecycle, the HR life cycle involves the physical aspects and stages that the employees go through and the role HR takes on during those stages. Each stage of the HR life cycle has its own challenges, opportunities, and benefits. So what are the 10 stages of the HR Life Cycle?

What is the HR life cycle?

The HR life cycle, or HR cycle, is the continuous cyclic process of integrated HR activities. The HR life cycle integrates both the HR strategy of creation & execution with the employee life cycle.

This means that the cycle starts with business strategy, which is translated into HR strategy, Motivation, and Job Team Design, including recruiting, training & development, all the way until the employee’s exit.

Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to. — Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group

The stages in the HR life cycle

1. Business strategy

This is the first out of the 10 stages of the HR Life Cycle. The company’s business strategy should be the main starting point for any HR activity. A well-known and commonly used framework to define the business strategy is the SWOT analysis. A business strategy points to several strategic priorities, which are then translated into the HR strategy.

2. HR strategy

In this stage, the business strategy from previous stage is transformed into the people or HR strategy. The Human Resources strategy may use similar tools as in the previous stage to define the strategic priorities for HR.

It is key for HR strategy to align with the business strategy. In other words, the successful execution of the HR strategy i.e. employee activity will advance business goals.

3. Training

The company begins the training process from the moment employees start in their new position. They should know their role in the company, the employer’s expectations, and their responsibilities. During this phase of the HR life cycle, it’s important for the HR managers to:

  • Train and educate new hires until they fully understand their job’s duties and responsibilities
  • Communicate your company’s culture and values
  • Assign a coworker to new employees to support their transition and mentor them so that they feel more connected with the company
  • Introduce new employees to the rest of the team, and make sure they have everything they need to get started with their work (including passwords, voice mail, parking passes, etc.)

4. Job & team design

Next, the jobs and teams should be designed properly.

Job design is the process of creating jobs that help achieve organizational mission while being a source of motivation for their own employees. This process involves job analysis, a competency analysis, team analysis, and (re)designing of the job.

Next, there is a team design. A team is a highly functional, high-performing group of employees. Good team analysis and design enable the different functions as they are defined in the organizational design to function well. This circles back to the successful completion of the HR strategy.

5. Motivation

Leaders who focus on building bonds with employees in the first ninety days of joining can retain employees longer than those who do not make this effort. HR managers can effectively motivate new hires by:

  • Offering reasons to stay motivated, such as better compensation, benefits, and opportunities for growth
  • Keeping them engaged, helps them to perform at a higher level, and shows commitment to your company.
  • Providing appreciation to employees who perform at a high level
  • Accepting their contribution to help make your business more successful

6. Attraction, recruitment, selection

Attraction starts before the company is even looking for a new employee. It encompasses the employer brand, and what shapes a potential employee’s overall approach towards the company.

As well as brand marketing, simple word-of-mouth plays a large role in shaping public opinions and acts as a strong motivator or even a detractor.

Recruiting is about building a good candidate pipeline and talent-pool to ensure you have the best people available for each role. Success in getting hired is determined by much more than just the recruiter-candidate relationship, with committed and loyal employees being the company’s greatest champions.

7. Orientation and Career Planning

There are employee life cycle models that treat “servicing of employee needs” as the next stage. While others treat orientation and career planning as the next two stages.

Orientation is the process by which the employee becomes a member of the company’s workforce through learning his/her new job duties and responsibilities, establishing relationships with the co-workers and supervisors, and developing a niche.

Career planning is the stage at which the employee and their supervisors work out her long-term career goals with the company.

8. Engagement & reward

Next to building a culture that enables the company to move forward, HR is also heavily involved in creating the employee experience and other conditions that lead to employee engagement.

Employee engagement is a positive, work-related state of mind, characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption.

Oftentimes, engagement is a more important factor for employees to stay than a high reward — although fair and competitive compensation is a must-have to retain employees in the long run.

9. Career management

Career management is a great way to help employees grow professionally.

If an employee has the ambition to become a sales manager, he/she has to go through multiple commercial functions to get to that point.

Planning their career path will help them stay motivated, and perform better so that they can land their dream job in the future.

10. Termination or Transition

This is the last of the 10 stages of the HR life cycle. There are some loyal employees who will leave a company through retirement after a long and successful career. Others might choose to move on to other career opportunities or be laid off. Whatever the reason, all employees will eventually leave the company at some point.

The role of HR in this process is to manage the transition by ensuring that all policies and procedures are followed strictly, from carrying out an exit interview if that is company policy to removing the employee from the system.

All of these stages can be handled internally, with the help of external companies, or with some automation tools that provide services to manage the employee life cycle.

Like any cycle, the Human Resource life cycle is continuous, uninterrupted, and unbroken. This means that the composition of the workforce & employees (outflow of personnel, developed skills, current performance) and the composition of the company/ organization (culture and organizational, job, and team design) feeds into the business strategy.f you liked the blog please hit the 👏 button and share it with more people.

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Namita Velgekar