In my post about Engaging Employees, I pointed out that one of the things to consider as part of that step in your VOC initiative is the employee experience lifecycle – from Need through Exit. Plotting the employee experience lifecycle will guide you in a variety of different ways, not the least of which is in helping to determine what types of surveys you might conduct and, more importantly, what types of metrics to track. Remember that this is the employee experience lifecycle,so it’s diagrammed from the employee’s point of view.

In this post, I’ll describe the various stages of the lifecycle, as depicted in the image below. You’ll notice that the employee experience lifecycle has stages similar to those in the customer experience lifecycle I wrote about previously. I’ll explore these more as I define them below, but to some degree, the employee’s lifecycle with the company is similar to a customer’s, odd as that sounds.

As with the customer experience lifecycle, the employee experience lifecycle begins with a Need: the need for a job.  If the employee has previously worked for the company, Need becomes the first step even as a rehire. Need is not in the lifecycle graphic above, as sometimes it comes before Awareness and sometimes after.

From the employee’s perspective, here’s how the lifecycle stages are defined.
Awareness: This is when prospective employees first become aware of your brand; this might or might not be as a result of the Need for a job. This Awareness might be created by your marketing or advertising efforts, job postings, or word of mouth/referrals from a friend, recruiter, or employee.
Consideration: Now that prospective employees are aware of your brand, it becomes one of the brands in their consideration set for employment. This means that they’ll research and investigate your company to find out if you are a worthy employer. Interviewing with the company also falls into this stage.
Selection/Rejection: Once the interview process is completed, the employee is either selected or rejected; it could also be a case in which the employee selects or rejects the company. Note that this might be the end of the employee experience lifecycle for some, and yet that end may only be temporary, as the candidate might choose to seek employment with the company again in the future or vice versa. This is also a good time to note that the lifecycle is not necessarily linear and potentially has twists and turns to it.
Experience: During this stage, the employee becomes a part of the family: they go through orientation and training, do their jobs, have performance reviews, are offered career development opportunities, etc.  And ideally, if they are satisfied with the experience because their basic employment needs and expectations have been met, they move into the next stage.

Loyalty: During this stage, employees are happy with their employment, and, as a result, make a conscious decision to remain an employee rather than look elsewhere for a new job opportunity.
Advocacy: If employees reach this point, they are committed to the organization, respect leadership and the vision, and enjoy being a part of the company so much that they want their friends to become a part, as well. They open up to their networks and refer friends to work for the company.

Engagement: Employees have achieved that emotional bond with the company in this stage. They enjoy the culture and their work, and their friends work there with them. They take pride in what they do and feel ownership in the company. They feel the company does great things, including the things that aren’t necessarily tied to revenue, i.e., community involvement, corporate/social responsibility, etc.

Raving Fans: And finally, I believe that the ultimate employee experience yields Raving Fans. They are passionate about the company, the people, the products, what the company does, and why the company does it. These employees feel they are part of something bigger, align with the company’s core values, and feel part of a community striving to do something great (purpose-driven); they show an outward expression of their devotion to the company. They become brand ambassadors. If you offer these employees the choice of cash to leave versus staying to be a part of something cool, they choose to be cool.
The last part of the employee experience lifecycle is Exit. I don’t show it in the graphic because it might not happen at the end of the continuum – it could happen sooner. Also, if they Exit, they could be rehired at some point in the future.
This is a great quote from Herb Kelleher; it is his response to being asked his “secret to success:” “You have to treat your employees like customers.” 

I’ll write more about the employee experience in future blog posts.