l'altimetroMost small business owners put a lot of time—and money—into hiring. Just how much? The numbers might surprise you: At $8 per hour, you could wind up paying $3,500 per employee in direct and indirect recruiting costs (The Undercover Recruiter). Depending on how long your job search goes, this could balloon even higher.

Obviously, employers take hiring seriously, and they’re willing to spend a pretty penny on the process. But while the hiring process is often the center of attention, the rest of the employment lifecycle doesn’t get as much attention.

It should, however, because retaining a good employee can pay just as many dividends as hiring the right one. So, what should employers be focusing on throughout the employee lifecycle in addition to hiring?

1. Onboarding New Employees

Hooray! You’ve found the next member of your team—time to let them shine, right? Wrong! The next step you should take is to make sure they’re trained in their job and your company’s culture. Developing a detailed and thorough orientation process will create a successful onboarding experience for new employees.

2. Training

Knowing there’s opportunity for growth through training and development boosts employee morale and productivity and allows employees to sharpen or add to their skill sets. You can offer training in a variety of formats, including outside seminars, computerized training, and mentoring programs. Remember that a continued opportunity for growth through training is what matters—giving staff a chance to keep improving will differentiate your company and improve your employees’ happiness. Which leads us to…

3. Employee Satisfaction

This is essential to the success of your business. Knowing whether or not your employees are happy and committed to their jobs is vital. Good managers know that happy and satisfied employees are more productive and loyal and are less likely to look for other job opportunities. Therefore, keeping turnover low and ensuring employees are satisfied with their careers should be a priority for every employer. Check out several of the most successful methods for gauging employee satisfaction in the Employee Lifecycle Roadmap.

4. Handling Complaints

How you deal with the problems and issues that arise within your company will lend itself to employee satisfaction and retention. After all, every workplace will experience occasional issues, disagreements, or disputes.

Unfortunately, not all of them are resolved quickly or easily. In some cases, an employee may choose to file a complaint with the management or HR department. No matter the magnitude of the complaint, each one should be taken seriously and handled promptly. Ignoring complaints from employees or handling them poorly could result in major issues, especially for small and midsized businesses. Find out how you can handle employee complaints and avoid trouble.

5. Offboarding & Termination

Unfortunately, not all employees will stay. People move. Recruiters go after top talent. Sometimes it’s just not a good fit for one reason or another. While the beginning of the employment relationship is certainly very important, the end of the relationship is critical.

If it’s not handled well, it could hurt your company even more than a bad hire. Social media can be your friend or your enemy. An ex-employee could inflict a lot of pain if they aren’t treated well on the way out. Your business could also be hurt by the cost of unemployment claims, or worse, a dreaded lawsuit. Any of these could cost you valuable time and money, and they could even put you out of business in some cases—so you need to know what to do in order to prevent them.

6. Retaining Older Workers

According to one Pew Research Center article, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects that by 2022, 31.9% of those ages 65-74 will still be working. Not only are improvements in health care and preventive medicine increasing the population of citizens over age 55, but more than 40% of these individuals continue to work—a larger percentage than ever before. This shift presents employers with a number of concerns, and it is beneficial to identify the value of retaining older workers and learn how to accommodate them.

7. Retirement

One of the biggest worries for employees is whether or not they are prepared for retirement. As a business owner, you have a great opportunity to help ease your employees’ minds and become an employer of choice by helping your employees prepare for retirement. In this guide, we offer five ways to help your employees prepare for retirement and show them that their continued, long-term well-being is important to you.

So, why does the employee lifecycle after hiring matter?

Consider the real “total cost” of losing an employee via Josh Bersin. The total cost of losing an employee includes:

  • “Cost of hiring a new person (advertising, interviewing, screening, hiring)
  • Cost of onboarding a new person (training, management time)
  • Lost productivity (a new person may take 1-2 years to reach the productivity of an existing person)
  • Lost engagement (other employees who see high turnover disengage and lose productivity)
  • Customer service and errors (new employees take longer and are often less adept at solving problems). In healthcare this may result in much higher error rates, illness, and other very expensive costs (which are not seen by HR)
  • Training cost (over 2-3 years you likely invest 10-20% of an employee’s salary or more in training, that is gone)
  • Cultural impact (whenever someone leaves others take time to ask ‘why?’).”

This list is an excellent reminder of just how much is invested in your employees. By taking care to avoid as many problems in every stage of the lifecycle as possible, you can keep your best employees happier, which makes them more likely to stick with you—and allows you to invest in other aspects of your company.

Learn what you need in order to find and retain the best employees—download the guide below now.