Inspired by customer journey mapping, the employee lifecycle model is a framework used by human resources (HR) and learning and development (L&D) teams to map out the start-to-finish employee experience at a company. The model can be broken down into many phases, but the four major phases of the employee lifecycle include:

  1. Onboarding
  2. Employee development
  3. Employee retention
  4. Separation and offboarding

The model can also be used to align L&D initiatives across the entire employee experience and create a cohesive culture of learning that nurtures employees at every phase of their journey with the company.

The 3 Cs of Impactful Learning Content

One of the table stakes requirements for any L&D initiative to succeed is the user experience. Learning content and the technology and tools used to deliver it are the main inputs of user experience. In order to build valuable content and select the right tools, you need to deeply understand your learners and the business functions you’re looking to support. According to Daniel Mills, senior learning consultant at Valamis, there are three “Cs” and pillars of high-quality learning content that serve the learner and organization.

Effective training helps employees:

  1. Stay compliant: Learning should keep people safe (psychologically, legally, safety, etc.).
  2. Be competitive: Learning should keep people current and up-to-speed on their individual role, field, industry trends, company, customers, competitors, etc.
  3. Achieve career advancement: learning should help individuals develop and advance in their career (laterally, upward, etc.) while also utilizing their unique strengths, motivations, values and interests.

A common technology used to deliver learning initiatives beyond compliance, the learning experience platform (LXP) can support the three Cs across the employee lifecycle and enable L&D and HR departments to create a positive employee experience. Mills says, “The LXP is a place for providing resources, support, and opportunities for an employee to progress through the employee lifecycle. Nobody comes to the LXP because of the functionality, they come there for the good quality content.”

L&D and HR departments can work together to map out their goals across the employee journey and the touchpoints where they can use their LXP.

Mapping the Learning Experience to the Employee Experience

The LXP should deliver a personalized learning experience that gives employees opportunities to practice and reinforce new skills while receiving continuous feedback for improvement, so they are supported on their journey to being compliant, competitive and progressing in their careers.

1. Onboarding

Onboarding is the process by which new employees gain the skills, knowledge and behaviors to become effective contributors to an organization. The first touchpoints of onboarding integration are attraction and recruitment of the employee.

When a prospective employee is looking for a new job or is contacted by a recruiter, these crucial moments set the first impression of your employer brand. Marketing a unique employer competitive advantage — such as ongoing professional development — to attract the ideal candidates for your team and company’s needs help you position against other employers. Vacancy marketing, employer branding, role-profiling, rewards and benefits, and recruitment all need to give a consistent “feel” to support your company’s brand. Your brand should represent your organization’s values and culture, and in turn will attract candidates who align with those values.

Some LXPs work in conjunction with an internal talent marketplace and can help identify skills adjacencies to address skill gaps. This information can be used to create a profile for the role you are trying to hire for and decide whether you can hire from within or whether you need to outsource for the role.

2. Employee Development

Aside from onboarding, an LXP can support employees ongoing professional development. By delivering personalized learning to users LXPs can help you turn high-performers into leaders as well as support your company’s broader upskilling and reskilling goals.

LXPs can also provide the resources for self-directed learning to take place; learners can find resources from mentors, coaches or materials that align with their interests and offer solutions to their challenges. In addition, an LXP can continue to be used to support employee health and well-being, on-the-job training (OJT), formal training, compliance recertifications, and any development that can help the learner be more successful and fulfilled at work. Understanding the tasks people need to get done can help align your learning content strategy and audit where you might have gaps in the employee lifecycle.

Another way that LXPs can help organizations is by responding to market change and strategic organizational shifts. When you can mobilize everyone in a new direction quickly with your learning, you can adapt fast to seen and unforeseen circumstances.

  1. Employee Retention

According to LinkedIn’s 2019 Workplace Learning report, 94% of employees would remain at an organization if the organization invested in their professional development, dramatically reducing costs related to employee turnover.

Learning is often seen as a significant employee benefit that could be used to attract and retain employees to the organization. By offering learning and career opportunities like mentorship & coaching, employee assistance programs, and certifications, employees can find fulfillment by knowing they are growing in their career. When people have access to learning opportunities, they can apply in their work and achieve results, and then grow in their careers with their organization, they will be less likely to look outside the organization for their next career opportunity. Some LXPs have built-in capability academies, or mentorship opportunities led by a business leader segmented for a group to achieve a capability.

  1. Offboarding

When someone leaves a role or the company to pursue a new opportunity to learn and grow, it is necessary for an employer to try and capture the knowledge of seasoned employees before they leave their role. This can be done in many ways, such as job shadowing, stretch assignments and cross-skilling programs, and can be delivered within an LXP in many formats like bite-sized training videos or documentation. Some LXPs have in-house content authoring tools that enable learners to make content easily for other colleagues to learn. Other LXPs can integrate with common content authoring tools, and you can truly create a culture of learning where everyone can share knowledge. Alternatively, you can work with content providers to curate knowledge from outside your organization.

Building a pipeline of high-quality content requires a blended experience of leveraging expertise and perspectives internally and externally. Sourcing from multiple stakeholders to achieve a positive employee experience can help your organization and people within stay compliant, competitive and career-progressing throughout the beginning of their career at your organization through many roles and projects beyond.