Recently, there’s been a lot of discourse around employee retention during The Great Resignation. Taking the employee lifecycle into account can help you better upskill and retain your top talent — a valuable ability to have in this time of increasing uncertainty in the job market. Let’s take a look at the employee journey and examine some of the top training considerations to keep in mind for each stage.

The employee life cycle starts with the pre-recruitment phase. Human resources (HR) tends to look at the journey as interview, selection, onboarding, retention and separation. However, as learning professionals, we are most interested in the following stages: onboarding, continuous development and retention.

Let’s look at the three stages in a bit more detail.


Onboarding is how new employees get up to speed with the skills and knowledge required for success in an organization. Ineffective onboarding can leave a lasting impression on new employees and, as a result, they may develop a negative perception of the company. This can lead to higher turnover if employees maintain this negative view of workplace culture.

Onboarding can include things like:

  • An introduction to the company.
  • An introduction to the department and its team members.
  • Compliance information.
  • HR and information technology (IT) processes.

It is a bit much for the new employee to remember everything that is communicated during an onboarding process. This is where learning sessions play a crucial role. The sessions can include face-to-face or virtual instructor-led (VILT) sessions, digital learning and microlearning nuggets.

Employees should not feel burdened or overwhelmed by their new position within the organization. Rather, learning professionals should help them ease into the system. Properly planned learning sessions go a long way toward easing them into their job.

It is important that the new employees are provided with a good mix of custom and off-the-shelf solutions that help them get abreast with their function, domain, team and any other soft skills required to perform their job optimally.

Post-onboarding Development

Training is not a one-time event. After onboarding, the organization should provide training on a continuous basis. Continuous learning can be provided through microlearning nuggets that reinforce formal training sessions. Reinforcement is key here, as learners tend to forget much of what they’ve learned if there isn’t continued reinforcement. Short microlearning nuggets help employees remember the key aspects of the training. This is critical, as learners can only apply what they’ve learned if they remember the concepts in the first place.

Retention Through Engagement and Continuous Development

After a year in the organization, most employees expect growth, promotions or better opportunities within the organization. As the months pass, there is a tendency for monotony to set in. Thus, organizations must ensure that employees are engaged through better or different opportunities. Beneficially for the business, engagement can be cultivated through training interventions. These can be functional, technical or behavioral training. They can include certificate programs that carry credits and help employees learn more within their domain — and feel that they are growing and making meaningful progress in their careers.

Organizations should also have learning journeys and paths to help employees understand processes and functions. These paths should have a good mix of classroom sessions, digital learning and microlearning as formal training reinforcement. Learning journeys give a meaningful experience to the learners and help them better remember content.

It is not just about career advancement but a sense of belonging and growth that is crucial here.

Rotation is also an important part of an employee’s journey. After a few years, employees may want to shift teams or change departments or functions.

In Conclusion

To conclude, there are several best practices to ensure that training is provided optimally throughout an employee’s lifecycle in an organization. A good training roadmap ensures optimal learning and better retention of concepts, thereby leading to better application of learning.