Common Pitfalls to Avoid in a Lifecycle Program

We all want our employee lifecycle program to be a success. There are, however, a few potential pitfalls to watch out for in the stages along the employee journey. Here are the most common ones to watch out for and avoid.


Not asking how they heard about you: You’ll want to know which job advert channels delivered the most candidates so that you can concentrate resources on those in future. When everyone’s applying online through certain job sites and nobody saw your billboard, save money by cancelling that billboard. Not contacting all candidates: a good company reputation is crucial as you compete to attract quality candidates. Candidates who hear nothing from you after an interview will take a dim view of this treatment and may leave negative feedback on job sites. Contact every candidate in a timely manner, whether they’re successful or not, and always reply to their emails. This is the perfect opportunity to survey for feedback on your recruitment process and the resulting data, e.g. offer-to-acceptance ratio can measure how efficient your process is.


Failing to deliver an excellent onboarding experience: Nearly 70% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding. Early inclusion in your HR management system means that new hires can fill out all their starter forms, have their tech access and email set up and maybe take part in some online training – before they even come in on their first day. Valuable onboarding time can then be spent on site doing value-added tasks, not admin. Not keeping your onboarding up to date: Your onboarding process needs regular review and updating so that it moves with your organisation and new employees receive the most up-to-date training and relevant skills. Collecting feedback from new hires helps your company understand what is working well for them and what might need improving and updating. Not making the most of your HR technology: It can take up to six months for a new hire to feel fully onboarded and integrated into their position. Use that time to check in consistently on their progress, requesting feedback with short but frequent pulse surveys to see where the process can be improved. The first day, first week, first month, and first quarter in a new role are natural events for such surveys. Supervisors can also organise and schedule onboarding events and one-to-one meetings well in advance. An automated system of pulse or always-on feedback that provides real-time data can help shape a new employee’s experience of the company throughout their whole lifecycle.

Development and retention stages

Doing irrelevant surveys: Employees will fill in a lot of surveys during their lifecycle and for their feedback to be useful, it’s important that the questions are relevant to specific lifecycle events, and not generic. Keep onboarding surveys within ramp time and engagement surveys during career development, don’t mix and match them. Failing to keep feedback confidential: employees will only give honest feedback if they trust that it will be treated in the strictest confidence. When responses can be attributed, people may tone them down and this compromises the quality of the data. It’s also hard to build trust back up again once it has been compromised. Lack of action following feedback data: Items on a survey must be specific and actionable, otherwise there’s no point asking about them. Managers need to have access to sufficient support and resources to deliver the improvements highlighted by the feedback. Lack of transparency: it’s tempting to brush poor employee engagement scores under the carpet, but a lack of transparency rarely leads to a good outcome. Instead of glossing over poor results, use them to initiate honest conversations that can lead to real action and change. Taking ages to report survey results back: Employees have used their precious time to complete the surveys; they want to hear the results and possible actions – fast. Survey results that take weeks or even months to be circulated cause disengagement and a demotivating lack of interest. Not optimising your performance reviews: the worst performance reviews involve a manager’s monologue to an employee, with woolly criticism of where they could do better but not offering practical support to improve. Good performance reviews are two-way conversations, soundly based on feedback scores and as much about what the employee is doing well as where they need to improve. A good HR software system provides a central hub where actions can be recorded and easily accessed at any time by both managers and employees keeping everything on track and implementing agreed actions.


Failing to take exit surveys seriously, or not do them at all: you may think a departing employee has nothing to offer that affects your key performance indicators. You’d be wrong. Exit surveys are often the most honest, and the data gleaned from them can help you understand the reasons why people leave. With this knowledge you can intervene more effectively at the retention stage in the lifecycle, or maybe even earlier, and reduce your staff attrition rate.

See how you can use Qualtrics to create a lifecycle program that dodges all pitfalls