Training is essential at all stages of the employee lifecycle—before you even hire someone to when they leave the company.

The employee lifecycle is a human resources model that defines the stages of an employee’s career with the company to help guide and manage the process.

It involves the following stages:

In this seven-part blog series, we’ll discuss why and how to implement a good training program to support each stage of the employee lifecycle.


Employee development seems like it should be part of every company’s strategy, but often it’s not a significant focus, or it’s even completely ignored. Worse, many employees wait passively for management to hand them a development path or opportunity to learn new skills.

Employee development is everyone’s responsibility: it needs to be offered by the employer and demanded by the employee.

This is where training can play a huge role. Training gives employees the opportunity to develop their own skills and career paths, which will help build loyalty, productivity and retention.

Easy Ideas for Development

Online Training

Online training is great because employees can choose courses they want to explore and take each in their own time, usually on the device of their choice. There’s a lot of freedom and empowerment with this option that allows your employees to learn what, when and how they think is most important for them.

Lunch and Learns

If the Lunch and Learns are internal, your employees can explain what they’re working on or a particular topic they are experts in during a lunch hour. In this way, the presenters get experience preparing and speaking in front of their peers. Plus, the attendees get to learn something new or see what their peers are doing, creating a sense of community and engagement. If the Lunch and Learns are external, meaning you get a speaker or trainer to present, there is still the benefit of employees learning in an interactive environment.

Workplace Affinity Groups

Workplace affinity groups, or networking groups, give employees the opportunity to connect with co-workers socially and share ideas among many different people. The goal is collaboration and knowledge sharing. At work, these groups can help employees tackle tough problems together, gain new skills and learn best practices from each other. Mentoring and coaching are a huge part of this option and can give all participants a sense of purpose and importance in their role and at the company. Learn more about workplace affinity groups.

If you’re a training department of one, here are a couple of suggestions that might work, too:

  1. Enlist thought leaders from other departments to partner with you to identify the training needs for your organization. If it is training specific to your organization, these allies may be able to deliver some of the classes.
  2. Depending on your budget, use external trainers or cost-effective e-learning programs and supplement the key learnings with some in-house follow up activities.

Involving Managers

Involving managers will ensure that employee development remains a significant focus.

Check out a few ideas to get and keep managers involved.

Get buy-in

Explain to managers that the superstars on their teams want to tie their careers to high-performing companies that will invest resources in their personal success. Employees who can see that the organization cares about their development (as well as their productivity) are generally more satisfied in their jobs and less likely to leave, and those retention statistics (and costs for hiring replacements) can be measured and rewarded.

Have a plan

Start by assessing your company’s business goals, and then tie your employee development plan to them. How will employee development not only keep employees happy and engaged, but also help reach business objectives? Make sure your plan has measurable success metrics associated with the business goals.

Explain expectations

It’s important for managers to know just what they are expected to do, how much time it should take and what the outcomes should be. Employee development can be time-consuming and managers might be resistant to that at first. But with a good plan and outlined expectations, employee development doesn’t have to be perceived as a chore.

Measure, measure, measure

Remember how your plan needs measurable success metrics? This is why. Employee development is only good when it’s actually accomplishing something, so make sure you monitor and measure the outcomes.

Don’t let employee development slip through the cracks; it’s too important to your employees and the success of your company.


Stay tuned for the next in our employee lifecycle series on Retention.

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