5 Stages in the Employee Lifecycle When Surveys Are a Must

stages in the employee lifecycle when surveys are a mustThere are certain moments in our lives that are simply more important than others. It’s why we celebrate anniversaries, holidays, and birthdays.

These are times to reflect, take stock of our current state, and compare with previous years.

The same goes for the employee lifecycle.


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An employee’s first day on the job is incredibly more important than a random Tuesday years into their tenure. These moments provide natural checkpoints for organizations to check on employee engagement.

Don’t let these key junctures pass without performing a quick check-up. How an employee feels during certain points in their tenure can provide insights into how to improve the employee experience not just for them, but their coworkers too.


Use these five critical moments to re-assess employee engagement and improve your workplace:


1. New Hires


Most employees arrive eager and bright-eyed at new jobs, excited to learn more about this new opportunity and how they can make their imprint on the organization. They have preconceived notions about the workplace coming in, but those won’t be confirmed until they’re actually on the job.

This is the perfect time to grab opinions about the onboarding experience and the organization as a whole. It will serve as a baseline to gauge an employee’s engagement level over the course of their tenure.

Consider sending new hires a pulse survey after a week (to grade onboarding), a month, and 60 days into a new job. You want to make sure employees get their tenure started off on the right foot. These surveys help ensure engagement remains steady and original expectations are met or exceeded.


Questions to consider:

  • What did you find most helpful from your onboarding experience? What did you find lacking?
  • My manager has laid out a clear plan and expectations for me. (1-6 agreement scale)
  • I feel comfortable in my role. (1-6 agreement scale)
  • How did your expectations differ from the reality of working at our organization, good or bad? (after 30/60 days)


2. Promotions


It’s a big deal to get promoted, and it’s not a day the employee will forget anytime soon. They’re likely excited about the new position, but maybe they are underwhelmed by the pay bump or believe the promotion was long overdue. Uncover these thoughts through a pulse survey to help craft your plan for employee evaluation and promotions in the future.


Questions to consider:

  • What makes you an ideal fit for this new role?
  • How does the timing of the promotion match up with original expectations?
  • I am satisfied with my new salary and/or benefits package. (1-6 agreement scale)


3. Lateral Moves


Not every new position is accompanied with a step up the corporate ladder. Employees can change teams for a new opportunity or sense there’s a better shot at a future promotion in another role. Maybe they dislike their manager and desire a change of scenery.

It’s important to uncover employee motivations in lateral moves to determine what they didn’t care for on their former team and what excites them about the new opportunity. It can also help you determine traits to look for when filling the now-vacated job.


Questions to consider:

  • Why did you decide to move into your new position?
  • What role did your former manager play in your move?
  • What skills will you take from your former position to the new role?
  • What are your long-term goals, and how did they factor into this decision?


4. First-Time Managers


The move from employee to manager is significant. The new manager is in a leadership role for the first time, and they suddenly have a host of new expectations and responsibilities to deal with. Most managers need a good deal of coaching and seasoning before they blossom into effective leaders.

This is a great time to set a starting point. Pulse the new manager to gauge their engagement, then do the same a few months later. This will give you a snapshot on how they’re adjusting to the new role, what struggles they’re facing, and how you can support them moving forward.


Questions to consider:

  • The adjustment from individual contributor to manager has been smooth. (1-6 agreement scale)
  • How could the organization better supported you during your adjustment as a new manager?
  • What has been you biggest pain point as manager?
  • What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to another new manager at this organization?


5. Exiting Employees


Turnover is never easy and should generally be avoided. Rather than conducting a meaningless exit interview, get some honest, meaningful feedback with an exit survey. Instead of sugarcoating their opinions in a face-to-face setting, employees are allowed to reflect before answering and, with confidentiality, can tell hard truths without fear of burning bridges or losing a recommendation.

When an employee leaves, you want to know why. Were they disengaged? What caused them to look for another opportunity? Were they unmotivated by their manager? The answers to these questions help you find holes in your engagement strategy and prevent future turnover.

Just as important is pulsing your remaining employees. Not all turnover is bad turnover – sometimes an employee isn’t meeting expectations or is a problem in the workplace. Survey the exiting employees peers to uncover their opinions. This information can help form your hiring/interview process.


Questions to consider:

For exiting employee (voluntary exits):
  • Why are you choosing to leave our organization?
  • Did you have all the resources you needed to succeed here?
  • How can we improve the workplace to avoid further turnover?
For remaining employees:
  • How did you feel [exiting employee] fit in with the team?
  • How big of a loss is [exiting employee]’s departure? (1-6 agreement scale)



Sourcing employee opinions during important career milestones is a terrific way to gauge engagement. To learn more about pulse surveys and how to effectively use them, download our ebook, The All-Encompassing Guide to Pulse Surveys.

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Published December 27, 2018 | Written By Dan Hoppen