The 4 Seasons of an Employee’s Onboarding Life Cycle

Where Attention Grows’ Trust Blossoms and Retention Blooms.

Let’s talk about how an employee’s first year in a company is a lot like the changing seasons, each with its own vibe and challenges. In this blog, we’ll explore « The 4 Seasons of an Employee’s Onboarding Life Cycle » and how organizations can navigate these seasons to foster growth, trust, success and retention. This blog sheds more light on the first tip from our blog « Time to Rethink Employee Retention » 

1. Spring (Hiring): 

The onboarding journey begins in the spring when a new employee is recruited. This season is like the first buds of a flower, representing the potential and growth ahead. It’s crucial to provide a smooth transition from the application process to the first day of work. A well-designed onboarding process ensures a warm welcome, clear expectations, and equips the new employee with the tools and resources needed to get started. 


However, successful onboarding doesn’t end on the first day. It’s an ongoing process that sets the foundation for a positive employee experience. Continuous communication and support are essential to help new hires to acclimate to their roles and the company culture. 

2. Summer (Building Trust): 

As the employee’s journey progresses, they enter the summer of their onboarding. This season is about building trust, much like the warm and sunny days of summer that invite people to relax and enjoy the environment around them. 


During this phase, employees are seeking to find their place in the organization. To build trust, it’s crucial to create an environment where employees feel valued and heard. Encourage open communication, invite them to share their honest opinions about the organization, and foster an open feedback culture (read more about this in this blog). Additionally, allow the employees to learn from their mistakes and provide constructive feedback to help them grow. 

3. Autumn (Growth & Development)

Just as autumn is a season of transformation in nature, it’s also time of growth and development in an employee’s onboarding journey. This is when the organization should continue to provide regular feedback in both directions – employees and employers sharing their thoughts and employers recognizing the contributions of their employees. 


In the autumn phase, creating training opportunities is vital for employees to continue growing in their roles. Recognize their successes, both small and significant, to boost morale and motivation. This is also an excellent time to discuss development areas and set goals that align with the employee’s aspirations and the company’s objectives. 

4. Winter (Engagement & Retention)

Winter marks the final phase of an employee’s onboarding life cycle. Like the winter season, this phase can be challenging, but it’s essential for engagement and retention. It’s a time to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements made over the seasons. 


However, it’s also a season for reflection and planning. Share expectations and collaborate on a plan to continue investing in the employee’s career. Provide mentorship and guidance, demonstrating your dedication to their growth and well-being. A supportive employer-employee relationship is the key to mutual success, even as the seasons change. 


« What’s Going Wrong? ».

« Digging Deeper: Why It’s Not Working ».

« Turning It Around: Our Game Plan ».

Skipping phase, loosing trust: Ignoring different stages harms trust, leading to disengagement and unmet needs, risking high turnover. 

Partial attention, limited impact: Only focusing on initial onboarding stalls growth. Ignoring later phases restricts progress and hurts long-time retention. 

Bonding for trust, boosting retention: Engage at every stage. Offer consistent support, recognition, and growth opportunities. Building trust through ongoing communication and learning creates lasting relationships, positively impacting retention. 

Let’s – walk the – talk…

Layla El Mourabit

Founder & Managing Partner, Certified leadership Coach, Master in Body Language, Transformation Facilitator, Headhunter