Employees are your organization’s greatest asset. Happy employees are engaged and productive, but without the right support, even your best people can become burnt out, disillusioned, and discouraged. Creating and maintaining a good employee experience is key to getting the best out of your team and will help you avoid issues like high turnover and losing key employees.

How do you create an employee experience that inspires and engages your team and attracts high performing employees? You accomplish it by understanding the employee journey and intentionally designing the employee experience. Employee journey mapping helps you do just that.

Employee Journey Mapping

The employee journey is a holistic view of the employee’s experience within your company. It begins when the prospective employee submits their application and lasts through the employee’s last day with your organization. Journey mapping is an analytical tool you can use to get a top-level view of the entire employee experience, allowing you to spot problem areas and identify opportunities to make improvements.

Why is it Important?

  1. Understand what your employee experience looks like now. Nothing will change until you have a good grasp on what is happening currently.
  2. Identify what is working well. You may be able to learn lessons that you can apply in other areas of the experience.
  3. Figure out what is not working well. Once you recognize the problem areas, you can begin to find solutions.
  4. Find opportunities for growth. There are likely areas in the employee experience where small changes will result in big changes.

How to start the process

(Step 1) The first part of the process is to clearly identify and write down what your goal is. It could be to fix a retention problem or attract better talent. Your objective will be contingent on your unique circumstances.

(Step 2) Bring together a team that has knowledge of the different parts of the employee experience. Be intentional about who you bring together. What insight do they bring? How are they going to contribute? Do they need to be looped in from the beginning?

(Step 3) Create employee profiles. Employee experience isn’t one size fits all. Employees at different levels and stages in their careers will have different needs. Focus on roles. For example a front-line employee will have a different experience from your headquarter employees. You create a persona by gathering information that builds a picture of who the average employee is.

You can as questions like:

  • What are their pain points?
  • What are their goals?
  • What are their motivations?
  • How old are they?
  • How long have they been with the company?
  • How often do they get promoted?

(Step 4) Run them through the different stages of the employee experience. Ask questions like,  who do they come in contact with? What activities do they have to perform to be successful? What role does culture play in their experience? How does your organization support them?

Key Components of the Employee Journey Map

The employee journey can be broken up into three stages and five subsections:

Stage One – The Beginning

  1. Recruitment – This is where it all begins. When you draft your job description, you begin to set expectations and make promises, whether you do it intentionally or not. Your job posting sets the tone and communicates who your company is and what it values. In the interview process, candidates meet key people in leadership positions. Your offer letter concretely lays out how much you value your employees and the work they do.
  1. Onboarding – This part of the experience is key to early success. This is when new employers learn to be effective in their new roles. This is also when they get introduced to your company culture. Cultural integration is key to long-term success.

Stage Two – Life

  1. Development – This part of the process goes on throughout your relationship with your employees, as the employer. You want to measure productivity, give productive feedback, and invest in your employees’ professional development. Other types of activities that fall under development are cross-training, promotions, evaluations, and mentorship.
  1. Retention – Retention activities are aimed at keeping your employees engaged and productive. This can be the most difficult to undertake because it’s difficult to standardize engagement.

Stage Three – End

  1. Exit – Every employee will leave your organization at some point. Exits can be because of retirement, because they are disgruntled, or dozens of other reasons. An exit is a perfect opportunity to receive the most honest feedback you can get. Often employees leaving an organization can be the most candid and blunt about the problems in your organization.

(Step 5) Analyze your findings. Ask questions like, where in the process can you spot where you are failing your employees? Are you setting them up for success? Is your process designed for the wrong type of employee?”

(Step 6) Generate solutions. Analyze what you find and brainstorm ways to solve the problems you encountered. Bring in a cross-functional team to help you explore different perspectives.

(Step 7) Test, measure, and repeat. Implement your solutions and mechanism to test if you have generated the desired results.

Mapping out your employee experience takes time and effort, but it can deliver big returns. It aligns your organization’s employee experience, gives you insights into improving the experience, and boosts employee happiness. Happy employees are delighted to come to work, are engaged, and invested in the organization’s success. For more Business and HR insights subscribe to our newsletter.