A Complete Guide to Employee Journey Mapping

A recent McKinsey survey shows that 40% of employees are planning to leave their current place of employment. Some top complaints of employees looking to leave include low wages and unsatisfying work. Many employees are choosing to reinvent themselves to join a new industry or work from home as their own boss.

To combat these changes, employers must be more strategic about recruiting, onboarding, and retaining employees. Employee journey mapping helps employers be intentional about how they interact with employees while working to meet everyone’s needs.

What Are the Benefits of Employee Journey Mapping?

The goal of employee journey mapping is to give equal weight to the needs of employers and employees throughout each stage of interaction between the two. It’s a way of running a business with intentionality. Improving employee satisfaction and morale stops being a vague company goal and becomes a cornerstone to each employee journey mapping stage.

There are several benefits to employee journey mapping. One benefit is that employers can reduce high employee burnout rates by proactively considering employee needs. This means recognizing and anticipating employee needs rather than waiting for employees to tell them when they feel stressed, overwhelmed, under-compensated, or under-trained.

And with nearly two-thirds of employees currently giving more consideration to their mental health — and expecting employers to do the same — employee journey mapping can pave the road for positive interactions with employees around these and other challenges.

Considerations for Each Stage in the Employee Journey

To make employee journey mapping a success, it’s important to consider three aspects of each stage in the journey: the employee perspective, the company perspective, and the concept of memorable moments.

Understanding employee perspectives

The first element of employee journey mapping is understanding the employees’ perspectives. This includes:

  • What their main goal is during that stage of the journey
  • What it takes to make that stage of the journey feel successful to them
  • What it takes to make that stage of the journey feel satisfactory to them
  • What their challenges are during that stage of the journey

You can discover more about employee perspectives using employee satisfaction surveys about each stage. Remember that these surveys aim not to pat yourself on the back but simply to understand your employees better. Once you understand their perspectives, you are better positioned to support their needs in a meaningful way.

Understanding the company’s perspectives

Employees are not the only piece of the puzzle. It’s important also to take note of the company’s perspectives and needs at each stage in the journey so you can provide support for both sides of the equation. You can support your employees while keeping company goals top of mind through careful balancing.

Creating memorable moments

Within each stage of the employee journey, there are moments that matter. These moments could be as simple as finding out you got the job in the recruitment stage. When employees reflect on that stage in their journey, these big moments are the aspects they are most likely to remember.

By focusing on the stage as a whole and honing in on specific memorable moments, you increase the chances that employees will appreciate the stage both while they’re in that moment and when they look back on that moment in the future.

What Are Some Employee Journey Mapping Examples?

Depending on your company, there could be countless stages in your employee journey map. You may even need to make separate maps for each department in your company, especially if different teams have vastly different needs.

Let’s look at four of the most important and universal stages in a typical employee journey map: recruiting, hiring, onboarding and training, and continual training and development.

Recruiting

The first step in employee journey mapping happens before employees even begin working for your company. The recruitment stage is all about finding the right people for your company, empowering them to bring their best selves to each step in the hiring process, and choosing the right candidate for the job.

Employee perspectives & goals

Prospective employees tend to look at recruiting from a practical standpoint. Their goals may include:

  • Finding a job that meets their salary and benefits needs
  • Knowing job requirements before spending time on an application
  • Understanding what the prospective job entails

Company perspectives & goals

From a company perspective, the most important aspects of the recruitment process include:

  • Marketing job openings in a way that encourages strong applicants
  • Making job openings available to the right people
  • Ensuring a fair, equitable, and legal recruitment process
  • Knowing how long to keep recruitment open before moving on to the hiring process

Memorable moments

The most memorable moments from the recruitment process include:

  • Reading your company’s job description for the first time
  • Filling out the initial job application and sending it to your company

Solution examples

Once you understand the needs of both the company and prospective employees, potential solutions to improve the hiring process become clearer.

For example, including potential salary ranges in a job description would serve prospective employees because it would help them determine whether a job met their salary and benefit needs. Most applicants say that salary and benefits information is the most important aspect of a job ad.

Posting salary and benefits information also helps the company by encouraging candidates to apply only if they’re comfortable with your salary. And 75% of companies base their benefits on employee feedback. This means there’s a good chance that your company is already putting its best foot forward when it comes to the compensation you’re offering.

Being transparent about salary and benefits prevents you from wasting time reviewing and interviewing candidates who will eventually reject the job. It also safeguards against applicants who will accept the job and leave within a few months or a year because of dissatisfaction with their salary.

Another potential solution to this stage in the employee journey would be to streamline the online application process. This would mean allowing prospective employees to provide the information HR needs to make interviewing decisions while allowing the hiring team and prospective employees to spend less time on the application process.

Hiring

The next step in the employee journey map is the hiring stage. This includes the interview, candidate selection, and reaching out to candidates with decisions.

Employee perspectives & goals

Although you might think that a prospective employee’s goal during the interview process is to get hired, that’s not always the case. Today, more than ever, candidates are evaluating their potential employers just as much as potential employers are evaluating candidates.

If the goal isn’t necessarily just to land a job, what are job candidates looking for?

During the hiring process, prospective employees are most concerned with:

  • Knowing how long the process is going to take
  • Receiving feedback on how their interviews went
  • Having an efficient process that honors their time
  • Learning more about the company and the job so they can make an informed decision about whether they want to take the job if it’s offered to them

Company perspectives & goals

The recruiting team for your company has a completely different set of goals. These goals may include:

  • Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of all candidates
  • Ensuring a fair hiring process
  • Finding the right candidate for your job
  • Fulfilling HR’s hiring requirements

Memorable moments

The memorable moments from this stage in the journey include:

  • Interviews
  • Phone calls/letters telling candidates about their hiring status

Solution examples

One example of a solution that would honor the needs of both the company and the candidates would be to create a hiring calendar and share that timeline with candidates.

Developing a firm timeline can be time-consuming and put pressure on your hiring team. But it can also be a smart solution at this stage in your journey mapping process. Candidates are more likely to feel their time is being honored if they know how many interviews there are and when they can expect to hear back.

And hiring teams are more likely to be fair and fulfill all hiring requirements if they stick to a schedule to provide timely feedback to all candidates.

Onboarding & initial training

The onboarding process may include hiring paperwork, initial job training, showing new employees around the office, and introducing new employees to the people they will be working with regularly. It also involves less tangible line items, such as communicating company core values and helping remote workers connect to your in-house team.

Employee perspectives & goals

From an employee's perspective, starting a new job can be overwhelming. Goals may include:

Company perspectives & goals

From a company perspective, onboarding can be expensive and time-consuming. It can also be a distraction to employees who are already part of the company. As a result, company goals may include:

  • Getting new hires working in their roles as soon as possible
  • Limiting the disruption to other employees in the team/company

Memorable moments

Memorable moments during the onboarding process may include:

  • The moment when employees are first introduced to their new workspace
  • The moment when employees are first introduced to their new team
  • The training process

Solution examples

One potential solution that would help with the onboarding process would be to improve information accessibility. In doing so, new and old employees can find answers to their questions and know who to go to for follow-up questions.

While this wouldn’t eliminate the need for official training, it would help supplement training efforts, which would empower new employees and limit the disruption to the current team.

Continued training & development

Once prospective employees become full-fledged team members, the employee journey becomes even more important. This is the point that determines whether employees will stick around or whether your company will experience high turnover rates.

A system for continual training and employee development can help you foster workplace resilience, improve worker morale, and create a fulfilling work environment.

Employee perspectives & goals

During the course of a normal work period, employees may have goals that include:

  • Maintaining a strong work-life balance
  • Setting boundaries to protect their mental health
  • Developing themselves professionally in service of future promotions
  • Receiving positive feedback from their supervisors and teams

Company perspectives & goals

A company’s goals may include:

  • Developing an efficient, competent team
  • Improving workplace communication
  • Improving office morale
  • Reducing the amount of money spent on employee turnover
  • Ensuring all tasks are completed accurately and on time

Memorable moments

  • Conferences
  • Team meetings and team-building exercises
  • Promotions and raises
  • Employee reviews

Solution examples

One potential solution that would serve both companies and employees would be to implement regular professional development into the work routine. For example, you might implement a mentorship program.

Studies show that 94% of people involved in mentorship programs believe that the program shows that their employer is invested in their professional development. Meanwhile, mentorship programs can reduce skills gaps in the workplace, making teams more efficient and capable.

Utilize Employee Journey Mapping to Improve Retention & Morale

The goal of employee journey mapping is to get a better handle on employee expectations and to reduce the gap between their expectations and their experiences. While no employee journey map is perfect, continually updating your map and getting a beat for how your employees feel with feedback surveys will improve your company over time.

Implementing changes suggested in feedback surveys shows employees that you care about their opinions and needs. Over time, these strategies can improve office morale, increase employee retention, and even attract new employees looking to work for a company that cares.

Ready to take the next step toward building a stronger digital employee experience?

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