Today, we are all obsessed with the experience of the customer. However, few seem to care about employee experience. This makes no sense whatsoever.
It is common to think that customers are the drivers of our business. And while this is true, imagine what would happen if all employees from your company decided to take a couple days off, stay home, and watch Netflix? This would be a disaster. Yet many companies still don't see the importance of designing a better employee experience.
Treat employees like customers
Here are a few down-to-earth points as to why you should take employee experience seriously:
- Employee Engagement = Customer Success. This is a no-brainer. Statistics show that engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their company compared to employees with a low level of engagement. Leave alone the fact that engaged employees are a lot more productive.
- Employees Come at a Great Cost. And it’s not just about money. Customers do not interact with CEOs. They interact with front-desk staff, customer support, sales, you name it. Their mistakes may seriously damage your company’s reputation. That alone is a good reason to start thinking about designing a better employee experience.
- Word of Mouth. Finally, just like great customer service, a great employee experience gets spread by word of mouth. And that’s how you attract talented people to the company.
Now that we’re on the same page regarding the importance of designing a better experience for employees at your company, it’s time to come up with some actionable to-dos.
Employee experience journey mapping
One of the best approaches to analyzing and improving the employee experience is a technique called Customer Journey Mapping (CJM).
Not familiar with the subject? Check out our complete guide on creating a customer journey map.
The idea behind CJM is fairly simple: you take the journey people take when interacting with your business, break it down into stages and then look at each stage from different angles to get the complete picture of what the experience of this particular person may look like.
In other words, CJM helps you see through the eyes of your customer or, in our case, through the eyes of employees.
What to map?
First, it’s important to decide which part of the employee experience journey you want to start with. At this point, there are a couple of routes you may take:
- High-level mapping. Obviously, it is simply not possible to map the entire journey as the employee lifecycle is way too long for one map. Unless you want to start with a high-level map and dive into details later as you dig more information. The downside of a high-level approach is that you won't get a lot out of it. The formula is fewer details = fewer insights.
- Focus on a specific part of the journey. It would be a whole lot easier to start with something like onboarding. The best part about onboarding is that being an HR, you have just enough knowledge to make the first steps.
- Identify the most problematic stage and start with it. However, it’s not that easy to tell which part is the most problematic without running research.
Start with employee experience research
Image source: wizuda
You should always start with profound research. Otherwise, what exactly are we going to put on that map? And when it comes to interviewing employees there are some really nice factors that make for great research:
- Easy to be in touch and inexpensive. Imagine a situation where you have to bring a bunch of customers for a focus group or an interview. Each has different time availability and level of involvement. Plus, chances are they might want to have something in return. Whereas employees are almost always there and ready to share their thoughts over a cup of coffee.
- You have lots of data already. If you’ve been working in the company for a while, there’s probably enough information for you to start with employee journey mapping.
- Co-creation opportunities. There is nothing better than inviting coworkers for a mapping session. And again, it’s much easier within a company than when you’re trying to bring in real customers.
In addition to employee feedback and interviews, it may also be helpful to review internal audit reports to gain a better understanding of potential areas for improvement in the employee experience journey.
Surely, there will be a conflict of interests and ethics issues so be ready to get creative!
Before doing any kind of research, make sure you come up with a list of sources. They can be:
- Employee feedback. As an HR, chances are you have a lot of info on hand that can be used for employee experience mapping.
- Interviews with employees. Trust me, they have so much to say and chances are they wanted to say it years ago.
- Interviews with managers. Those who observe employees will give you a whole different perspective on things.
- Polls and surveys. Those can give a lot of quantitative data. And the best part is that polls can be anonymous.
In order to truly empathize with employees, it’s best to create an employee persona. It is a made-up person that is based on real employees. It should have some basic description as well as some of the details you found during the research phase: goals, motivations and frustrations, some background, and maybe even skills.
To keep it short, here's our guide with examples on how to create a persona in 7 steps.
Map employee experience journey
Now, after the research has been done and personas have been created, it’s time to put everything on a map. The way you map an employee experience journey is the following:
1 - Define the stages. If we talk about a new employee onboarding, there will be stages like awareness, research, first contact and phone screening, job interview, hiring process, the first day, the list goes on. It is very likely that some stages will have multiple sub-stages (especially the hiring process and job interview).
2 - Map it out. For each stage, you defined write down the goals of the employee persona as well as their expectations. Then add your company’s goals. For a better dive into the context, you can describe the process the employee persona goes through at each stage.
Feel free to add anything that can benefit you in the search for employee experience insights. If you feel like adding some quotes from real employees - it's great. Want to add a photo of the workplace for a new employee - go ahead! In fact, if you're mapping employee experience in our journey mapping tool, there are around 20 custom sections that will help you capture all the details you might possibly want to have in your map!
3 - Find flaws and come up with solutions. Once you see the whole picture, you can start looking for roadblocks that prevent employees from getting the best onboarding experience.
And once roadblocks are identified, you can come up with ideas and solutions. In the end, you will have a map that looks somewhat like this:
After the map has been created, you should compile a list of actions that can be taken in order to improve the experience of new employees. And start implementing change right away.
Also, as you the processes change, the map should stay up-to-day as well. CJM is not a one-time activity and it must evolve along with your company.
Mapping the experience of employees is a challenging task and requires a lot of effort. But the prize is too tempting for you not to care. Plus, your management has been waiting for a solution for a really long time.
Good news for you, we have a library of free CJMs templates, including employee experience map templates, which you can use for high-level mapping. Either download a PDF file and print it out or create a map in our Journey Mapping Tool, tweak it as you like and then export to show all the insights you came up with!
Thanks for the map. It’s a great template to start with for my company’s employee journey.
You’re welcome, Chris! We also have templates for remote employee journey and an employee journey mapping whitepaper with expert advice. Be sure to check those out and happy mapping!
Thank you for these employee journey mapping examples. Our problem is not so much with onboarding but with keeping people from leaving after 6-8 months. Do you have any advice on how to improve retention in the long run?
Hi Tarik, you’re welcome! We do have some employee experience examples you could use for better retention, and a detailed breakdown of common stages people go after the probation period is over: annual performance evaluation, office events, paternity leave, skill upgrading, etc.
You can find them all in our filled-out template called “End-to-end employee journey map” right here: https://uxpressia.com/templates/education-and-career