Employees are your most valuable resource. As such, ensuring that your employees have a positive experience from their first engagement with the company is crucial to their commitment to the organisation and their performance.
Much like Customer Journey Mapping, Employee Journey Mapping is a great way to visually plot the end-to-end experience with your business, whilst allowing you to bring awareness to both positive and negative experiences which allows you to identify areas of focus and improvement.
Why Treat Employees Similar to Customers
As Herb Kelleher said, “you have to treat your employees like your customers. When you treat them right, they will treat your outside customers right”.
Many companies invest heavily to improve the customer experience which can sideline employees who are responsible for delivering that experience. For companies to stay competitive and not only retain employees but inspire candidates to commit to their mission and work well for their company – companies should treat their employees like customers.
Employees need to feel heard and nurtured. Time should be taken to learn who your employees are and what appeals to them. Just as you are understanding of your clients’ or customers’ needs, take a moment to recognise when your employees need to be understood in order to progress and learn.
Treating your employees like your customers will encourage them to perpetuate good customer service and boost employee retention to help your company avoid a high staff turnover rate. Being content in the workplace motivates employees to go above and beyond expectations and further gear their efforts toward the satisfaction of your customers and in turn, the success of your company.
As such, ‘mapping’ the interactions that individuals have with the organisation plays a key part in how the company further engages with said individuals and allows the company to alter and improve the processes that impact both customer and employee experiences.
Customer and Employee Journey Mapping
Customer journey mapping (CJM) is the process of tracking and describing all the experiences that customers have as they encounter a service or set of services and products, considering not only what happens to them, but also their responses to their experiences. Furthermore, CJM is a visual representation of the customer’s interaction with the organisation, from the first point of contact to the very last. Used well, it can reveal opportunities for improvement and innovation in that experience, acting as a strategic tool to ensure every interaction with the customer is as positive as it can be.
However, as mentioned, the employee experience is directly related to that of the customer, thus suggesting that your focus should also be on employee satisfaction. So a journey map is a common tool which is a visual representation of the processes and touch points that a person undergoes over a period. As noted, it is typically associated with customer’s experience but, used properly, employee journey mapping is a great way to understand the moments that matter most to employees as part of an employee’s experience during their tenure with an organisation. By understanding how your employees feel throughout their job lifecycle, you are able to tailor practices, change processes and ensure your employees are satisfied in their day-to-day experiences. This will make your employees feel heard and understood which in turn will increase morale, job performance and employee retention.
Many organisations make use of alternate methods in order to track their employee experiences. Often this typically starts and ends with an employee engagement survey. That is, a single, once-a-year activity that looks to understand the state of employee engagement and the impact of different components which drive engagement.
However, since there is so much that takes place within a year, tracking these touch points requires more than just an annual survey. This is why employee journey mapping focuses on the employee lifecycle because there are various stages that add to the lifecycle, each of these stages should be understood and have some type of feedback associated with it.
How to map the journey of your employees
1. Segment your employees
Throughout your organisation, you’re more than likely to come across a variety of employee personas, and all of their interactions with the company are different.
Begin the journey mapping process by identifying your employee segments. Ideally it should be based on their interactions with the company (occupational function is a good place to start)- for example, a designer is likely to have a very different experience from someone in the sales team – rather than demographics like age and gender.
Demographics should be looked at in the data at a later stage rather than as a guiding principle for your personas. This is because within those demographics there will be plenty of variance in the experience.
2. Establish the journey of each employee
Once you’ve identified your personas, you can start to map out the interactions they have with your organisation from their first contact (usually before they’re hired- the interview) all the way through to them eventually leaving.
You’ll need to bring in a cross-functional team to input on this, as different teams and departments will likely have different interactions along the way. You may even want to consider looking at the interactions post-exit as well.
3. Map feedback and insight into employee journey
You’ll only be able to truly understand the impact of each interaction on the employee experience once you have mapped feedback to each stage in the lifecycle.
What this means is, for each persona, there needs to be a feedback mechanism attached to each stage in the journey that is in line with where the employees are and provide them with the opportunity to give feedback in the moment. This is much more useful than waiting up to a year before asking them about an experience that happened so long ago. This ensures that you get the most honest, useful feedback while the experience is still fresh in their mind.
4. Align your measurements at different stages in the employee journey
Different stages in the journey will be managed by different teams. For example, your recruiting, training or onboarding teams all manage various stages. In order to link insights across the journey, you need to make sure that everyone agrees on a consistent approach of measurement.
If every team follows the same approach, it’s much easier to bring that data together into a holistic data set and make connections to see how the experience at one touchpoint impacts another.
5. Use automation to manage feedback at scale
Manually sending out a survey every time someone takes a training course, gets a promotion or interacts with any of the other moments that matter along their journey risks a potential drain on resources.
It is wise to make sure you integrate your employee experience program and set up triggers to automatically send a request for feedback when an employee hits a certain milestone.
6. Combine the employee journey with your engagement survey
A lifecycle approach to employee experience doesn’t mean giving up on your employee engagement survey altogether. The employee engagement survey is placed in the EJM as an important metric which is somewhat infrequent but still provides an in-depth view of the state of employee experience and the key drivers that are impacting it positively or negatively.
Some organisations also choose to do shorter, more frequent surveys like bi-annual engagement surveys or monthly employee surveys as an alternative to an annual survey. No matter what method you choose, it’s essential to connect it to your feedback mechanisms across the lifecycle.
A personal, holistic approach to employee journey mapping is vital. To have incredibly happy employees, it is important to get feedback from each stage in their employment experience. The data you collect from the feedback given to you will enable you to adapt your processes and mechanics to keep your employees happy and engaged.
Satisfied employees will go above and beyond what is required of them because they feel appreciated which in turn will not only improve your bottom line, but also ensure customer satisfaction, thus benefit your organisation as a whole.