When the pandemic started and the economy took a big hit, many businesses had to shut their doors forever. Even for the lucky ones that could continue their operations, the workplace changed drastically. Remote work became a requirement, bringing with it a slew of new costs, security risks, and technical considerations.
It also threw a wrench into many HR-led initiatives that were focused on improving the employee experience. Whether it was redesigning physical workplaces to enable more collaboration or creating programs that brought employees together to accomplish personal and professional goals, most initiatives were contained within the company walls.
Now, with remote work becoming the new norm, HR teams are having to rethink their approach to creating positive employee experiences. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
What is the employee experience?
Creating a positive employee experience is about more than just engagement. It’s the sum of all interactions an employee has with their employer, including how the employee perceives the company overall and their role within it.
Devoting the same care and attention to the employee experience as you give the customer experience has positive ripple effects across the whole organization: employees are more engaged and productive, retention rates are higher, and customers get better service.
The importance of employee engagement
According to a research study conducted by Jacob Morgan, companies that invest in employee experience are four times more profitable than those that don’t.
But there’s still work to be done. Gallup found an alarming 87 per cent of employees worldwide are not engaged, yet companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147 per cent in earnings per share.
What’s more, organizations that score in the top 25 per cent on employee experience report that they see nearly three times the return on assets as those in the bottom quarter.
So how do you become one of those companies that rank high in both employee experiences and profits? Just apply the principles of customer experience design — such as journey mapping — to employees. These are the tactics your marketing team uses to optimize the customer experience and they can be applied to the employee experience as well.
At each point on the employee journey map, digital solutions — from onboarding centers to recognition tools — can help companies create positive, productive interactions that add up to an exceptional employee experience.
What is employee journey mapping?
An employee journey map is a visualization of the timeline of the entire employee experience, starting when people consider applying for a position until they leave the company.
It depicts all the key touchpoints along the way while underscoring employee needs and pain points. Gaining a deeper, holistic understanding of a person’s journey experience helps organizations create a better overall employee experience.
The employee mapping process takes the perspective of employees, emphasizing the moments that matter most to them. These moments range from day one on the job and the first paycheque, to attending a company-wide meeting and pursuing new training opportunities.
Not a one-size-fits-all
Just as the customer journey varies across the company, so can the employee journey. Journey maps should account for this diversity by assessing the needs and goals of different types of employees.
Consider creating employee personas, just as you would for customers. A baby boomer who’s been at the organization for decades and plans to retire soon will have a very different map compared to a millennial, or a recent graduate starting their professional career. Journey maps should also exist for employees who will resign or be terminated.
To map an employee’s experience, you can use the same underlying principles of customer journey mapping. Your employee journey map should include every stage of the lifecycle and should provide quick, visual starting points for evaluating the success of these touchpoints.
Here are some key questions to ask at each stage of the journey:
- What is the employee trying to do?
- How is the employee feeling?
- What are the barriers?
- What are the supports (digital or human)?
10 stages of the employee journey
There are 10 common stages to consider when creating employee journey maps for your organization, according to Jill Christensen. Each stage provides an opportunity for a positive employee experience, often with the help of a digital tool designed to solve critical business challenges.
1. Sourcing and Recruiting
Think of this stage in the employee journey like lead generation in the consumer journey. Today’s employees are more empowered than ever before, and the current war for talent means organizations must invest more than ever before in online and offline recruitment.
After they accept an offer but before they step in the door, there are many ways to start engaging new hires. Get them acquainted with your culture by inviting them to join company social networks and peruse the latest company news.
3. Onboarding (orientation & initial training)
A central digital destination for onboarding can accelerate the time to productivity. It brings together a social space for welcoming new employees, a learning zone, and a platform for asking questions.
4. Compensation & benefits
Inquiries about payroll and benefits policies can waste time for employees and HR alike. In fact, about 70 per cent of HR time is spent on administrative tasks. With a self-service HR tool, you can centralize this information in an easy-to-find place and then help drive digital engagement.
5. Ongoing learning & development
Continually expanding an employee’s knowledge and skills is an integral part of any journey. Digital knowledge management solutions allow you to grow, capture, store, and share collective wisdom.
6. Ongoing engagement, communication, & community involvement
Informed and connected employees are engaged employees. A dedicated space for company news, policies, and corporate governance makes it easy to access business-critical information and feel in the loop.
7. Rewards & recognition
It’s a simple equation: employee recognition + rewards = employee loyalty + engagement. A one-stop solution for nominating and showcasing people’s achievements helps you manage every aspect of your employee recognition program.
8. Performance planning, feedback, & review
The employee journey mapping process should include detailed information about when and how people will receive feedback on their performance.
9. Mapping the journey to advancement
To stay motivated and engaged over the long term, employees need to understand the KPIs and benchmarks that will determine when they move up the ladder during their journey.
10. Retirement, termination, or resignation
The end of the journey is different for every employee, and their maps will highlight the different resources required to support them through their exit from the company.
Start small by mapping out one or two pivotal moments, or create a map of the whole employment lifecycle, and ensure all the key stakeholders are on board (HR, IT, Marketing, etc.). Plot the key interactions and identify where employees are getting what they want and need, where they aren’t, and how digital tools can improve the experience.
Are you using your digital tools to create the best employee experience? Read: The Employee Lifecycle: How to Use Your Intranet to Make Every Moment Matter
Get started with Igloo
When you embark on your digital transformation with Igloo, we’ll guide you through a structured process to identify the problems you’re trying to solve, who you’re solving them for, and the optimal solutions to achieve your business goals, always keeping your requirements and personas in mind.
Learn more about how Igloo can help improve the employee experience in your organization.