How to Create an Employee Journey Map that Will Boost Retention

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HR Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for HR pros

Monday, May 30, 2022

Retaining high-quality talent will strengthen the organization and help you achieve your long-term goals. Here's how you can make progress towards that aim by creating an employee journey map.

Article 4 Minutes
How to Create an Employee Journey Map that Will Boost Retention

If you're looking for a way to better understand and visualize the experiences that people go through with your organization, an employee journey map may be the solution.

This could prove to be a vital tool in helping you reach some of your company's most important HR goals, such as achieving high levels of staff satisfaction and engagement, which will naturally lead to stronger talent retention.

Before setting out to create one, make sure you understand exactly what an employee journey map is and what you can do to ensure yours is relevant and valuable.

What is an employee journey map?

An employee journey map gives you a picture of the various stages that come together to make up your company's employee experience lifecycle. This stretches all the way from recruitment to the day people leave the organization.

There are several crucial points on this journey that have a big impact on how people feel about working for you, the productivity of your workforce, how you're perceived as an employer from the outside and your levels of staff turnover and retention.

The creation of an employee journey map allows you to take a proactive approach to raising performance in these areas and understanding people's experiences with your company.

Certain parallels can be drawn between this process and the more marketing-focused activity of customer journey mapping. Both are likely to include the creation of personas that represent different segments of your workforce (or audience) and help you understand key features of these groups, including their expectations, priorities, pain points and preferred methods of communication.

Learn more: Employee Experience Simplified: Here’s How to Develop a Winning Strategy

Key steps to create an employee journey map

Given the compelling benefits that can be achieved through effective employee journey mapping - such as higher retention rates, stronger engagement, increased productivity and better customer service - it's important to take a structured, methodical approach that will lead to the best outcomes.

Here are five steps you can take to build your employee journey map:

1. Know what you want to achieve

Like any journey, you need to know your intended destination before setting off. When it comes to mapping the various stages employees go through with your company, make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve by the end of the process.

If one of your main goals is talent retention, this will help to guide the decisions you make at key stages of creating your map, particularly when it comes to maintaining engagement and building loyalty in your workforce.

2. Do your research

It's important to have a data-based view of employee experiences and perceptions, which you can create by conducting research and collecting feedback from your current workers. Interviewing people from different departments and seniority levels, as well as staff with varying levels of tenure, will help you compose a broad and balanced picture.

These human insights can be combined with quantitative data such as your rates of turnover and average tenures, along with opinions gathered from exit interviews, to enrich your research.

3. Segment your workforce

Once you've done your preparation and conducted the necessary research, you can move into segmenting your workforce into distinct groups that are represented by personas. This is crucial because it reflects the fact that employees will go through a range of experiences and journeys with your company, depending on factors such as the department they work in, their background and their level of seniority.

Based on what you learned during the research stage, develop profiles for each workforce segment and persona that detail the things that matter to them, such as their employer expectations and career aspirations.

4. Create a journey map for each persona

These profiles will provide the foundation you need to create employee journey maps for each persona representing a portion of your workforce. Each map should provide a clearly structured visual representation of each stage in the employee lifecycle, in chronological order. The key phases are:

  • Attraction
  • Recruitment
  • Onboarding
  • Engagement
  • Retention
  • Separation

At each stage, consider the expectations and priorities of your various workforce personas, and what you can do to meet them. You can also use this opportunity to identify critical touchpoints and junctures on employee journeys, such as interviews, onboarding procedures, performance reviews and training.

5. Collect and act on feedback

Another key benefit of employee journey mapping is that it enables you to identify specific points in the employee lifecycle where you can engage with your workers and collect feedback that relates directly to their most recent experiences.

Don't miss the opportunity to collect individual insights on crucial topics such as the touchpoints that matter most to your staff, the things people want to achieve at different points in their careers and the support they expect from their employer.

This will help you make regular changes and improvements to your employee journey maps, to ensure they give the most up-to-date picture of your workforce and how it's evolving. With this level of understanding, you can feel more confident about keeping people happy, maintaining productivity and retaining your top talent.

Learn more: 5 Employee Retention Metrics You Need to Measure

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