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February 10, 2021

Plotting your employee journey 

Journey mapping has become an increasingly popular way to visually outline the experience organizations set out to design for their employees, users, customers, partners, and other constituents. Robust, comprehensive journey maps can take weeks to create, defining every nuance of what is expected—stages progressed, actions taken, touchpoints experienced, options presented, emotions felt, and more. They’re a powerful tool. 

Unfortunately, mapping out something as big as an employee journey can feel overwhelming. That’s why it helps to start by focusing mapping efforts on a contained, finite number of steps before going too big. The easiest example of this is thinking through an employee’s first day. For example:

  • How much should employees know before day one?
  • When and where should they arrive?
  • Who should they first meet?
  • Where should they be sitting or stationed?
  • What tasks need to be completed on their first day?
  • Will they be given any equipment, schwag, or other resources?
  • When should they go to lunch, and who should they go with?
  • When should they be encouraged to return home?
  • What do you want your employees to feel throughout the day?
  • How do you hope new hires explain the day to their family?

Yes, a fancy schmancy, 10,000-foot view map of your employee journey might be the eventual goal, but starting a simple document to answer these straight-forward questions and outline the steps you want employees to experience on day one is a fabulous starting point.

Also, it should be clear that the word “should” is asked a lot in these questions because the goal isn’t about mapping out the journey as it exists today. Instead, mapping will help you figure out what it should look and feel like for employees in the future.  

Once you have your first day down, then you can start thinking about all the stages of your employee journey. The phases that we’ve identified in our employee journey at Journeyage fall into eight distinct categories, each with their own struggles and opportunities. Those phases are:

  • Prepare to hire: 45 to 30 days before day one
  • Recruit and interview: 30 to 15 days before day one
  • Make the offer: 14 to 7 days before day one
  • Create belonging: From acceptance to day one
  • Train them personally: The first week
  • Accelerate to value: Weeks 2 to 4 after day one
  • Foster full potential: Weeks 5 to 12 after day one
  • Where to go from here: Months 3-plus after day one

We hope that this format provides greater context and opportunity for you to think through your own employee journey and how to map your own touchpoints into a similar plan. Since we’re on the topic of onboarding, we consider day one our 50-yard line, helping us plot everything that comes before and after it from that point. 

At the end of the day, as with any user experience exercise, creating your map is only the beginning. Iterating upon that journey and the steps within it based on real employee data and feedback is the more difficult work. Stay tuned, as we’ll be sure to dig into that later, too.

Get a free consultation with one of our learning experience designers. 

We promise it’ll be good. Get focused on your training goals and have a plan to take action.

Keep exploring

Jonathan Cottrell

Chief Executive Wayfinder

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