How journey maps can optimize the employee experience

Journeys Webinar Update

A recent Firstup webinar took a deep dive into the power of journey mapping to enhance the employee experience—and ultimately, employee engagement. 

The expert panel included Michelle DiTondo, Principal for Avion Consulting and former CHRO for MGM Resorts International; Ryan Malkes, Senior Consultant and Services Innovation Director for Mercer; Sejal Patel Daswani, CHRO and Advisor to Tech and ClimateTech; and Brittany Barhite, Head of Employee Experience for Firstup.

In this webinar recap, we’ll cover key insights into how employee journey maps strengthen communication strategies and drive organizational success. You’ll gain actionable insights to understand, implement, and optimize employee journey mapping within your company.

If you missed the live webinar, watch the recording and catch up on this lively and informative discussion. 

The centrality of the employee experience

Elevating the employee experience within your organization is paramount to sustained business success. 

A positive employee experience fosters a thriving work environment where employees feel valued, supported, and motivated. This translates into greater retention and reduced turnover, saving companies time and money. And when your employees are happy, they promote your brand and give your company an edge on attracting great talent.

Investing in the employee experience yields additional tangible benefits. Companies that put their employees first outperform their competitors in various key performance indicators, including profitability, productivity, and customer satisfaction. Such companies position themselves for long-term success and resilience in the face of market challenges.

Businesses in which HR facilitates a positive employee experience are 1.3 times more likely to outperform their competitors.

McKinsey & Company

The power of employee journey maps

Employee journey maps are valuable tools for companies seeking to improve employee satisfaction and drive business success through a more engaged and productive workforce.

Journey maps are a visual representation of the employee life cycle and the various interactions workers have with the company. Journey maps chart key moments—from onboarding to professional development to promotions, as well as significant milestones in employees’ personal and professional lives. 

HR, IT, and comms leaders who map the employee journey can:

  • Automate and personalize essential communications such as open enrollment, employee assistance programs, security training, and more.
  • Align company initiatives with employees’ needs and expectations at different stages of their tenure.
  • Identify pain points where employees encounter inefficiencies or frustrations that hinder their performance.
  • Increase productivity by reducing excessive communication and eliminating barriers to essential information.
  • Drive organizational change geared toward improving culture and encouraging innovation. 

By visually charting every stage of the employee life cycle, organizations can customize and refine how they reach and engage workers around the world. A more supportive and fulfilling work environment leads to better outcomes for employees and the organization as a whole.

“The employee experience is directly related to customer experience. If employees perceive that the business cares about them, they’ll go the extra mile.”

— Ryan Malkes, Senior Consultant, Services Innovation Director, Mercer

Create an effective employee journey map

Journey mapping is a design thinking process that produces a holistic view of the employee life cycle. This strategic endeavor requires careful planning and collaboration between HR, IT, internal comms, managers, and executives. 

When you begin creating your journey maps:

  • Involve key stakeholders who have a vested interest in improving the employee experience. Get buy-in from the C-suite by presenting how your goals will lead to positive business outcomes.
  • Create a visual representation using tools such as whiteboards, sticky notes, or graphic design software such as Figma or Adobe Creative Suite.
  • Create employee personas that reflect the diverse demographics and different segments of the workforce, such as new hires, remote workers, or frontline employees.
  • Map the employee life cycle beginning with business-critical moments such as onboarding, open enrollment, and performance reviews. Include costly events such as employee burnout and other contributors to attrition.
  • Plan your communications sequence by identifying key messages and communications for employees at each stage of the journey. Spreadsheets and workbooks work well for this process.

5 Steps to Creating an Employee Journey Map

For more details on creating employee journey maps, download our guide:

Optimize your employee journey map

Employee journey mapping is a dynamic and ongoing process informed by quantitative data, qualitative feedback, employee needs, and organizational changes.

As you implement and iterate your journey maps:

Take an employee-centric approach. Put the needs and expectations of your workforce front and center. By understanding what matters to them, you can tailor the journey maps and communication cadences to best address their concerns.

Use technology for personalized communication at scale. Global enterprises need the right platforms to reach and engage diverse, dispersed workforces with personalized, relevant communication at the right time and on the right channels.

Leverage data to evaluate effectiveness. Collect qualitative and quantitative data through surveys, interviews, and HR systems analytics. The right metrics will help you determine whether your journey maps are meeting your objectives.

Look for patterns and trends that emerge across different employee groups at particular stages. Identify areas where employees experience frustration or lack support, and where interventions can be made to enhance their experience.

Review and refine your journey maps based on insights gained from data analytics. Make adjustments based on evolving employee needs and organizational developments. 

“As a leader of frontline employees, when it came to accessible technology, I always had a mobile-first mindset. That was the initial step, reinforced by on-site messaging.”

— Sejal Patel Daswani, CHRO and Tech Advisor

Start mapping the employee journey

The employee experience is not merely about fostering a pleasant work environment—it’s what bolsters your brand reputation and drives tangible business outcomes. 

Employee journey maps are catalysts for organizational transformation. Comprehensive journey maps enable leaders to reach every worker with highly personalized communication, as well as identify areas for improvement so they can craft more effective strategies.

Mapping the employee journey is an investment worth the time and energy. By systematically understanding and addressing the employee experience, you can create a more engaged, productive, and loyal workforce.

“Journey mapping is the process of understanding and learning from our employees so we can build meaningful relationships and compassionate solutions. That’s the real benefit of doing this work.”

— Ryan Malkes, Senior Consultant, Services Innovation Director, Mercer

Get started with tips and resources

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Firstup is the world’s first intelligent communication platform. More than 40 percent of Fortune 100 companies use our platform to connect with their people, design and deliver personalized communications, and gain engagement insights throughout the employee journey. With Firstup, employers can view engagement data in real time, by organization, department, or employee. That helps leaders better understand their workforce, make informed decisions, and provide better experiences from hire to retire. Companies like Amazon, Tesco, Ford, and Hilton use Firstup every day to improve outcomes for their employees.

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