How Journey Mapping impacts Employee Engagement

EmployeeEngagementDid you know that the same strategies that enable customer journey mapping to bring exponential growth apply equally well to the employee experience in the workplace? It’s true.

Every employee has a journey that starts when they first become aware of a company, develops as they interview and onboard, and then continues as they mature in their role and eventually outgrow it to move up or leave to pursue growth elsewhere.

Each of these steps in their journey is important and will affect the success of the company they work in.

People Matter!

No one would deny that the quality of a company’s product or service is vital to its bottom line but the quality of their employees is equally important. They are ultimately what will take your business to the next level or will hold you back, slow you down, and maybe even sink the ship.

The Problem

But many companies end up retaining only the mediocre. The worst get fired while the best eventually leave for greener pastures. This doesn’t need to be! Applying Customer Journey Mapping strategies to every stage of the employee lifecycle can make your business the exception to the rule.

You can be that company that keeps all of its rock stars and is sought out by other rising stars who hear how awesome it is to be a part your business.

The Cause

One of the most common reasons why some companies only retain the mediocre is that they are chronically one-sided, focusing only on their perspective. Think about the various stages of the employee lifecycle and consider how companies often take an overtly one-sided approach.

The application form to apply for a new position is often long, complicated, and requires up to an hour to complete. That doesn’t factor in the perspective of the rock star they are trying to recruit.

High performers have many options and they don’t have time to fill out all those questions and essays on the if-come that you might contact them at some point. Rock stars hear from dozens of recruiters and they might apply for hundreds of jobs. The initial touchpoint needs to be quick and painless or they will move on to something else.

Simply put – if you have a complicated application process, you’re probably starting with a pool containing only mediocre applicants.

An interview is an opportunity for the applicant to decide if they are willing to invest their career in helping your company grow. They need to get their questions answered so they can determine if it is worth leaving their current, safe job to take on the risk of joining your company. That’s not an easy decision because it affects them, their career, and often their family.

But few companies approach the interview appointment as a 50/50 split where the applicant controls half the time so they can get everything they need to decide if they want to move forward to the next step.

I’ll skip over the onboarding and training steps of the employee lifecycle and will get right to the performance review stage.

Performance Review:
Whether you have these quarterly, bi-annually, or yearly, most performance reviews are almost entirely about the company’s evaluation of the performance of the employee. Like the interview process, shouldn’t this be split 50/50? Remember, rock stars have options and smart supervisors should lead like they are recruiting every day.

Give the employee the opportunity at every performance review to offer honest feedback on your leadership style, what you and the company could consider doing differently, and make requests for tools that can help them do their job better in a way that advances their career.

Obsess Over the Employee Experience

Shift gears for a moment to marketing. The best, most effective marketing is that which is focused obsessively on the customer’s perspective and experience.  Campaigns that merely tout the product’s latest features don’t work – they don’t capture the attention of the target consumer.

But when marketers really get into the shoes of their customers, learn to speak their language, on their preferred social platforms, in ways that address their felt needs, then the campaign soars.

The best marketing campaigns are led by those who obsess over the customer’s perspective and the best companies to work for are those which obsess over the employee’s perspective and experience.

What Can You Do?

It’s worth paying close attention to each phase of the employee lifecycle. Your people matter! And if you focus on improving their experiences, your entire business will grow as a result. You’ll keep more rock stars, you’ll develop new ones, and you’ll attract rising stars.

Where do you start? Get a few stakeholders in a room for an afternoon to have a frank discussion about each phase of the employee lifecycle (there are six, seven, or more phases depending on how you decide to split it up).

Come to a consensus about which stage has the greatest room for immediate improvement and then focus intently on (obsess over) testing different ways of improving the experience at each stage.

If possible, I highly recommend hiring a Customer Journey Mapping expert to help guide you through ways to analyze, split test, and optimize your employee experiences until you find the best solutions tailored to your specific company culture.

There are many experts in Customer Journey Mapping who can help you through this process. The same skills they’ve acquired through years of paying careful attention to each step in Customer Journey projects will prove useful to you in bringing exponential growth to the bottom line by improving the experiences of your staff.

Here are a few more articles about Journey Mapping’s impact on Employee Engagement:

Customer Experience or Employee Experience – which is more important?

See Me!!! 5 Ways Leaders can Increase Visibility for each Team Member

What would happen if people were as candid EVERY DAY as they are in an exit interview?

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