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Everything you need to know about the employee journey

Amrita Kar

Last Updated: 10 April 2023

In this article:

As an HR leader, you're probably always on the lookout for ways to keep your employees happy and motivated, right? Well, you're not alone. We all know that offering competitive pay packages, rewards, and recognition programs can make a huge difference in employee retention. But have you ever stopped to think about what the employee journey actually looks like?

In this blog, we'll take a deep dive into the employee journey and explore some strategies for creating a culture of engagement. After all, keeping your employees happy isn't just about the tangible perks and benefits - it's about creating an environment where they feel supported, valued, and motivated to do their best work. So, grab a cup of coffee, and let's get started!

What is the employee journey?

The employee journey refers to the series of experiences an employee goes through from the moment they first interact with your company, to the time they exit the organization. Their level of engagement during this journey impacts their performance, career development, and the length of their tenure in your company.

To understand the employee journey better, you need to dive deeper into each stage of the employee lifecycle. Doing it helps you identify where each employee is in their lifecycle and how you can enhance their experience.

Below are the touch points across the employee lifecycle that form the milestones in an employee’s journey with your organization.

1. Recruitment 

Employees' journey begins when they learn about the vacancy in your organization and decide to apply. You start with communicating with the candidates as a prospective employer and begin the recruitment process involving job interviews, personality tests, business presentations, and the pre-onboarding stage.

2. Onboarding

This is the stage after selecting the best suitable candidate for your company. The new employee has joined your workforce and you sign them up for orientation and induction into the organization and their teams.

3. Career growth and development

This is the stage where you offer career advancement opportunities to the new employee through training, upskilling, and enabling growth opportunities within the organization.

4. Performance and feedback

This is the stage after the new employee has worked with you for a while. You conduct an appraisal and take employee feedback to know their journey.

5. Rewards and recognition

This stage draws attention to the good performers. Your employees like getting acknowledged and recognized for their efforts and achievements. It shapes their experience with the organization. Rewards can include bonuses, awards, gift cards, and funded training or education for exceptional performers.

6. Offboarding 

This stage arrives for employees at different times and for varied reasons. Analyzing this stage helps leaders like you understand the factors that lead to employee exits and how you can curb them. Plus, employee exit surveys can help you gather insights into the reasons behind their departure and develop an attrition strategy to prevent regrettable attrition

7. Alumni engagement

Your employee’s journey need not end with their exit from the organization. You can stay in touch with them through alumni engagement activities like annual meets.

As a leader, you want a positive journey for your employees. But how to ensure your employees have a compelling employee journey? Here are some things you can do.

How to create a positive employee journey?

1. Provide work-life balance and flexible work schedules

A balanced work atmosphere breeds a smooth employee journey. You can improve employee journeys by encouraging them to set boundaries between their personal and professional lives, offering flexible work schedules, and guiding them to manage their time effectively.

You can also provide resources and tools to manage their workloads and prioritize their responsibilities. This helps employees feel supported & valued and ultimately leads to a more engaged and productive workforce.

Lastly, If you can figure out what's causing your employees to burn out early on, you can come up with solutions to manage it before it becomes a bigger problem.

2. Fostering a sense of purpose

You can improve employee journeys by clearly communicating the company's mission and values and highlighting how they fit into the organizational mission. Offering opportunities for employees to work on projects aligning with their values and passions help you gain their trust and loyalty. Such roles provide growth opportunities to your employees.

You can also offer regular updates on how the company contributes to society, celebrate its success stories, and how your employees’ efforts impact the business outcome.

3. Promoting workforce diversity and inclusion

An inclusive organizational environment builds a compelling employee journey. Yet, while you may be promoting diversity and inclusion at your workplace, gaps often remain.

Developing stringent policies like diverse hiring practices and communicating best practices through inclusive strategies can help promote diversity and inclusion across the organization. Leaders can encourage employee interaction through open-door policies and stimulating discussion on diversity and inclusion in the workplace to promote understanding and acceptance.

4. Enable and train leaders and managers

Training your managers and leaders to support their teams and communicate with them openly is crucial for a positive employee journey. They supervise your employees, and their behavior directly affects the employee experience. You need to guide them and provide resources to help the managers improve their teams’ performance and motivate them.

Besides employing these measures, you need to measure their effectiveness to identify when an employee's journey needs improvement. Here’s how you can do that.

Measuring and enhancing the employee journey

1. Conducting employee surveys

You can regularly gather employee feedback through pulse or anonymous surveys and spot which areas of the employee’s journey need improvement. Managers and leaders conduct research to gain insights into employees’ experiences, expectations, challenges, and career growth opportunities they would like to receive. AI-based tools like Amber can help you connect with each employee on a regular basis and collect their genuine feedback.

The survey data can help you develop a plan of action and formulate initiatives that address employee needs and concerns.

2. Using AI-based tools

Leaders worldwide employ AI-based tools and digital platforms to streamline HR processes and enhance employee experience. You can develop metrics and decide the benchmarks for each stage by using software tools to track the effectiveness of these initiatives. Striving to achieve the ideal results can assist you in making data-driven decisions.

3. Using storyboards

You can visually depict an employee’s journey on a storyboard to get a deeper glimpse into each stage. Storyboards are practical tools that show an employee’s lifecycle with your organization through sequential images or illustrations. You can seek employee feedback on the storyboard’s accuracy and gain insights into the employee’s progress in their role.

4. Analyzing turnover and retention rates

Employee exits reveal excellent details about the employee journey. For instance, up to 34.3% of employees leave due to work-life imbalance and less flexibility in the work environment. 15% of your employees quit due to poor managerial support and ineffective management style.

Many leaders focus on conducting employee exit surveys or interviews to gather feedback from employees who have exited on their experience with the company. Monitoring why employees leave can reveal fresh insights about the employee journey in your organization. In a time when employee expectations are changing on an ongoing basis, knowing what drives employees is crucial for HR leaders.

Moreover, retention metrics like the churn rate, absenteeism, employee engagement scores, staff productivity, satisfaction scores, and the rate of promotions can facilitate measuring the effectiveness of the employee journey. You can also create a journey map to compare the actual results of each stage with the ideal results.

Your journey to employee satisfaction

The benefits of tracking and measuring an employee’s journey are undeniable. It can help you

  • Gain in-depth knowledge of your employees’ experience working with your company.
  • Identify the areas for improvement.
  • Create a shared understanding of employee experience in your organization.
  • Uncover which stages are smooth-sail for your employees and where they need hand-holding.
  • Identify the opportunities for increasing their involvement in business decision-making.
  • Prioritize funding and resource allocation.

Creating a culture of engagement is a process that requires strategic and ongoing effort. As an employer, you have the power to influence the employee experience through intentional action and meaningful investments throughout the employee journey. By implementing the strategies outlined in this article, you can build a culture that fosters engagement, encourages growth, and ultimately leads to a more productive and fulfilled workforce. 

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