Guide to creating a whole journey employee experience

Guide to creating a whole journey employee experience


Considering how your employees experience their workplace is important for retaining talent, particularly now staff shortages are at their highest for decades.  Here are some tips for creating a great experience for your employees at every stage of their employment journey.

The employee experience – put simply – is the journey taken by an employee within your organisation. Such a journey shouldn’t just happen: it should be planned, prepared, and executed carefully to ensure that every employee not only feels like part of the organisation, but knows their purpose and has opportunities to grow.

If employee journeys are poorly managed employees may eventually become disengaged and less committed to their jobs.

This is easily avoidable with some straightforward planning; just as a marketer or operations team would use a customer journey map to improve customer or client experience, business and HR leaders can use an employee journey map to both visualise and improve employee experience.  

How to create an employee journey map
The process of plotting your employees’ experiences on a map is a proactive approach to developing a holistic view of stages. It also allows you to better track what’s working and what’s not.  

Firstly, start by outlining the journey stages, which may look something like this:  

  • Recruiting & hiring 
  • Onboarding
  • Engagement & retention
  • Development 

 Next, plot on your map what ought to be taking place at every stage for the best possible employee experience. Consider: 

  • what the objectives are for each phase. 
  • what the employee may be feeling or experiencing at each phase. 
  • what actions should be taken and by whom. 
  • what the main touchpoints are. 
  • how the experience will be measured.   

 This works best when done for each employee “segment” within your organisation. A segment could be specific to the department in which they work (such as sales, IT or marketing) or to their role (such as a manager or coordinator), or – ideally – both. It should also consider their location: deskless employees will have a vastly different experience in their journey than someone sitting in the corporate office, for example.  

Using the example of the journey stages outlined above, here is a more in-depth look at each one, with some suggestions on how to create an excellent experience throughout.

Stage one: recruiting and hiring

How your prospective employee may be feeling:
Prospective employees may be feeling fearful or apprehensive about their ability to find a job, or perhaps eager to discover a new role in another company.

How to make it an excellent experience:
This phase is likely to be the very first time your prospective employees get a sense of your company values and culture. Therefore, your hiring process should be clear and engaging, helping to effectively communicate those values while outlining job requirements. 

Ease any concerns about your organisation with strong communication from this earliest phase. 

Stage two: Onboarding

How your employee might be feeling:
At this stage the employee may be feeling both excited and nervous about starting their new role, as well as overwhelmed at the amount of information they must consume and retain.

How to make it an excellent experience:
A Gallup study found that only 12% of employees think their companies do a great job of onboarding new employees. Rather than sink your organisation into the other 88%, kick off onboarding as you mean to go on, with a thoughtful approach to this phase of the journey.

  • Provide information that is as targeted to their role and as personalised as possible, so they feel welcome and valued (and not like just another new hire). Bonus experience points for offering multi-lingual onboarding support.  
  • You’ll be providing a ton of logistical information, company documents, policies, and so on. Make it digestible, easy to locate and access, and available on any device.  
  • While they’re getting up to speed on essentials, make sure they know where to find the fun; perhaps you run events and competitions, for example, designed to bring your teams together. 
  • Make sure they know who leadership is and how to access other contact information via a readily accessible directory of people.  

Stage three: Engagement and retention

What your employee might be feeling:
Ideally, by now your employee will feel part of the team and that they have valuable skills and ideas to contribute. However, a 2019 study showed that, after just six months of employment enthusiasm among employees declines by about 22%. Depending on the experience and other factors, the employee may be discouraged, feel overlooked, or like they don’t quite fit in or measure up.  

How to make it an excellent experience:

  • Provide the ongoing training and support your employees need not just to perform their job functions, but to progress professionally as well. This will lead to greater retention and help your organisation avoid being swept up in the “turnover tsunami” that has affected so many this year.  
  • Foster inclusion and encourage all voices to contribute in a variety of ways, whether it’s by creating user-generated content or participating in pulse surveys to share their opinions and experiences.  
  • Proactively communicate with employees, and ensure they have ways to offer feedback. Then, respond to that feedback so employees know they are being heard.
  • Celebrate achievements and empower team members to recognise each other. Consider integrating an employee app into your existing recognition programmes to make recognition more immediate.

Stage four: Development 

How your employee may be feeling:
Many employees will be keen to grow their skills and even gain promotion. Conversely, some may feel disgruntled or bored. Both types of employees need opportunities to grow while gaining recognition. 

How to make it an excellent experience: 

  • Take pulse surveys and use the resulting data to know where the business can improve its employee experience and what employees want in terms of development opportunities.  
  • Motivate employees with an abundance of training and development modules alongside other learning and growth opportunities. Make these things easy for employees to access where and when they would like. Personalise training for each employee.  
  • Continue to recognise employees on a frequent basis by publishing success stories on your communication channels. 
  • Host events and competitions to encourage interaction and connection.  

Ultimately, taking time to focus on your employee experience strategy and making a conscious effort to ensure your workforce are engaged and satisfied within their roles can be hugely beneficial for your organisation. After all, those who are happy at work are undoubtedly more likely to enhance the customer experience – and what business wouldn’t want that?


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