Employee Journey Mapping: How to Boost Engagement and Retention Rates
Employee Journey Mapping

According to Gallup, employee engagement in the U.S. has ticked up a bit and now stands at 34%. The bad news, of course, is that if about one-third of workers are engaged, two-thirds aren’t. What’s worse, a troubling 13% are “actively disengaged.” That phrase, selected by workers themselves, is subject to interpretation—but at the very least, it means that more than 1 of every 10 American employees isn’t happy with his or her job and probably looking for new opportunities.

Why is that important? It’s important because employees who leave your business cost you money. According to Forbes, the cost to replace an entry-level employee is 50% of that employee’s annual salary. For mid-level employees, that number jumps to 125%, and for executives, it’s about 200%. Think about that: to replace a manager who makes $50,000 a year, your company will need to spend (on average) $62,500. If you have 100 employees and 10 of them leave, the cost will be a staggering $625,000.

There are probably as many reasons employees move on to new positions as there are employees who leave. That said, the top reasons include things like disengagement, ineffective managers, lack of challenge, feeling overworked and the perceived lack of career advancement opportunities. That, of course, begs an important question: what can businesses do to minimize employee attrition by enhancing the experience of their employees?

What Is Employee Journey Mapping?

Every experience an employee has with the business for which he or she works contributes to that worker’s level of engagement, satisfaction and company loyalty. “Journey mapping” is a process that helps ensure each of those experiences, played out over time, is as positive as possible. This would include everything from offering robust training and other developmental opportunities to interactions with managers, human resources and coworkers.

As My Customer rightly notes, employee journey mapping both improves employee experience over the short term and provides employers with valuable insights that promote stronger experiences in the future:

“Employee journey mapping is a discipline that can help ensure your employees have positive experiences with your organization from their first impression onwards. Much like customer journey mapping, employee journey mapping requires you to visually plot out the end-to-end experience your employees have in the early stages of their tenure with your business, helping to identify areas for improvement, and brings awareness to the good and the bad parts of the experience.”

The Employee Journey Mapping Process in 3 Steps

To begin, every business is different, with different employees and different human resource challenges. That said, the lion’s share of businesses will benefit from an approach which includes the following three steps:

1. Analyze Employee Data

Using quantitative data—like the data you cull from employee exit, new hire and stay interviews—will help you uncover key reasons employees leave, as well as high turnover moments and events. You might discover, for example, that your onboarding process is ineffective, or that employees anticipate promotions within a designated time frame from their date of hire. If your data and analysis are robust and sound, this step will enable you to form reasonable hypotheses about boondoggles in your employees’ experience.

2. Talk to Your Employees

Once you have a better sense of the reasons employees leave, you should schedule meetings with key employee segments to refine your understanding. Focus particularly on employees at the two ends of the engagement spectrum—for example, both those who leave within the first year and those whom you designate high performers. You should also work with managers who can expand the insights you gain from these conversations.

3. Implement Your Plan

Armed with the insights gained from these quantitative and qualitative analyses, you can structure effective solutions and enhance existing operational processes to address the problems you’ve identified. For example, if one of your managers has poor leadership skills as discovered through employee surveys, you can provide the training he or she needs to improve performance. If the problem with your onboarding process is not adequately communicating job expectations, you can create more detailed, nuanced guidelines to ensure employees fully understand their duties and responsibilities. Action plans do not necessarily need to include new project plans with new platforms. Oftentimes, the most effective follow-ups develop from integrating data findings (or results) into a company’s current way of life. 

Crafting an effective employee journey mapping strategy is among the best ways to boost employee engagement and satisfaction, and to reduce potentially costly attrition—but it’s not the only one. To maximize the engagement of your workers (not to mention productivity and profitability), you need to design and implement a comprehensive employee engagement strategy grounded in accurate data and robust analysis. That’s where we can help.

Our products generate a recurring flow of employee data that your company can rapidly respond to. To learn more about the ways our new hire, stay, and exit interview platforms can help your business improve employee engagement, experience and retention, contact us today.