Okay I know some still do. But, for the vast majority of companies, the idea of not designing for the user would be a terrifying prospect.
So, with that in mind, why is it something we still do when building our organizations for our employees?
We often build People and Culture programs in a vacuum without consulting the end-user. Then become disheartened when they fall flat.
Recruitment is the one area that has been considering the experience of the user for a while now.
The job market is currently a buyer’s market, so hiring teams have put a lot of effort into crafting great hiring experiences and getting feedback from the user (the potential new hire) along the way.
The part we need to look at is what happens after they join. How can we, as employers, continue to build an experience that delights our users?
I’ve been involved in the People world for around 20 years, most recently within tech businesses.
I’ve spent years learning how to enable HR professionals and People and Talent teams to be successful in their roles, often by taking inspiration from the way other teams were using innovation tools to build tech products.
Employee journey mapping is one such tool I’ve adapted to help organizations create a better employee experience.
What is employee journey mapping?
When I started to consider how to start really designing for the employee as a user, I decided to take inspiration from what our design and product teams were using. That’s where I discovered customer journey mapping.
Journey mapping is a tool that smart people have used for a long time to consider how the user interacts with their product or service at different touchpoints along their journey with a brand. It’s central to helping UX and CX teams identify pain points and design exemplary customer experiences.
Seeing the effectiveness of journey mapping for product and CX teams, I decided to repurpose the tool for People experience across the employee journey.
But hold up, what’s that?
Think of the employee journey as the ongoing relationship between an employee and your organization.
It starts before they’ve spoken to a hiring manager and continues even after they’ve left.
What are the stages of the employee journey?
The employee journey, also called the employee life cycle, is the beginning, middle, and end of someone being employed by you.
There are a number of stages you might want to carve out if you want to do this for yourselves, but these represent the headline areas.
Attraction—any interaction before a potential employee connects with you. This could be a media feature, Linkedin post, or conversation over dinner.
From those interviews, we gained a basic understanding of the wants and needs of the group, and what their current issues might be.
We then took a smaller group of interested people from within the company to map it all out on an employee journey.
You can see a rough version of what we created below.
If you want to consider something similar, first consider the different stages that are appropriate to you.
Then take one stage at a time and consider:
What does the employee do?
Which parts of the team/organization do they interact with?
What is the employee thinking?
How is the employee feeling?
What are our opportunities?
The opportunities section then becomes a bucket list of all the things you could do to craft a better employee experience. What are the opportunities available to support people to let them know you value them?
It could be as simple as a welcome gift, or by creating rigor around the way that people can progress within your organization.
Pro tip: Rather than try to do it all and fail, I recommend a simple effort vs impact matrix like the one below. Plot all the ideas for there and you will be able to prioritize effectively which initiative you start with.
This is a fairly recent project so, while many of the actions are still in flight, the team has already implemented a new recruitment system and improved the onboarding process for both sides using automation.
In general, they are now more focused on things that create ‘delight in the user’—employee satisfaction in this case.
What I mean here are things such as :
The way leaders work with each person on their growth
So that’s it. Taking the time to really get to know and consider the users you’re designing for will help you craft a better employee experience. This will result in higher levels of employee engagement, retention, and wellbeing.
Remember, collecting and actioning on employee feedback is key, and use the effort vs impact matrix to help identify the best-value opportunities.