A structured approach for enterprises to effectively engage employees through journey mapping

Employee Motivation January 13 Resolve Tech Solutions

One of the toughest challenges that organizations face today is keeping their employees motivated and engaged. Disengaged employees cost U.S. organizations around $450-550 billion each year. Most employees leave their company due to a lack of growth opportunities or an unhappy work environment. But managers or superiors come to know about this dissatisfaction only when these employees resign from the company.

Traditional methods of employee feedback rarely measure feelings and emotions about happiness, satisfaction, and motivation comprehensively. It is unrealistic to assume that the annual/semi-annual surveys are insightful enough to provide a deeper understanding of what employees are going through at any given point in time.

“Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer. I think you build one with your employees first.”
– Angela Ahrendts (Senior Vice President, Apple)

Many organizations these days invest in employee experience programs to keep track of engagement and motivation levels in their employees. However, what most of these experience programs fail to consider is that each employee is at a different stage of his/her professional journey and has different experiences. Companies need to identify moments in time that matter the most to their employees.

One of the tools to use in such situations is an employee journey map. Just like customer journey mapping, organizations can use this tool to identify touchpoints across different employee segments and across various locations. It helps them to track how employees are feeling, thinking, and behaving. Employee journey mapping can achieve a holistic view of the workforce and help companies understand their motivations & pain points. Employees who feel heard and valued rarely look for opportunities elsewhere. An employee journey map is highly useful in determining stressors at each touchpoint and devising solutions to maximize employee engagement. 

Here is an example of employee journey touchpoints with its challenges and possible responses a company can devise to ensure their employees are happy, engaged, and productive.

RECRUITMENT:

According to Talentboard, 63% of candidates say most employers do not communicate adequately. Negative interview experience, infrequent communication, and lack of clear information during the recruitment period lead to new/prospective employees becoming disconcerted and anxious. Companies can streamline all aspects of this process to achieve positive outcomes.

  • Candidacy: Transparent, informative, frequent, and cordial communication to ensure positive experience across screening, interview, and approval stages to maintain candidate’s interest and his/her willingness to join the company.
  • Pre-boarding: Open and thoughtful introduction to company culture and practices so that employees can feel comfortable and better prepared for their first day.
  • Onboarding: Clear, concise, and personalized onboarding steps to ensure that the new employees feel welcomed and are stress-free during the first few weeks of joining.

Unfavorable experiences during the first few weeks of employment double the chances of employees looking for opportunities elsewhere. Companies can track employee sentiments using journey mapping to make sure that new employees feel happy with their choice and are excited to come to work.

CAREER DEVELOPMENT

Employees often indicate the inability to cope with work pressure, infrequent communication with managers, and lack of clarity over career growth as some of the challenges in achieving a positive work-life balance. Companies can segment the employee career paths though the following focal points to achieve favorable results:

  • Performance and Learning: Open, collaborative communication during projects along with multiple upskilling/reskilling opportunities to make employees feel comfortable and confident in their roles as well as their value to the company.
  • Talent & leadership development: Comprehensive strategy of talent assessment for each employee to ensure that the right candidates are selected and groomed for future leadership roles.
  • Compensation and benefits: Competitive remunerations package with enough flexibility to ensure the employees feel valued and can achieve work-life balance.

83% of employees are more likely to stay with the organization if they are given more opportunities to take on new challenges. Companies that actively take part in the career development of their employees and invest in the growth of their workforce instill a sense of well-being and loyalty.

APPRAISALS AND APPRECIATION

There is a point in time every year when employees feel the stress of upcoming appraisals. Lack of appreciation, insufficient acknowledgments from managers, and insecurity about their future in the company become their primary emotions. Organizations can analyze these key touchpoints to create a strategy that will help in alleviating the anxiety around this process:

  • Performance feedback and review: Future-focused, continuous, personalized evaluation of employee accomplishments so that they feel motivated, engaged, and challenged at the workplace.
  • Rewards and recognition: A balanced mix of acknowledgments, incentives, and appreciation to create a culture of loyalty, connection, and high performance.

70% of employees say that their motivation and morale would significantly improve if managers thank them more. Employees prefer to work for organizations that recognize their efforts and have a well-balanced reward and recognition strategy.

SEPARATION AND OFFBOARDING

When an employee resigns or retires, they must complete several processes to comply with separation policies. Employees characterize this period as generally stressful and lacking in communication and transparency. A strategic and thoughtful transition process ensures that employees who are leaving carry amicable sentiments.

A positive parting experience, whether it is retirement or resigning, helps build positive feedback for the companies and enhances their reputation in the outside world.

“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.”
–Anne Mulcahy (Former CEO, Xerox Corporation)

Summing up

When companies can identify the touchpoints in an employee journey, they can find out the moments that matter to them. Employee journey mapping helps businesses to streamline these touchpoints so that they understand the diverse sentiments attached to each of these moments. It also helps companies to define employee expectations and create best practices with a clear goal to increase job satisfaction and motivation among the whole workforce.