When I kicked off my professional journey as Experience Design Consultant at Expleo Management Consulting, I started an internal project which aimed to master the experience of our employees, thus the employee journey. The employee journey is the time an employee spends at an organisation, starting from the moment of applying to the company, going through the onboarding and working at the organization, lastly ending when the employee quits the organization. All the time in between these moments and the encountered experiences that the employee has is the employee journey. Researching current employee journey and designing the future one, allows for identification of ways to improve the company culture, enhance the employee experience and thus build the employer brand. Additionally, it allows employees to take a greater degree of control over their experience in the organization, and therefore creating more engaged and productive staff, who hopefully will remain with the business for longer. Lastly, studies have shown that your customer’s experience is only as good as that of your employees. Pleasant work environment and happy employees mean higher engagement, morale, which directly affect a service or product that the organization offers to its clients.
I have to say that it was a challenging project due to the remote work setup but I and involved people are doing great. We are able to reach an amazing outcome and receive a good understanding from others. In this blog, I would like to share with you the steps that I recommend when working on the employee journey. For each step, I will share my own experience and tips.
1. Define the current situation
In this step, focus on creating As-Is Employee Journey. The goal is to understand what are employees feeling and experiencing at this moment across their journey. This allows getting familiar with the starting point. The attention is on identifying frictions and unmet needs between the employee and broadly speaking the company. I collected data with help of semi-structured interview and one-to-one creation of personal As-Is Employee Journey map. I found this step interesting, especially as the new employee. It allowed me to get a better understanding about the company, what is the company doing for the employees on different levels of their maturity within the company as well as get to know the employees that I interacted with. However, by being new to the company, I needed to quickly build a trustful connection with the employees. I always ensure participants about the confidentiality of the information that they provide to make them feel comfortable with sharing their insights.
2. Define the visionary situation
This phase is dedicated to creating a To-Be Employee Journey. The goal is to design the golden experience that the employees wish to have. This allows defining the endpoint. The attention is on creating a vision that will motivate and involve people to work on closing gaps that are going to be identified in the next step. I created the To-Be Employee Journey in an interactive remote group workshop setting. I found it interesting to see how involved people felt the possibility of making an impact, taking initiative and get a feeling of ownership. Here I learn that a remote workshop cannot be as long as an offline session. People are not able to stay focused on the same amount of time.
3. Identify gaps
At this point, we have two employee journey maps: As-Is and To-Be. When comparing them moment by moment, the goal is to identify the differences. The differences are the gaps that keep the employees away from the optimal experience. They should be prioritized according to their importance. The gaps were identified in the same interactive remote group workshop session where we also worked on identifying the To-Be Employee Journey. What was surprising for me is the fact that participants where coming up with new relevant gaps that resulted not only from the differences noticed between the two maps but from their own experience. This shows that I need to be always open to new insights even when you think that the data collection phase is already completed.
In this step, focus on creating new ideas on how to close the identified divergence between the As-Is and To-Be employee journey maps. The recommended step is to assign the identified and actionable goals to employees that would like to and have the power to make an impact. But it is not everything, always offer your help in the further process i.e., ideation. During the final presentation of the employee journey series, I presented what the employees achieved so far and thanked for the hard work. In the presentation, I showed the organised moments of truth and gaps ordered by their priority. When presenting the gaps, I encouraged the employees to ask questions and discuss who has the power to make the change in case of each gap. When that was defined, we collectively decided who will be the owner of the gap and the future work needed to be completed to close it. Later it is the owner power to ideate about the solution and work on its implementation, therefore the last step of the process the roadmap creation. In this step, it is important to make the entire team feel empowered because it means that they can have a real effect on the company and that they are deserving this.
This phase is dedicated to the creation of a project roadmap which is a high-level and easy to understand overview of the most important elements of a project, for example, work’s aims, important milestones, possible risks and dependencies. In this case, the project aims to implement previously created ideas designed to close the divergence between the As-Is and To-Be employee journey maps. In our case, the roadmap is still to be created. Currently, we are busy with the ideation phase. When clear concepts are developed on how to improve the current experience of the employee journey, we will naturally move towards the formulation of the roadmap. The roadmap is necessary because it presents a clear purpose of the entire employee journey improvement project and it allows to align employees the daily grind with their long-term aspirations.