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Employee Journey Map: A Path to Employee Retention


As a business owner, do you truly understand how your employees experience your company’s policies, processes, and culture? Ask yourself how much time you’ve spent walking in your employees’ shoes. Do you understand the triggers for their loyalty or frustration? Can you pinpoint where in the process you lose employees’ trust? If not, it may be time to create an employee journey map. An employee journey map allows you to transform the conceptual into the tangible. In other words, you begin to see the interactions that make up the experience.

What Is a Journey Map?

Experiences, after all, are entirely invisible. You cannot see someone’s feelings and emotions. There are only a few parts of an experience that you can actually see. An experience happens over time. It’s an array of touch points. Loyalty, trust, and relationships take time. So you need to know what that experience looks like from end to end.

Think of a journey map as a timeline of history, versus a photograph of one event. An employee journey map allows you to view the full context of an employee’s experience. You’ll see how relationships develop over time. The points where trust erodes become apparent. When you understand the relationships between multiple touch points, a clear pattern emerges.

Some companies are already familiar with the concept of customer journey maps. For example, healthcare providers often look to the waiting room experience as a key factor in patient satisfaction. Adding televisions, magazines, and bright colors to the waiting room may make the wait more pleasant. But they’re missing the point. The truth is, people don’t want to wait at all! By mapping the full customer journey, a provider may realize changing its scheduling policy leads to patient satisfaction.

What Employee Journey Maps Tell Us

Employees often cite pay as their key issue. But that’s not always what’s most important. Dig deeper. You will probably find what people really want is respect. Put another way, highly paid employees leave when they don’t feel valued or respected. By mapping the entire employee experience, we are able to see where and why people feel undervalued or disrespected. Then we can start to improve the experience.

For example, Collabo XD works with several hospitals. Initially, nurses will complain about their pay. Then we ask more questions. Typically, the real issue is that they don’t feel as valued as the doctors. Nurses receive heavier caseloads and lower pay than doctors. In addition, nurses do a lot of the “heavy lifting” in the hospital setting.

Two and a half years into a global pandemic, hospitals are practically throwing money at nurses. The goal is to keep them on staff or to lure them back into the workforce. For some nurses, though, no amount of money outweighs the level of exhaustion, stress, and burnout they’ve experienced. These hospitals need a new approach to recruiting and retention. Employee journey maps can help us design a more compelling experience.

Post its on Journey Map

What’s to Include in an Employee Journey Map

An employee journey map shows the full employment lifecycle:

  • Employer brand awareness
  • Recruiting and selection
  • Onboarding (Year 0)
  • Evaluation and promotions
  • Mid-range employment (Years 1 to 3 or so)
  • Tenured employment
  • Offboarding or retirement

Once you complete your journey map, distinct profiles will emerge. You’ll understand what’s important to folks within each phase. Then, you can expand upon what’s working well while revamping the trouble spots. Over time, you’ll see improvements in employee engagement, loyalty, and retention. If you’d like some help getting started, or you’d like to hand this off to an expert, Collabo XD can help!



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