All What Is Employee Journey and How to Design an Employee Journey Map

What Is Employee Journey and How to Design an Employee Journey Map

Find out the what, why and how of employee journey mapping to give your employees the best experience working for your company.

user icon Sara Ana Cemazar date icon August 24, 2020 clock icon 2 minutes
employee journey
employee journey map

Your employees’ journey in your organization is filled with events that represent the most important milestones in your employees’ work lives.  

In order to understand your employees better, you need to create detailed employee journey maps and organize activities around their important steps. It can allow you to plan your employees’ development, and ensure you reach your KPIs related to employee retention, productivity and more. 

🧩 Before we start, get our Employee Recognition Playbook and find out how to implement and sustain a successful employee recognition program in your organization. 

The Definition of Employee Journey 

Employee journey includes all the time your employee has spent with your companyIt encompasses all the important events, milestones and touchpoints in your employees’ career path within your organization.  

One can argue that employee journey includes employees’ touchpoints with their company even while they are only candidates considering working there. However, most consider the exact employee journey duration to be from the moment of hiring to the moment of employees’ exit from the company. 

Related to that, employee journey maps are visualizations of your employees’ journey that help you pin down all its important steps. Employee journey is closely related to employee experience, so mapping your employees’ journey in detail is an important step in improving employee experience for your employees. 

employee journey definition

The Importance of Understanding Employee Journeys 

Understanding your workforce’s employee journey is crucial for enabling success for your employees. Current situation with COVID-19 makes it even more evident that you should create a strong foundation to build a strong employee experience story. 

Employee journey mapping came in HR’s spotlight once it borrowed many techniques and concepts from customer success. Namely, customer journey mapping proved to be a useful method for increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty, since it provided better understanding of customers’ needs at different moments. 

Here is how understanding employee journeys can help you advance the state of relevant KPIs. 

Better employee experience 

As explained before, mapping an employee journey allows you to better understand what your employees encounter during different points in their career. It helps you to better plan activities related to onboarding, development, employee feedback and more. 

In other words, it helps you to become more aware of different operations that should take place according to your employees’ individual career paths.  

Improved employee satisfaction 

Related to previous point, creating an employee journey map allows you to plan improvement of your employees’ experience in multiple ways, thus improving employee satisfaction. The statistics show that employees who feel their employers treat them with respect are 63% more satisfied with their jobs. 

employee journey mapping

By mapping employee journey and improving employee experience, you will ensure your employees feel that they are respected members of your company’s community. Moreover, you will gain your employees’ loyalty. 

Decreased employee turnover 

When your employees are satisfied with their jobs, there are less reasons for them to quit and leave your company. In fact, 40% of employees that receive poor training leave the company within the first year, while 93% would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. 

Luckily, employee journey mapping helps you determine when and which training you should provide to your employees and plan their development accordingly. It results in decreased employee turnover but also in the growth of your company as a whole. 

employee retention

Increased employee engagement 

As Gallup’s research shows that 87% of employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged, HR Professionals try to improve their KPIs in this area. One of the basic steps of increasing employee engagement is planning on how to stimulate it. 

This is where employee journeys come in hand. By understanding your employees’ journeys, you have a great chance to spot and amend all the shortcomings in your employee experience. Moreover, you can plan different engagement activities in different points of time and track the success of your initiatives along the way. 

Positive company culture 

When everybody in the company has their career plans worked out, the expectations are known and development happens accordingly, it leads to better relationships among employees and positive company culture. 

Since 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success, it is vital to map employee journey and create conditions in which positive company culture can flourish. 

positive company culture

The 10 Stages of Employee Journeys 

There are several stages of employee journey that every employee goes through, like recruiting, start of employment and retirement or resignation. However, none of the stages between the start and the end of an individual’s work for a company are givenIt is up to you to recognize and create touchpoints of employee journey that will help you give your employees the best experience and keep them working in your organization. 

Here are all the proposed stages of employee journey that you should include in your employee journey map. 

employee journey map stages

1. Recruiting 

The first contact your employee will have with your company happens during recruitment. Therefore, you need to carefully plan this stage of employee journey in order to give your future employees the best candidate experience out there. 

Think about best channels to attract your candidate persona, prepare a detailed job description and provide your candidates an easy applying experience. Following that, keep in touch and let your candidates know how they stand during recruitment process. 

2. Onboarding 

Did you know that strong onboarding process improves productivity by 70%? You need to make sure that your new employees do not feel lost during their first days, weeks or months of employment. 

Therefore, make sure you provide your employees with a plan of tasks to do. Furthermore, explain the hierarchy, introduce your new employees with their superiors and make sure everybody understands what is expected of them. 

employee onboarding importance

Depending on your managers’ management style, they will form different relationships with your employees. Thus, collaborate with your managers to explain the importance of onboarding and ensure this step of your employee journey goes smoothly. 

3. Employee development 

According to 68% of employees, training and development are company’s most important policies. Therefore, you should include planning for employee’s training, learning and development in your employee journey map. 

Moreover, facilitating employee development will allow them to grow their expertise, and in turn ensure business success to your organization. Between hiring and retiring, this might be the most important step of the employee journey. 

4. Compensation and benefits 

Not only is it important to offer fair compensation and competitive employee benefits when hiring, it is also vital to update the terms as your employee grows and develops. 

The newest trends in employee benefits accentuate work-life balance and several other employee wellbeing benefits. Make sure to revise these benefits as your employees develop and encounter different situations in their private lives, like birth of their children when parental leaves will be an important benefit to offer. 

5. Ongoing employee engagement and communication 

There should not be one or even a couple of steps in your employee journey that consider employee engagement. Instead, the engagement efforts should be continuous and persist along employee journey. It pays off in productivity – highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability. 

🧩 Find out why are your employees disengaged. 

employee engagement

A big aspect of employee journey is also employee communication. You need to carefully design your workplace communication strategy and know when and how to communicate to your employees in bulk or individually.  

6. Employee recognition 

As many research shows, employee recognition is one of the most effective ways to increase employee retention, keep your employees productive and improve your customer satisfaction. Even though recognition is usually tied with significant moments like employee anniversaries, it is encouraged to appreciate employees for displaying positive behavior to incite it in others and improve the overall workplace culture. 

🧩 Get our employee appreciation letter templates and employee appreciation quotes to recognize your employees’ work.

Therefore, it is useful to embed your employee recognition efforts along the employee journey. By doing that, you will ensure positive experience for your employees and impact many aspects of your workplace. 

🧩 Employee recognition can bring about powerful transformation if implemented thoughtfully. Read all about how to create, implement and maintain an employee recognition program.

employee recognition playbook

7. Employee feedback 

Another activity that should be implemented throughout the employee journey is employee feedback. The annual performance review practices became an outdated form of evaluation, and 65% of employees want more feedback to get a sense of their performance. 

There is more to feedback than its frequency – it should be practiced in top-down and peer-to-peer manner as well, and positive feedback should prevail. Take a look at FeedBck and see how you can transform the culture of feedback in your company, and check out how Hatch used it to grow their talent. 

8. Employee promotion 

As you will invest time and resources in developing your employees, they will advance in their careers and land promotions during their journey. Not only do you need to include this important step in your employee journey map, you also need to encourage it. Namely, 74% of employees does not believe they are reaching their full potential at work, and 52% of Millennial and Gen Z workers believe that opportunities for advancement a company an attractive employer. 

employee development

Moreover, employee anniversaries present significant milestones in which employees are usually promoted. Do not miss a chance to give credit when it is due and promote from within. It is one of the best ways to keep your employee retention high and your employee development investments to pay off. 

9. Personal events 

As mentioned before, you need to account for your employees’ personal events in your employee journey. For example, events such as welcoming a child into a family will also change the workplace dynamics of an individual, who will take a parental leave. Therefore, you should adjust your benefits to match your employees’ current personal situation. 

Other private situations that may affect your employees’ work lives are illness, moving to another location or other. Make sure you have prepared scenarios for these situations included in your employee journey map. 

10. Exit from the company 

Be it retirement, resignation or dismissal – an employee will eventually leave the company and you must take it into account. Since it is an inevitable part of employee journey, you should put it on a map and plan events around it. 

If an employee resigned from a company, make sure to conduct an exit interview and find out what could have kept him or her in your company. Moreover, make sure that you depart on decent terms and keep the doors open for your ex-employees return to the company. 

🧩 If your employees are retiring, you should celebrate their years of service and show your genuine thankfulness to them. Take a look at our ideas for best employee service awards. 

Employee Journey Mapping Guidelines 

Where should you start when creating an employee journey map? How do you make sure it fits everyone in your diverse workforce? 

Read our guidelines for mapping an employee journey and make sure you create detailed employee journey maps and give your employees a great experience from the beginning to the end of their time in your company. 

employee journey map infographics

1. Segment your workforce 

Part your employees into several personas. For example, think about how your employee’s journey differs across departments: starting from recruitment, your software developers and your sales professionals will have very different journeys. 

Thinking about how different employee journey looks like for your diverse workforce helps you prepare for creating multiple employee journey maps. 

2. Create multiple employee journey maps 

You do not necessarily have to create as many employee journey maps as you can, but be inclusive and allow for sub-maps or smaller variations inside the maps. You should not only account for your employees’ professions, but also for their age. Namely, your employee engagement efforts and development opportunities you offer will be valued differently by Millennials, Gen Y and older employees. 

3. Survey your employees 

Find out what your employees think of their own experience! Conduct regular employee surveys and see what your employees’ find good in your current efforts, and which of them have missed their mark. 

Use our sample of employee survey questions to find out how to adjust your employee journey maps to engage your employees more. 

🧩 Use our Employee Survey solution to conduct the surveys, inspect their results and give your employees a great experience. 

4. Revise according to feedback 

Surveys can give you cumulative data but asking for qualitative feedback also helps you to improve your employee journey maps. However, the most important thing about asking for feedback is to update your work according to it! See if your employees found the training you organized useful or if they had all the assistance needed during onboarding, and change your activities according to feedback. 

5. Measure your success every step of the way 

It is important to measure the relevant data to keep track of your KPIs and success of your employee journey mapping efforts. Therefore, you should set your own parameters for measuring success of your onboarding, recognition, development and more. 

Measuring employee recognition efforts can easily be automated and integrated within your recognition software. Take a look at our Employee Recognition Buyer’s Guide to see which recognition software would fit your company best. 

Tools to Ensure Positive Employee Experience throughout the Employee Journey 

Semos Cloud offers a variety of tools that can help employers ensure the highest levels of employee experience throughout the employee journey. 

As one of the ongoing processes throughout employee journey, employee recognition is vital for your employees’ satisfaction. Used in stages of onboarding, development and measuring performance, our Employee Recognition Solution JobPts has a proven record of improving employee engagement, company culture and employee motivation. 

employee recognition software

🧩 Read all about transformation JobPts brought to our customers. 

Furthermore, our collaboration solution BoardFlo can help you note down, plan and visualize activities related to various stages of employee journey. You can also create the employee journey map in it and collaborate with your coworkers on it. Its Kanban style allows for endless possibilities. 

employee collaboration software

To communicate with your workforce properly, there is Nurture with its powerful customization. This employee communication tool allows you to reach your diverse workforce with personalized messages, which will ensure your communication stays not only delivered, but also read and understood. 

employee communication software


Last but not least, to keep track of your progress and make adjustments according to feedback, we offer SurveyRocks. This employee survey tool will allow you to constantly check in with your employees, or managers to check in with their teams. It helps you keep in touch with your workforce and prevent development of greater discontent. 

employee survey software

Get in touch with our specialist and see how our Employee Experience Suite can transform your company.