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Methods: Employee journey maps: an introduction

by David Blakey

This first article describes the possible steps to include in an employee journey map.

[Monday 14 September 2020]

A journey map is a way of demonstrating, in words, in graphics, or in both, how all the processes, procedures, and systems allow a journey to be planned, initiated, inhabited, and completed.

You may have encountered customer journey maps. These are used to show the complete journey of a customer, either online or in person, and are often used to support new systems and processes to enhance the customer experience and increase sales.

I shall describe how to support clients in building employee journey maps, which will guide employers and employees through their careers.

Variations in employee journey maps

If you look at any two organizations' employee journey maps, you might notice some distinct differences, not least of which will be the number of stages that are included in those maps. Some organizations will have four steps, with the middle two cycling until they exit into the fourth step. Another may have five steps, or six steps, or more.

There are some possible reasons for this.

  1. There may actually be that number of steps, working in that way, within the organization, and the map-maker had reproduced those steps accurately. We may need to explore this further.
  2. The map-maker may have copied from another organization's map or may have copied a map from another source, such as an online article. We may need to correct this.
  3. The map-maker may have simplified the map to fit with management expectations. We should try to correct this.

We shall look at these issues in the concluding articles in this series. For now, we'll look at all of the possible steps that can be included in an employee journey map.

Possible steps

There are twelve possible steps that could be included on an employee journey map. They are:

  1. Specifying
  2. Recruiting
  3. Preboarding
  4. Onboarding
  5. Compensating
  6. Developing
  7. Engaging
  8. Rewarding and recognizing
  9. Performance measuring
  10. Advancing
  11. Terminating
  12. Alumnus involving

Why don't all these steps appear in employee journey maps? The best reason is that some of them have been merged and others have been deliberately omitted because they do not apply to the current employer. A worse reason is that the map-maker did not know that all of these steps were available. You can judge for yourself which you think is true. It is sad that so many maps are not developed properly.

The rest of this series of articles will guide you through each step, describing what it contains and why it is needed, and enable you to make some sensible decisions on behalf of your clients, or to guide them through a methodological approach to building employee journey maps.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

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