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How to Create an Employee Journey Map (With Step-by-Step Instructions)

Kate Williams

14 May 2024

8 min read

We’ll show you how to design an employee journey map in this article with step-by-step instructions.

On average, 64% of employees report that they do not have a strong work culture. And, 18% of employees said they intend to stay with their organization for one year or less! 

The reason? They don’t have job satisfaction or feel engaged with their work. Solution? Smooth employee journey and serene employee experience.

The employee experience concept is one of the most valuable concepts that focus on employee engagement in the workforce.

The term “employee experience” started to gain popularity in 2017. 51% of the HR executive mentioned that employee experience is a crucial initiative for 2019, according to Gartner.

Enhancing employee experience can foster job satisfaction, improve employee engagement, makes the employee journey smooth, boost employee retention, and productivity in every industry. 

Here, we’ll explain what exactly an employee journey map is and how you can leverage its advantages.

Without further ado, let’s dive into what an employee journey is. 

What is an Employee Journey?

The time an employee spends at an organization is known as the employee journey. The journey starts from the moment they apply to the organization and ends when they leave it. The time between these two experiences has a lot of significance in an employee’s professional life. However, not all experiences are the same but identifying the vital moments in an employee’s lifecycle is the primary part of this employee journey. 

Organizations with enhanced employee experience and engagement earn 147% more per share. And, the primary way to improve employee experience is by creating an employee journey map. An employee journey map is recently gaining massive popularity among several small and large-scale businesses. And it’s getting famous for all the right reasons!

What is Employee Journey Mapping?

Are you aware of the term “customer journey map?” Well, the employee experience map is inspired by the exact concept of the customer journey map. An employee journey map visualizes the entire timeline of an employee’s experience. The journey map represents crucial moments in an employee’s professional life. The employee journey map helps to understand how these moments can impact an employee’s work-life and how you can improve them. 

Some examples of these crucial moments in an employee’s professional life are- the first job interview, first team meeting, first meeting with the team manager, first-team activity, birthday, appreciation for work, last day at the company. When a company prioritizes these vital moments in an employee’s life, they witness strong growth and boost revenues. For instance, Campbell’s Soup increased its stock price by 30% by prioritizing employee experience.

The Stages of the Employee Journey Map

Now you know what an employee experience journey map is. But how do you know when is the right time to create a journey map? According to The Harvard Business Review, the employee lifecycle has ten different stages. And you’ll get the opportunity to create a journey map in each of these stages.  

Now let’s take a look at these ten stages.

1. Sourcing and Recruiting

Consider this point as similar to the lead generation stage in the customer experience journey. Before recruitment, a candidate goes through several processes like, they get to know about the company, submitting their resume, receiving an interview call, etc. 

Now, organizations have to invest extra care to make their recruitment process convenient and provide a positive experience. 

2. Pre-Onboarding

After accepting a job offer, the new employees face anxiety about their job roles. It’s essential to ease out their stress by engaging with them. Introduce the new employees to the work culture, encourage them to join social events, and networking events. By this, a company can enhance its employee journey experience. 

3. Onboarding

The first week or month of a new job is a crucial part of the employee journey. If they had a bitter experience in the early few days or months at the new office, it would impact them negatively. Improving your employees’ onboarding experience is essential to retain them for a long time. So, the onboarding stage is an integral part of the employee experience journey map

4. Compensation and Benefits

If you are running an organization, then note this- compensation and benefits are also a crucial part of the employee journey. Without the right benefits package or paycheck, employees won’t enjoy working with your organization. 

5. Ongoing Learning and Development

94% of employees say that they wouldn’t stay with a company if it isn’t investing in their learning, according to Linkedin’s Workforce Learning report, 2019. 

Employee engagement and work productivity will depend on your organization’s learning and development plan. Some organizations follow the 30 60 90 day plan for the new employees while others have learning plans even after the first three months. Whatever plan you choose, make sure to provide ongoing development and knowledge to enhance their skills and employee journey. 

6. Ongoing Engagement, Community Involvement

Engaged employees bring 2.5x more revenues than less engaged employees. And, the key to improving engagement among employees is to involve them in company events, policies, and news. Here’s a heads up, don’t make the employee journey too dull! Using games and fun activities can boost employee engagement by up to 90%. 

7. Rewards and recognition

Rewards and employee recognition increase engagement and employee loyalty. Employees expect that the organization will recognize their hard work. So, at this stage of the journey map, you have to think creatively to celebrate their accomplishment and hard work. 

8. Performance Planning and Feedback

Are you conducting an employee service every few months? Do you provide feedback to your employees?

Several employees complained that their organizations provide only poor feedback regarding their work. But employees seek feedback to know they are performing well and where they can improve. You can use some questions to know what kind of feedback and performance planning your employees need to have an engaging employee journey-

  • What kind of reviews or feedback your employees are receiving?
  • When are these feedback and performance plans going to happen?
  • Why are the employees receiving feedback?
  • How can they improve their performance with this feedback?

9. Advancement

Advancement is an essential stage in the employee journey mapping process. Many organizations tend to forget that after a promotion, additional onboarding is necessary. You have to ask questions like, what are the new responsibilities of the employee after a promotion? What changes will occur in his day-to-day professional life? 

10. Retirement, termination, or Resignation

Retirement, termination, or Resignation is the final or end-stage of the employee journey map. In this stage of the journey map, you have to think about the former employees too. How the retirement or Resignation of the old employee will impact them? How do you break the termination news to them? These are some common questions you have to ask yourself at this stage. Also, you have to consider how you’ll handle the retirement or resignation process of the employee. 

How to Design an Employee Journey Map?

We’ve already discussed everything you should know about the employee journey map. So, now let’s move on to some actionable steps you can follow to design a journey map. 

Set a Mindset

Before creating any journey map, set the right mindset. Don’t think of yourself as an expert in the journey mapping process. Instead of finding the pain points and needs of the employees alone, first, try to listen.

Encourage employees to share their perspectives and expectations. Collaborate with them to set a mindset before creating an employee journey map. No one knows what kind of workforce experience is useful except your employees. So always ask their help before designing an employee experience journey map. This approach is known as co-creation. We can take Delta Airlines example here. They used a co-creation approach to design their employees’ uniforms. The designer Zac Posen started using the employee journey to create the uniform for the first time in 12 years. 

Shadowed dozens of Delta employees over the last few years to learn every inch of the cabin and every detail of their duties – from in-flight services to baggage handling – so he could create a look and fabric that worked for their every need

– Zac Posen

Create an Employee Persona

Once you’re done with knowing your employees, you are all set to build an employee persona. You have to get inside your employee’s heads to realize their pain points and needs. Give a name to each of the personas. For example “Alica the content marketer.” Fill in other vital details like demographics, job profile, workplace behavior, motivators, etc. 

You can know about their pain points and behaviors by asking these simple questions-

  • What is the employees’ professional goal?
  • How is the employee feeling in the workplace?
  • What barriers are the employees facing in the workplace?

A quick tip, don’t get distracted with all the details only include the essential ones in a persona. 

Map the Employee Journey

After interacting with your employees and creating the employee persona it’s time to map the employee journey, here you have to make a visual representation of your organization’s employee experience.

The main idea behind mapping the employee experience journey is to identify significant moments in an employee’s lifecycle and list them chronologically. While collecting information from the employees listen to their actual journey experience in your organization. Even if the information is negative, you can use the quantitative method to collect data & information for journey mapping. Employee surveys are a great approach to collect quantitative data about employee experience. 

At SurveySparrow, you’ll get different survey templates to map your employee satisfaction journey efficiently. Your employees can answer anonymously with these surveys, so they won’t be scared to give an honest answer.

When you are mapping out your employee journey map, include their emotional feelings in the map. For instance, “Alice the content marketer” experienced a perfect onboarding process but a terrible learning and development process. You can bring improvement to your organization with this information. 


After creating the journey map, now it’s time to know what’s positive and what’s negative in your organization. With the employee data and feedback, you can enhance engagement by resolving a pain point or improving a specific employee journey. You and your organization can provide new ideas to give a better engaging experience to the employees. 

You can take the Wegmans example to know how important the employee engagement experience is. Wegmans is a renowned grocery store famous for its customer service and strong employee engagement. Each year Wegmans invests $50 million to enhance employee development and training. The result? Wegmans increased its annual revenues from $7.9 – $9.2 billion, in 2018. 

The Benefits of the Employee Journey Map 

Listed below are some of the benefits of having an Employee Journey Map:

Get Insights on Engagement

An employee journey map is all about knowing your employees and giving them an engaging working experience. The employee journey map will help you to gain insights about engagement from the employee surveys and feedback. Help you to understand and motivate your employees on how to stay productive at work. You can improve your organization’s weak areas to increase employee satisfaction. 

Hire the Right Employees

Most companies recruit employees based on their skills and not on the employee experience. It ends up in employed satisfaction and early quitting. Also, in several interviews, companies represent a company experience that’s different than the existing one. because most of the companies don’t have a proper idea about their work culture or experience

A journey map can help you to recruit talent that fits into your company’s experience and culture. It allows you to understand the primary values of the company. With the help of the journey map, you’ll know who’ll stay in the company till the end and who won’t. This way, you will hire employees who’ll feel engaged with your company’s experience.

Visualize the Experience

Humans are visual creatures; they engage a lot with visual content. The employee journey map will help you learn about your employee’s experience with the visual format. Because of this visual format, you will understand the employee’s experience stages conveniently.

Personalize your employee journey map according to your organization

Every company has its own employee journey map. You can create a to-the-point map or colorful, metaphorical map. Whatever journey map you create, make sure they reflect your organization’s values, mission, process, and personality. 

Making sure that we are connected to the emotional experience that our colleagues and guests are experiencing and then designing their experience so that it is fulfilling for them.

– Mark Hoplamazian, Hyatt’s CEO

Hyatt, one of the popular names in the hospitality industry, created employee experience to encourage employees to develop an emotional connection with the guests. 

Invest money wisely

Many companies spend a lot of money on recruiting and managing a workforce. Though the companies spend money happily often, they don’t know how to make their employees satisfied. It results in pointless investments.

With the help of the experience journey map, you will know precisely what makes the employees happy. It will guide you to invest money on the necessary thing, this way you’ll be able to save your unnecessary costs. 

Now let’s close the curtains.

Employee journey mapping is vital to know how your employees are feeling while working with your organization. If you use it properly, the journey will offer you a lot of value. From building employee engagement to retaining employees, the ROI can be huge if you do the mapping right. If you’re pretty serious to create an Employee Journey Map, feel free to check out SurveySparrow’s employee satisfaction surveysemployee 360-degree feedback tool, and employee engagement surveys. SurveySparrow lets you check your employees’ pulse and engage them throughout their journey with your organization. Happy employees equal happy customers, after all right!

So, grab a marker, some notes, and a journey mapping template to create an engaging employee journey map. Trust us; it will be fun and worth your time!

Kate Williams

Content Marketer at SurveySparrow

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