Today’s post is courtesy of board member Bob Clements, President at Axsium Group,  a leading workforce management consulting firm.

One of the hottest topics in HR today is the employee experience, which can be defined as the sum of every interaction between an employee and employer from hire to retire. Creating a great employee experience helps employers attract and retain talent and increase employee engagement along the way.

The employee experience is often confused with employer branding, employee perks or even a new approach to HR. HR professionals struggle to understand what a great employee experience looks like and often lack the right tools and techniques to create one.

The good news is that a similar model exists in your marketing department. According to Gartner, two-thirds of companies believe that they compete, not on price or product selection, but customer experience. Journey mapping has become the technique of choice for those designing customer experiences.

Journey mapping allows marketers to all-but-literally get inside the customer’s head by modeling how the customer feels and behaves as she interacts with the company either in a physical or virtual environment. And, it turns out that journey mapping is just as relevant for designing the employee experience. While the technique remains the same, the subject and her landscape are vastly different.

Journey mapping is an empathetic design process accomplished by putting oneself in the subject’s shoes. But, what happens when that subject is you? What the employee is seeing, hearing, thinking, feeling and saying is not only fundamentally different than the customer, it is also shackled by bias, fear, and self-interest.

If that weren’t enough, the stakes are higher. The employee is interacting with the design much more frequently than a customer, so the pain points are more poignant. Additionally, the customer may redirect his choices more easily whereas the employee’s livelihood is tied to his choice to accept or deny his employee experience.

Navigating inferior technology, outdated processes and policies, cultural undercurrents, and the demand of the job is a tangled web. Journey Mapping aims to untangle it. The output isn’t a map, per se, but a list of opportunities. And, those opportunities form the foundation of a great employee experience.

Have you tried journey mapping your employee experience?  Please tell us about it in the comments section.

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