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Three Tips for Employee Journey Mapping

Jim Tincher Jim Tincher 04/26/2018

Journey mapping is powerful. A clear visualization of your customer’s journey helps rally the company to support a new vision of your customers’ challenges, and how you can make it easier to be your customer.

But why should customers get all the love? If it’s such a powerful tool, shouldn’t we find other uses for it?

Employee journey mapping is often neglected. Or, worse, it’s done in a haphazard way, foregoing the discipline we use for our customers. But there’s no shortage of research on the linkage between the customer and employee experiences. Consider using your journey mapping process for customers.

Three Tips for Applying Journey Mapping to your Employees

  1. Start with your scope. Basic, right? But our research into customer journey mapping found that only 1/3 were successful. One critical reason is that participants tried to tackle too much. As I’ve interviewed those who were successful, they keep using the same term: “We first decided we wanted to avoid boiling the ocean.”

This risk doesn’t go away when doing employee journey mapping. Take a critical eye to your scope and be sure to select the right journey and employee population for your map.

  1. Bring along the team. Just because you’re focusing internally doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be rigorous. Our research found that the most critical factor for journey mapping success is to involve a broad cross-functional team. And even though 93% of you leave HR out of your customer journey mapping, please be sure to involve HR for your employees. Take the time to bring in the right team.
  2. Involve employees in the future state design. Don’t look for employees to tell you what to do – that’s not their job. But it’s always a good practice to involve your “customers” as you build prototypes. This can be difficult to do for customers – especially in B2B firms – but it’s much easier when working with employees, since they are typically nearby.

When we do action planning for employee journey maps we add a second day for prototyping. Have your teams spend their first day learning about employees’ needs and building empathy. Use the second day to build out low-fidelity prototypes. Then, bring in waves of customers to give immediate feedback. We typically have three waves of employee feedback before presenting the final concepts to leadership – which have often morphed quite dramatically as the day went on.

If you’re difficult to do business with for customers, odds are that that begins with you making it difficult for your employees. Employee journey mapping is a best practice to identify and remove those sources of friction.

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