Updated: September 06, 2023

Employee Journey Mapping: Ultimate Guide

You found our ultimate guide to employee journey mapping.

Employee journey mapping refers to the process of charting an employee’s tenure with a company, beginning from when the individual applies for the job and concluding when the employee leaves the organization. Examples of milestones include onboarding, feedback, and training. The employee journey encompasses the experiences between the beginning and the end of an employee’s tenure. Employee journey mapping allows you to provide the groundwork for a satisfying work experience for your staff.

These ideas are related to employee engagement best practices, employee satisfaction, professional development best practices, and worker retention tips.

This article includes:

  • definition of employee journey mapping
  • employee journey mapping stages
  • employee journey map examples
  • employee journey mapping stages
  • employee journey touchpoints

Here we go!

Definition of employee journey mapping

Employee journey mapping is a strategic process companies use to understand, analyze, and optimize the entire lifecycle of an employee. This process involves creating a visual representation of the employee’s experience, from the initial contact during recruitment to their exit or retirement. This map highlights key touchpoints, interactions, and emotions experienced by employees at each stage of their journey.

The primary goal of employee journey mapping is to identify pain points and areas for improvement in the employee experience. By visualizing this journey, organizations can gain valuable insights into how to improve employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention. This process also helps align HR with organizational goals, ensuring the employee experience supports the company’s mission.

To create an employee journey map, firms collect data through surveys, interviews, and feedback from employees at various stages of their employment. This data is then used to create a detailed and actionable roadmap for improving the overall employee experience. Employee journey mapping is an ongoing process, helping organizations adapt to changing employee needs. In addition, this process lets firms regularly refine their strategies to create a more positive and fulfilling work environment.

Employee’s journey mapping stages

he employee journey map helps companies better appraise the value of an employee’s work and the time spent at an organization. The following are the stages of an employee journey map.

1. Recruiting and Sourcing

When an applicant applies for a position, it is the first time they interact with the organization. Therefore, this stage is one of the most critical steps that demand proper planning and recording. An employer should try to provide the best image to potential candidates and create a more favorable environment for new hires to begin their careers.

The company writes up a thorough job description, including any prerequisite skills or experience, and applicants who follow the proper channels know precisely where they are at any time throughout the hiring process. Since this point of contact may mark the final stop on the trip maps for many workers, the touchpoint must be engaging. Such workers may keep an eye out for opportunities in the future and reapply if they are a good fit.

2. Onboarding

As a result of the efforts put into the onboarding process, employees have a better experience throughout their journey with the company and are more productive. Employees’ first few months on the job are crucial to their overall experience. The mapping helps ensure that employees fit right into the organization’s culture, get all the tech and accessories they need for work, and be able to ask questions when confused. Companies can improve the employee onboarding process to improve their interaction with new staff members.

​Here is a list of onboarding best practices.

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3. Employee Development, Education, and Training

The practice of investing in employee training and development is ongoing. However, employees may express dissatisfaction due to a lack of opportunities to improve in their careers and learn new skills. Although the firm may try to provide a pleasant working environment for its employees, if it fails to provide adequate training and orientation, those workers may seek better opportunities elsewhere.

Many businesses have coordinated strategies for the first 30 to 90 days of a new hire, but such firms still have much to offer over time. The most successful businesses provide employees with a clear path to promotion and growth at every stage of their employment.

​Read about the importance of professional development.

4. Career Progression

Career progression refers to employees advancing and growing within an organization. Members will likely move from one role or position to another, typically with increased responsibilities, authority, and compensation. This process is an important piece of employee development and retention, as it provides a clear career path. Career progression involves various elements, including promotions, lateral moves, skill development, and mentorship. Organizations that effectively support and facilitate career progression retain top talent and create a motivated and engaged workforce.

5. Engagement and Communication

A business should ensure employee journey touchpoints maximize productivity, encourage consistency, and keep workers engaged. The organization should establish a reliable communication method that allows employees to voice their opinions and concerns. Employees need a safe space to discuss topics that affect their output, such as feelings of isolation and despair, workplace politics, and personal matters.

​Examples of these channels include:

  • ​one-on-one meetings
  • ​performance reviews
  • ​employee surveys
  • ​peer-to-peer reviews
  • ​water cooler chats

In addition, it helps when management devises tactics to motivate employees and maintain a personal and physical connection to the business.

6. Rewards and Recognition

Most employees like appreciation. Employee recognition is an integral part of the employee journey to maintain a loyal and productive workforce. Recognitions often include personal milestones like anniversaries, birthdays, or any professional success. The acknowledgments motivate employees to demonstrate good conduct, consequently helping to strengthen the overall work culture.

Workers also like recognition for a job well done. Rewarding workers with a meal out, bonus, cake, basket, or gift card can be useful when plotting out an employee’s journey within the company.

​Check out this list of employee recognition program ideas.

7. Performance Evaluation and Feedback

Regular employee performance evaluation and feedback are essential in any business. An employee’s performance evaluation should highlight both strengths and areas for development. Unfortunately, many companies are behind the times when it comes to their feedback culture. Some firms conduct performance reviews merely as a necessity or fail to be thorough with the process.

Multiple studies show that workers look forward to receiving positive feedback from their bosses. With this information, employees may evaluate the quality of their output. The who, what, when, where, how, and why of an employee’s performance should also be at the center of a feedback form.

​This phase of the journey map should answer questions like:

  • Who is offering feedback?
  • Where will employees get the review and feedback?
  • What is the effect of the feedback on employee output?
  • What is the nature of the feedback?
  • How often is the performance evaluation?
  • Why the feedback?

When mapping the employee journey, it is vital to include specifics about how and when employees will get feedback on their performance.

​Here is a list of tips for giving employee feedback.

8. Offboarding

The time eventually comes for every worker to leave every organization through termination, retirement, or resignation. By managing this transition properly, companies can ensure their former employees return to work for the company or promote it to their contacts. For example, if an employee had a good offboarding experience, they are three times more likely to promote the company to others than if they had a neutral or bad one, as reported by Gallup.

Many departing workers often desire to get acknowledgment from their employer and to discuss their experiences there openly. This information can help you develop a plan for improving the experience of the replacement employee. For instance, if the worker’s hopes for the position differed from the job’s realities, this information can help you create a more detailed job description.

Various employees will reach different destinations at the end of the road. For example, a worker who has spent decades with the same company may be thinking about retiring. A departure might also be in search of a new position. At this point, you should consider how the worker’s departure affects the workforce. This aspect of the employee journey mapping ensures that the departing worker’s knowledge gets passed to other staff members. You will also think of ways to share the news with other workers.

9. Alumni Engagement

Alumni engagement involves maintaining relationships with former employees or “alumni” of an organization. These individuals may have left the company for various reasons, such as retirement, pursuing other opportunities, or life changes. Despite leaving the firm, these former workers can still play a valuable role in the organization’s network. Alumni engagement programs aim to keep these individuals connected to the company’s community and brand. This step can include activities like alumni newsletters, events, networking opportunities, or even rehiring initiatives. Engaging with alumni fosters a sense of belonging and goodwill well beyond employment. This process can also lead to potential rehires, referrals, or even business partnerships in the future, making it a strategic element of talent management.

The importance of employee journey mapping

For big firms, an employee’s story may go through the cracks easily since supervisors and team leaders are either too busy or uninformed of the possible difficulties that might arise at crucial points in the employee’s career. For instance, a direct supervisor may not know that one of their new hires needs additional help as they begin their career path. The following are some of the importance of employee journey mapping.

1. Better Knowledge of Pain Points

Identifying pain points means finding the parts of an employee’s journey where they face problems or feel unhappy. These problems can workers them frustrated or dissatisfied. When organizations find these pain points, they can figure out what is wrong and work toward improvements. This process helps employees have a smoother and happier experience overall. Organizations need to gather information and feedback to discover these issues and fix them. This way, employees will be more satisfied and want to stay in their roles or come back.

2. Increased Employee Satisfaction

One of the most critical factors in creating a successful business is making sure your employees are happy. Having employees that treat their jobs as a calling is a sure sign that you are on the right track. If workers believe their bosses care deeply about them, they are more likely to find satisfaction in their work. Showing your employees that you appreciate them by mapping their journeys and enhancing their experience at work is a way to earn their loyalty and devotion.

​Here are job satisfaction statistics.

3. More Positive Work Culture

Running a business is not about the individuals but the teams. If any of its workers start thinking about improving themselves alone, this might signal a red flag. The success of every business depends on the quality of the relationships between its management and its employees. The employee journey mapping keeps your employees tight-knit and helps create a positive work culture.

​Read this guide on creating a positive working culture.

4. Lower Employee Turnover

When workers are happy in their jobs, they do not consider looking elsewhere. Studies show that turnover is lower in companies that invest in their employee’s professional development and look out for their staff. Employee journey mapping might assist a company in deciding when and what training its staff needs. Management might use maps to plot out training programs for employees.

​Learn about the reasons for employee turnover.

How to create employee journey maps

When looking for employee journey map examples, it is important to understand the steps that go into this process. The following are the stages of developing an employee journey map.

1. Determine the Map Type

Due to your pivotal position in ensuring a positive employee experience, you should also oversee the mapping process. You should first decide what type of map you want to make. It is necessary to determine your motivations for using employee mapping. You can get managers’ input to create a comprehensive strategy.

An excellent way to start is to draw a rough outline and then consider how you may proceed with the actual mapping. The map can be flexible enough to make changes as you go along. For example, you can ensure the map includes all the key places employees interact with the company. After deciding on the touchpoints you want to include, you can return and make the necessary adjustments to the template.

2. Develop the Persona

To begin creating the employee journey map, you must first divide your workforce into subsets. The experiences of workers in different departments, in particular, will vary greatly. You can find out what works and then make a template for it. For instance, the journey of a sales team will vary greatly from that of the IT department. Further, a new hire will have a distinct set of experiences than a long-tenured worker. Thus, it is crucial to make subsets before developing templates. It is not necessary to create a unique map for each worker. However, you can sort employees by personas to make the process easy.

3. Determine the Measurement Metrics

Part of the employee journey map is settling on a set of measures to evaluate the collected qualitative and quantitative information. Due to the large number of teams involved, individual workers will get feedback from different groups. Team roles may include recruitment, orientation, or training. Accordingly, there has to be a standard unit of performance metrics. The feedback method may be either numerical or free-form, requiring workers to answer questions.

4. Gather Data

Gathering data is the crucial first step in creating an employee journey map. The process involves collecting information from a variety of sources. This data helps companies gain insights into the experiences, perceptions, and needs of employees throughout their tenure in the organization. Firms can collect this information through employee surveys, interviews, focus groups, HR records, performance evaluations, and feedback mechanisms. By collecting and analyzing this data, organizations can uncover patterns, pain points, and opportunities for improvement. This information helps organizations make informed decisions and design effective solutions that improve the overall employee experience.

5. Design Solutions

Designing solutions is the phase where organizations develop strategies, interventions, and initiatives to improve employee experiences. These strategies aim to address the pain points and challenges identified in the employee journey. Finding solutions involves brainstorming creative and practical approachesto enhance the employee experience. These solutions may include improvements in HR policies, training programs, communication channels, work processes, and employee benefits. Effective solution design requires collaboration among various departments and stakeholders. This communication ensures the proposed changes align with organizational goals and are feasible to implement. The goal is to create tangible and actionable plans that will improve employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention.

6. Keep the Map Updated

The employee journey map is a continuous process. Many changes will occur over time, and your map should reflect them. For instance, if there is a major disruption across an organization’s primary touchpoints, then it is important to monitor developments and include any necessary adjustments into the map.


An organization may handle in-process adjustments, infrastructure development, improved communication, and policy modifications with employee data. Employers may better understand their employees’ needs and develop strategies to meet them by mapping out the whole employee experience. The purpose of creating an employee journey map is to document the worker’s experience as they go through their employment.

Open conversations about workers’ experiences and pain points are a great way to lay a strong groundwork for the future. You can use the employee’s persona to map the employee’s path within the business. Establishing the organization’s core values is the first step in developing a comprehensive picture. Next, you can find out what resources are available to workers and use that information to inform your mapping process.

Next, check out these lists of employee engagement statistics and books on the employee experience.

FAQ: Employee journey mapping

Here are frequently asked questions about employee journey mapping.

What is employee journey mapping?

Employee journey mapping is a visual depiction of the events that occur during an employee’s time working for a company. The map shows the complete scope of your employees’ interactions with your business.

How do you map the employee journey?

You can map an employee journey by establishing the objectives of the process and creating an outline. The process includes developing personas, discovering critical touchpoints, and getting employee feedback. Then, you can use the information obtained to update the map continuously.

Why is employee journey mapping important?

Employee journey mapping helps to improve employee experience, boost satisfaction in the workplace, and build a positive work culture. The map also increases retention rates and lowers employee turnover.

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People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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