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What Is Employee Journey Mapping? Benefits & Tips (2024)

Employee experience has become a top priority for human resources, leaders, and business executives. Recent surveys show that nearly 80% of candidates prioritize company culture and work environment when weighing job offers. At the same time, disengaged employees lead to $7 trillion in lost productivity every year.

This is where employee journey mapping comes in.

The employee journey mapping process allows organizations to visually map out an employee's end-to-end experience with the company.

What is the goal of this?

It pinpoints pain pointers across the employee lifecycle to boost engagement, productivity, and retention.

This article will explore what employee journey mapping entails, why it's mission-critical in today's workplace, and how you can start mapping employee journeys in your organization.

Let's get started.

The Essence of Employee Journey Mapping

Employee journey mapping tracks and documents the entire employee experience – from initial outreach as a candidate to offboarding. This methodology allows you to analyze each touchpoint and transition during the employee lifecycle.

The practice first emerged in the 1990s as "customer journey mapping." As the workplace evolved to prioritize culture and experience, companies realized the same methodology could be applied to map employee touchpoints.

Effective journey mapping requires examining the holistic employee perspective across four key dimensions:

  • Actions - What activities does the employee perform?

  • Mindsets - What motivations and emotions shape their experience?

  • Pain points - What challenges or friction do they encounter?

  • Opportunities - Where can the employee experience be improved?

Together, these elements provide robust insights into how your people genuinely experience your organization.

Unveiling the Benefits: Why Employee Journey Mapping Matters

There's a reason employee journey mapping has steadily risen in popularity. Data shows the practice can:

  • Boost employee retention by 14%

  • Optimizing for uncertainty

  • Reduce hiring costs by up to 50%

  • Identifying what works at the earliest

  • Improve employee productivity by 21%

  • Enables inclusivity in the organization

For example, digital consulting firm CI&T embarked on an extensive employee journey mapping initiative in 2015. Within four years, they reduced voluntary turnover from 25% to an unprecedented 2%.

The process also future-proofs your organization. With insights into current experience gaps and emerging workforce expectations, you can continuously adapt your employee experience – before attrition spikes or productivity plummets.

Navigating the Stages of the Employee Journey

While individual employee journeys vary, most follow six core stages:

Stage 1 – Recruitment

Recruitment involves attracting, selecting, and hiring the right candidates. Metrics include time-to-hire, cost-per-hire, offer acceptance rates, and new-hire quality. The goal is to have clear, compelling job postings and an interview process that attracts top talent.

Stage 2 – Onboarding

Onboarding, getting a new employee acquainted with systems expectations, and ramping up to full productivity. An effective onboarding fuels enthusiasm into a meaningful long-term connection and commitment to the organization.

Stage 3 – Development

The development consists of ongoing skill-building as an employee evolves in their role. This quantifies productivity, teamwork ability, and aspirations. It also expands skill sets for those seeking diverse experiences and a "portfolio career." Milestones here include promotions, role changes, training opportunities, and performance reviews.

Stage 4 – Retention

Retention is focused on sustaining engagement, performance, and alignment with the company vision for fully ramped employees. Programs supporting this often involve parental leave, sabbaticals, celebrating personal milestones, and more.

Stage 5 – Exit

Exit when an employee leaves for retirement, other prospects or life changes. Understanding reasons for departure allows for improving the experience. Departing staff may provide candid, valuable feedback.

Stage 6 – Post-Exit

Post-Exit involves maintaining positive relations with former employees through alumni networks, references, and potential future rehiring. This builds goodwill and ongoing talent connections.

Crafting an Effective Employee Journey Map

With the stages now clear, here is a step-by-step process for building your employee journey map:

  1. Conduct employee listening - Use surveys, interviews, and focus groups to gather employee perspectives across the lifecycle.

  2. Plot major milestones - Map the journey from an organization and employee standpoint, highlighting major touchpoints.

  3. Note points of friction - Call out pain points, moments of dissatisfaction, or confusing transitions.

  4. Identify opportunities - Brainstorm ideas to smooth roughness, boost engagement, and improve transitions.

  5. Incorporate findings - Use insights to transform policies, processes, tools, and strategies.

  6. Repeat and refresh - Continuously gather input to keep your finger on the pulse of the lived employee experience.

The most powerful journey maps incorporate direct employee perspectives at each step. Their priorities should anchor every iteration.

Pro Tips for Employee Journey Mapping in 2024

As the future of work evolves, here are three trends shaping employee journey mapping:

  • Hyper-personalization - Employees expect tailored experiences aligned with personal preferences and work styles. Granular journey mapping powered by AI can make this possible.

  • Fluid journeys - Rigid career ladders will dissolve in favor of flexible, self-directed career paths. Mapping must shift from prescribed steps to guiding lights.

  • Human + tech collaboration - Technology will merge with HR to provide personalized support and data-backed insights at scale. But the human touch remains critical.

FAQs - Employee Journey Mapping

What metrics indicate journey mapping success?

Key indicators range from employee NPS scores to marked retention, productivity, and employee engagement increases.

How often should employee journeys be mapped?

Annual comprehensive analyses are recommended, with quarterly pulse checks through employee listening.


As the talent competition intensifies, the employee experience remains the key competitive differentiator. Deep, responsive journey mapping sets your organization apart.

Uncovering friction points and opportunities unique to your people can continuously mold an employee experience that inspires passion, boosts productivity, and prepares your workforce for what lies ahead. The road will only sometimes be smooth, but the destination is well worth it.

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