5 Ways Employee Journey Mapping Improves Long-term Retention

Almost half of US employees are looking for other job opportunities. Of those who have already left, 52% say their employer could have done something to keep them.

Voluntary employee attrition is a fixable but often neglected and costly problem. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the cost to replace an employee can be three to four times the position’s salary.

By embracing employee journey mapping, you can find opportunities to boost employee engagement and satisfaction. Otherwise, you might find your most talented employees are leaving—and the productivity and innovation your organization once had are walking right out the door with them.

The key to successful employee journey mapping is understanding the employee experience through their eyes. With BambooHR’s Employee Experience tools, you can keep tabs on what matters most to your people and create an experience worth sticking around for.

What Is the Employee Lifecycle?

This model shows an employee’s journey within an organization. While the employee lifecycle model has many variations, most include five parts: recruitment, onboarding, development, retention, and exit.
Besides improving an individual’s experience, understanding the employee lifecycle model is vital for the overall success of your brand and business. In fact, 85% of employers surveyed by IDC agreed that a positive employee experience leads to better customer experience, higher customer satisfaction, and more revenue.

Employee Life Cycle Stages

Stage 1: Employee Recruitment

The recruitment process involves attracting, finding, and selecting qualified candidates to fill job vacancies within your company. But always remember that job seekers are evaluating your business, too. Even in a tight labor market, you can attract top talent by showcasing your mission, values, and why they should work for you.

Ways to improve candidate engagement at this stage include garnering positive reviews from highly engaged employees on online job sites, creating a streamlined application process (92% of job seekers abandon online applications because of their complexity), and keeping applicants in the loop throughout the interview and selection phases.

Stage 2: Employee Onboarding

Onboarding focuses on providing new hires with the tools and training they need to succeed. Yet, according to a Gallup survey, only one-third of employees felt ready for their new roles.

To help build their confidence, give new hires structure by creating checklists, reviewing expectations for their first 30, 60, or 90 days, and regularly checking in with them throughout this phase. And don’t forget those small but thoughtful gestures like sending them company swag or their favorite snack!

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Stage 3: Employee Development

Once employees are settled and excelling in their roles, they’ll likely seek new growth opportunities to advance their careers. According to the American Psychological Association, 91% of employees feel it’s important to consistently have learning opportunities at work.

Professional development can take many forms, including creating employee development plans, offering educational reimbursement, hosting workshops, and providing mentoring and coaching programs.

Stage 4: Employee Retention

Your company’s efforts during the recruitment, onboarding, and development phases directly impact the retention stage. Simply put, happy and engaged employees are more likely to stay with the company.

To get a pulse check on employee satisfaction, regularly conduct surveys to understand what’s most important to your people. For example, are they happy with your benefits package? And don’t forget to walk the walk—your employee retention strategies should be based on what you’ve learned from the surveys.

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Stage 5: Employee Exit Process

All employees will leave the company at some point, whether due to moving away, retiring, or pursuing a new opportunity. At this stage, your job is to understand why employees leave and to say goodbye on good terms, as former employees can still impact your brand reputation.

Give employees an offboarding checklist covering logistics, such as transferring internal knowledge, when they’ll lose system access, and how to return company property. And be sure to conduct an exit interview—feedback from departing employees will help you improve the employee experience for current and future workers.

How to Use Employee Journey Mapping to Boost Retention

Employee journey mapping is the process of visually representing the employee experience from hire to exit. The goal is to identify opportunities for improvement so you can attract and keep top talent. If your HR team is new to journey mapping, the following tips will help you get started.

Tip 1: Develop Employee Personas

An employee persona represents a typical group of workers with similar traits (e.g., entry-level secretaries or mid-level marketing managers). While the persona itself isn’t real, it’s grounded in real people and workplace circumstances. It’s best to develop personas based on employee roles and responsibilities rather than demographic characteristics like age or gender.

Tip 2: Map Employee Personas to the Employee Journey

For each persona, create a timeline representing the major stages of their journey throughout their tenure at your company, then break it down further by listing all the milestones for each stage. For instance, the recruitment stage would include applying, interviewing, and signing the offer letter.
This exercise will help you improve employee retention by identifying and addressing any holes in your processes. For example, suppose relatively new employees keep resigning from the same role. In that case, that may indicate the job posting did not accurately reflect the day-to-day duties of the position and needs to be rewritten.

Tip 3: Gather Feedback at Each Stage of the Employee Journey

To gather actionable feedback, check in with employees as they move through each stage while the experience is still fresh in their minds.

Then, mitigate any issues by implementing employee feedback as soon as possible. Let’s say your remote workers reported feeling disconnected from the team. You might consider revamping your onboarding process by arranging for your next cohort of new hires to do part of their training together at your headquarters (if your budget allows).

Tip 4: Establish Metrics for Evaluating Each Stage

Collaborate with key stakeholders to establish target metrics and make action plans for each stage. For example, if a high percentage of employees are disengaged during the development stage, consider offering new programs like lunch and learns or job rotations to foster internal mobility.

Remember, what’s considered optimal metrics will vary across industries. Note how seasonality, market changes, etc., affect employee engagement and turnover rates and adjust your goals accordingly.

Tip 5: Leverage Employee Engagement Software to Automate the Process

Once you’ve identified ways to provide more value to your employees, you’re ready for action. But developing and executing an ideal employee journey map will take time as it involves budget allocation, company-wide shifts, and multiple iterations. Trust the process; your strategy will become more efficient with each change.

An organization is only as strong as its people. eEmployee engagement software allows you to set the stage for honest, two-way communication and solve problems before it’s too late. With BambooHR in your corner, you can nurture your employees’ wellbeing and cement your organization as a great place to work.

Gather Powerful Insights, Create a Better Employee Experience

Don't leave your company culture to chance. With accurate, reliable employee surveys in BambooHR, you'll gain the insight you need to prevent burnout, improve morale, and stop premature turnover in its tracks.

Get a Free Demo Today