HotSpot: Employee Communications Blog

The Path to Employee Engagement - It's All About the Journey

Posted by Jessica Palazzo on Jul 5, 2017 1:30:00 PM
The Path to Employee Engagement - It's All About the Journey

You’ve probably heard a lot of buzz about focusing on the “employee journey” and the “customer experience.” But before you groan, let’s talk a little bit about what these marketing terms mean when we apply it to employee engagement.

“The journey is the reward.” Yes, you’ve heard us say this before…we love this old Chinese proverb because it really does speak to what we do. Engaging your employees can fuel performance and drive positive change. But, when you think about how to empower your employees, it’s important to look at the big picture – the full “employee experience”.

“The best way to understand someone is to walk a mile in their shoes” (yet another great proverb). That’s what employee journey mapping is all about – it’s understanding your “customer” and ensuring that your employer value proposition shines through at every step.

Think Customer Experience

When customers interact with your website, products and brand, their experiences are critical. In today’s digital marketing environment, attention spans are short and customers expect instant gratification. They expect seamless customer service and they are quick to share their complaints on social media.

For this reason, marketing departments spend a great deal of time looking at the “customer journey” and analyzing ways to provide a positive experience at every point of contact. They want to understand their customer – what makes them happy? And, what frustrates them? What steps can they take to avoid a negative experience? Successful marketers spend a lot of time and resources mapping steps and analyzing data to visualize and create the “ultimate customer experience”.

Understanding the Employee Journey

You could argue that the employee experience is even more important than your customers experience. Your employees are at the core of your business. Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by 202%. (Source: Dale Carnegie) That’s why more and more successful companies are getting their HR, IT and Internal Comm. departments together to examine their employee journey.

A Walk in their Shoes

The employee journey focuses on the significant milestones - beginning with recruitment and onboarding and continuing through retirement and beynd. It involves looking at each critical touch point and ensuring that the messages, tools, communication and delivery are positive and consistent with your brand.

Sometimes visualizing your employees “path” is an effective way to set up your planning and measurement of any campaign or engagement strategy. You might start with a few representative employee personas and map out the key touch points at each milestone. At Spitfire, we’re “visual thinkers” and have found that a white board and sticky notes can be a great way to begin visualizing the process.

How does the mapping process help?

  • You might see a shorter, simpler path to achieve your desired outcome.
  • You can identify key motivators at each step.
  • You can identify gaps and potential “bumps in the road”.
  • You can consider the value of measuring a particular step.
  • You can ensure you are being true to your brand throughout the entire journey.

Key Milestones in the Employee Journey

Some examples of milestones to look at include:

  • Recruitment – Understanding how to attract the best talent. Do your recruitment brochures, company website and LinkedIn profiles reflect who you are as an employer?
  • Onboarding “You only get one chance at a first impression.” (Yet another great proverb!) Be sure your onboarding process is seamless so your employees feel welcome and engaged from day one.
  • Engagement What are you doing to foster engagement? Are you maximizing opportunities to provide ongoing reinforcement about your business goals and what this means to employees?
  • Career Development – An employee’s perception of a Company’s value often hinges on advancement and development opportunities that are specific to them. Be sure you have clear communication about the career development process and training opportunities.
  • Benefits and Reward – We don’t have to tell you that compensation and benefits are a HUGE part of your value proposition. Be sure your employees know the value of these programs and how to make the most of them. Total compensation statements can be a great tool to educate your employees on the benefits they receive from the company.
  • Offboarding – Whether an employee is retiring or leaving for another reason, a clear and effective offboarding process will leave a lasting impression and provide you with great insight.
  • Retirement – How are you interacting with employees after they retire? It’s important to consider the needs of valued and loyal retirees and their spouses/dependents as part of the journey, even when they have left the company.

Keep in mind that every step of the employee journey is a reflection of your internal brand – and a chance to increase employee engagement that will reap many rewards.

 Do you practice employee journey mapping at your organization? We want to know…

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About This Blog

Spitfire’s very own blog, where we’ll shed light on best practices, insights, and experiences in the field of employee communications

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