Most organizations run employee surveys as part of collecting data around the employee experience (EX). An employee engagement survey is typically an annual activity undertaken by organizations in a vain attempt to understand the challenges facing employees.

However, many organizations pay very little attention to the answers and questions in the employee survey. Instead, companies focus on enhancing the customer experience as much as possible, leaving the employee experience to fall to the wayside.

However, some organizations are starting to catch on to the benefits of enhancing EX.

Employee Experience is the New Secret to Success

What most organizations fail to note with an annual employee survey, is that there are employees at different stages of the employee cycle. For instance, a person who’s only been on the job for a month gets the same survey as an employee that’s been with the company for 5-years.

In such a case, the answers to the survey will vary widely, as both employees have a completely different impression and expectation from organizational leaders and management.

Each employee undergoes a unique experience through onboarding, training, and when achieving specific milestones within the organization. Managers and business leaders need to understand that every employee is at a different stage of the employee journey.

When organizations rely on an annual or bi-annual employee survey to understand EX, it leads to inaccurate data shaping the outcomes of employee motivation, engagement, and productivity in the workplace.

However, more organizations are starting to take the approach of enhancing the employee experience through better monitoring of the employee cycle, capturing valuable insight and feedback during the employee journey.

Journey Mapping the Employee Experience

By journey mapping the employee experience, organizations get to understand the moments that matter most to employees. Employers also get a sense of how these moments impact the employee experience and what employers can do to enhance the results of taking these moments into account.

When you identify moments that matter and formulate a strategy to ensure employees have a positive response to them, organizations can increase the metrics of attrition, engagement, and productivity. By working with these metrics, organizations can collect and analyze valuable data for enhancing the employee experience through real-world feedback.

Research shows that the top drivers of employee satisfaction include finding meaning in their work and happiness in their current work/life balance. Employees also have improved EX when they believe in the stability of the management team and confidence in organizational leadership.

Other components of successful EX include management that acknowledges and praises employee performance, as well as a digital workplace that allows for enhanced work efficiencies.

Understanding “Moments that Matter” To Your Employees

Many organizations map out the customer experience, looking for areas they can tweak for improvement. While management often does a great job of identifying the key pain points and regions for improvement in CX, they rarely take the same initiative for designating the same issues and bottlenecks with the employee experience.

However, HR can change this around by plotting the end-to-end employee lifecycle, understanding how each stage of the employee journey affects the overall EX. HR needs to look at every aspect of the employee journey, from the initial hiring interview to the exit interview, and examine a way to initiate improvement to EX.

By taking this approach, HR can identify the moments that matter most to employees, allowing them to develop strategies to enhance these organizational experiences.

Here’s how organizations can start to build and map the employee journey.

Employee Segmentation

Every organization will have different employee personas working at different levels within the company. Each of the persona’s interactions with the organization is very different from each other.

The first step employers need to take when segmenting their employee base, is identifying which segments exist within the workplace environment. HR and management should base their segmentation efforts around employee interactions with the organization, instead of traditional demographics like gender and age.

Traditional demographics create splits in the data, and managers and HR should only take these splits into account after assessing the individual personas within the workforce. Instead, employers and HR should consider each persona. For instance, a programmer will have a very different employee experience with someone on the marketing team.

Map the Employee Journey for Each Persona

After establishing personas within the organization, managers and HR must map out all of the employee interactions with the company. Start with the prospective employee’s first contact with the organization and work your way through every touchpoint they take with the company through the employee lifecycle.

Managers and HR must form a cross-functional team to collect the data, as departments and teams within the organization will have different organizational goals and interactions throughout the employee journey.

Managers and HR might also need to consider looking at post-exit interactions as well. Those employees that leave the company and wish to return at a later date, or retirees coming back to work are examples of post-exit interactions that belong in the employee journey roadmap.

Map Any Insights or Feedback into the Employee Journey

For HR and managers to get a comprehensive understanding of employee interactions within the organization, they need to create feedback loops for each stage of the employee lifecycle. HR must ensure that there are feedback mechanisms in place to monitor each step of the employee journey.

However, these feedbacks systems must meet employees at their current stage ion the employee lifecycle, providing them with the opportunity to provide real-world feedback in real-time.

Taking this instant approach to collecting employee feedback is far more effective than waiting to release an annual survey. By remaining proactive with your feedback strategy, you get to sort out issues before they start to present real organizational problems further down the road.

Real-time feedback allows employees to make comments while they are still fresh in their minds. A proactive approach to handling your employee feedback also will enable organizations to respond to any issues promptly, instead of waiting until the end of the year when the problem is no longer relevant, or management sweeps it under the proverbial carpet.

Align Metrics at Stages of the Employee Journey

It’s common for different departments within the organization to manage different stages of the employee journey. For example, HR may have independent teams that manage the onboarding, training, or exit interview process.

For organizations to link employee insights across the employee journey, they need to ensure they have the collaboration and cooperation of all team members in all departments. Everyone needs to agree on taking a consistent approach to obtain metrics to measure performance.

Each team within the organization must follow the same consistent approach to handling data collection and analysis. This approach creates a holistic data set that starts to show connections in the interactions employees make within the organization, allowing for HR and management to see how one area of the experience impacts other areas of EX.

Manage Feedback Using Automation

The future of the workplace is digital. Instead of handing out manual farms for your annual employee survey, integrate this functionality into your employee experience through the use of automated workflows.

Automation can revolutionize the employee experience, and it’s one of the key components of the employee journey that most interest millennials and Gen Z workers. Quit draining your internal resources, and use automated workflows to manage these initiatives.

Integrate the employee experience with HRIS, and set up notifications and alerts to automatically distribute a request for feedback when employees hit certain milestones.

Combine Your Engagement Survey into the Employee Journey

If you’re looking at changing your employee experience, then you don’t need to throw away your annual employee survey. Employee surveys still play a vital role in understanding your employees. However, managers and HR need to rethink how they execute this process.

With the right approach, your employee survey forms the cornerstone of assessing your employee experience, providing the organization with the data it needs to adjust the workplace environment, and enhance the outcome of employee interactions within the organization.

Surveys are critical for helping managers and HR identify the drivers providing a positive or negative impact on the employee experience. Many organizations now conduct frequent, short surveys with employees.

This approach enables management and HR to stay on top of any burgeoning trends developing in EX and how employees are responding to organizational change.

However, HR or management decides to run the employee survey depends on how they connect feedback systems across the employee lifecycle and different employee personas.

The onboarding process provides an excellent example of how combining employee survey data with employee journey mapping can enhance EX. With journey mapping, both management and HR get to see the perception of your onboarding process from an employee perspective, and the actions you can take to improve the experience.

When you start to include data from the employee experience that pertains to engagement, attrition, or productivity, you’ll begin to see the connections it makes to the employee journey. For example, how do the improvements HR makes to the onboarding experience affect employees in the first year on the job?

Did the changes reduce employee attrition?

Did the changes promote collaboration across departments?

It’s only through connecting these feedback mechanisms that organizations will find the answers to enhancing the employee experience.