An Employee Centric Approach To HR: Employee Experience Journey Mapping (EXJM)

By Richard Doherty

As employees, we’re all on a journey with our employer. Our experiences on this journey will strongly influence our attitudes; our attitudes in turn form our behaviours which ultimately drive outcomes. A poor Employee Experience (EX) naturally results in a poor outcome. For example, managers may view filling in employee performance reviews as a waste of time because no one ever reads them (attitude), so managers leave it to the last minute to fill them in (behaviour) resulting in poor quality performance reviews (outcome). Attitudes are formed by the EX, so if we can change the experience we can reshape the attitudes, resulting in different behaviours and different outcomes. 

According to PWC’s latest Annual Global CEO Survey (2014), Talent Strategies are CEOs’ number 1 priority requiring focus and change. So more of the same isn’t going to cut it for HR. It’s time to look at HR from a different perspective and we believe EX may well be the answer. 

To some of you reading this, the concept of EX may sound familiar and you would be right. Our thinking on EX has been heavily influenced by the Customer Experience (CX) movement. Companies pay very close attention to CX with the desire to drive higher customer retention, customer satisfaction and sales. As the power has shifted from the seller to the customer (it’s easier than ever to source different sellers and compare those sellers for pretty much any product or service), the importance of CX has increased exponentially.

It’s the same with employees. We have seen the power shifting to the individual employee as it has become easier than ever before to find new opportunities with the rise of social media and as employees’ expectations for personal growth and career development have strengthened, their willingness to suffer a poor employer has reduced. Despite relatively high unemployment levels it is still difficult for organisations to find the right talent – 63% of CEO’s are concerned about the availability of key skills (PWC Annual Global CEO Survey 2014) – so it’s time to revisit and strengthen talent retention and talent acquisition strategies.

So what is EX? Well, as employees, we all interact directly and indirectly with people and things (people, process and technology!) in our working lives. For instance, when I start a new job, I’m welcomed in reception (hopefully!) by a representative from HR, who walks me through some key HR policies, introduces me to my new manager, I’m given a laptop, I’m given access to an on boarding portal, etc. My interactions with these people and things, twinned with external trends and influencers, shape my attitudes as an employee and as we discussed earlier, attitudes drive behaviours and behaviours ultimately determine outcomes.

The infinity loop below represents at a macro level, the employee journey we are all on. We’re all at different points on this journey. The challenge for our employers is to ensure that as we move from being an employee to a candidate (which we will all do at some stage), we are given the opportunity for new challenges and career growth without the need to go externally. If those opportunities don’t exist internally, there’s the very real risk that we will enter the external job market and eventually leave.

What is Employee Experience Journey Mapping (EXJM)? EXJM is a methodology based upon the very successful Customer Experience Journey Mapping methodology (CXJM). Click here and/or here for more details. We use EXJM to better understand specific employee journeys that may not be generating the outcomes we desire or we believe we can improve. For instance, we may be losing more new hires than we wish during their first 3 months of employment. To try and understand why this is happening, we map out the employee journey during those first few months, mapping the people and things interacted with, the emotions and attitudes these experiences form and the resulting behaviours. Based upon this mapping exercise, we’ll identify one or more “moments that matter” in the Employee Journey, where we believe if we change the EX, we can influence the attitudes that will ultimately drive the outcome we desire.

So what is Oracle doing to help our customers deliver great employee experience? We’re delivering next generation HCM solutions in the Oracle HCM Cloud that have been developed from the ground up to be socially enabled, mobile, with embedded analytics and an engaging consumer like user experience as a one-stop shop to manage all of an organisation’s and employee’s HR and Talent Management needs. We’re making sure that our customers have the right technology to support their employee experience ambitions.

We’re also running client EXJM workshops, where we explain in detail the EXJM methodology and map a generic employee journey that we’ve pre-prepared. The objective of the workshop is to share the methodology with you and give you the opportunity to evaluate whether it would add value to your organisation. The workshops are highly interactive, last 4 hours, most of which you’ll spend on your feet, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes!

We ran our first EXJM workshop in Oslo, Norway on 25th February 2014 and the feedback from the clients that attended has been very, very positive. The photos below show the interactive nature of the workshops – apart from being educational, we really had a lot of fun.

We will be running more EXJM workshops in the coming months, so please contact your local Oracle HCM contact if you are interested in taking part.

EX and EXJM are ways of looking at HR from the perspective of the end-consumer, the employee. We predict that this approach will drive innovation in HR and business advantage. What do you think?

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Richard brings more than 14 years of cloud based HCM solution experience to his role as HCM Strategy Director at Oracle, based in the UK. As HCM Strategy Director he has a thought leadership role and works closely with Oracle’s strategic customer accounts to explore the opportunities and benefits that can be realised by the deployment of leading edge HR solutions. Follow Richard on Twitter: @RichardDoherty

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