How to Create an Effective Internal Journey Map

Most companies have a goal to always provide the best experience for employees and customers. When working in Human Resources, employees and potential employees are the focus. One area of improvement for us is our hiring and onboarding process. I took some time to learn and apply a journey map to this process and here’s what I learned. 

How to Apply a Journey Map to Internal Projects

Working within a software company like CIL,  journey maps are common. We use them to help our customers capture pain points and steer our projects in the right direction. However, applying journey maps to operations within a company was a little more unfamiliar. I had to wrap my head around the fact that I’m not creating a product specifically. I’m creating a process that heightens the experience for candidates and new hires. I have to make sure I’m providing clear expectations for employees and a way for us to continually improve upon what we are doing. Going through the process identifies different phases. Within those phases, there are goals, actions, opportunities, barriers, and frustrations identified by the different personas involved.

Drafting Journey Mapping Personas

To start my journey map I selected three personas: human resources, newly-hired employee, and finance. Since I am personally in HR, it was the perspective I could speak to with expertise. I documented goals, actions, frustrations, barriers, and opportunities of each phase. What I could not do is take on the perspective of a new hire or finance. Making assumptions poses a risk and I would naturally miss important information and experiences. Luckily we had just hired an employee and I used the opportunity to get a fresh perspective on the process. I also spoke with our finance manager to gather her thoughts and feedback. I could add more personas such as different department heads who hire, but I selected these three because they are roles consistently involved in the process. 

Setting Up the Journey Map

To set myself up, I had to sit and think about the different phases and the steps involved within each phase. Miro is an awesome tool that is great for brainstorming. It provides a visual experience for journey mapping. They even have templates that you can use, saving you time in setting up the structure!

Here are the phases and steps that I created. Then within each phase are high-level steps that carry you through the entirety of the phase. 

Once I had each phase and the steps involved I moved onto listing out goals, actions, barriers, frustrations, and opportunities within each step. Again, this was purely from the Human Resources perspective. This is an example of one step and how I organized the information.

After I had completed the HR persona, I moved on to interview our newest employee and our finance manager. I followed a similar process. However, I also asked prompted questions. The questions followed a general format capturing their personal opinions. I used general questions that would exclude personal bias. Each step started by asking what their goal or motivation was. This was a natural driving force to collect actions they would take and open their mind to barriers, frustrations, or opportunities.

Analyzing Journey Mapping Information

Once I had all three personas on the map, I lined them up and circled the barrier and frustration points. This allowed me to see where any pain points existed. Often where there was a pain point for one persona, there was an opportunity identified by another persona. One example identified was confusion surrounding 1099 taxes. Our new hire was new to a contract role and was unfamiliar with the details of taxes associated with 1099s. This provided an opportunity for the finance and HR department to provide a facts sheet about 1099s to help with taxes. We could also provide tax resources if they did not already have a finance manager. 

Moving forward I plan on using the pain points as focus areas on how we can better improve our process and grow. It was very eye-opening to listen to other perspectives and see the process through their eyes. Where I thought things might be fine there were pain points and where I assumed pain points there weren’t always concerns. Using the process of journey mapping was helpful for multiple departments and people while also giving me an opportunity to practice empathy. 

I highly recommend utilizing this practice in HR and other departments and am excited to keep applying my own learnings to improve my department and help others.

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