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Design the Employee Experience

Find the sweet spot where employee needs and organizational strategy meet.

  • Employees have more choices in today’s marketplace, and they know it. Competition is fierce, so enhancing the employee experience is more critical than ever to attract and retain the right talent.
  • Employees’ expectations of their work experiences are evolving.
  • Organizations have few formalized efforts to address employee experience, and where they exist, efforts are siloed or lack resourcing to address the end-to-end experience.
  • Employee experience isn’t limited to areas where HR has direct control.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

In the past, organizations have focused on their own priorities as an employer, but that pendulum has swung toward a more balanced approach. The sweet spot is where employee needs and organizational strategy meet.

Impact and Result

  • Start with the employee lifecycle and identify moments that matter – where the employee and employer needs are most aligned.
  • Use a design thinking approach to engage employees in the process of designing a best-fit solution for a positive employee experience. Improve attraction, retention, engagement, and productivity.
  • An employee experience design can be a big change, so get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Leverage employee feedback and be prepared to iterate to find the best possible solution.

Design the Employee Experience Research & Tools

2. Empathize with employees to understand their experience

Conduct interviews and create an empathy map, journey map, and problem statement.

3. Brainstorm options for moments that matter

Brainstorm and record potential solutions.

4. Prototype and test potential solutions

Develop and test potential solutions to determine whether to move forward to a pilot or revise.

5. Pilot solution and prepare for implementation

Evaluate success of pilot and prepare for a full-scale implementation.

Workshop: Design the Employee Experience

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Outline the Business Process and Participate in Interview Training

The Purpose

  • Using the prioritized employee lifecycle segment, outline the identified HR workflow.
  • Role play discovery interviews to practice interviewing skills.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Use McLean & Company’s five-step process to design and improve the employee experience.
  • Business process outlined.
  • Project team is trained to conduct discovery interviews.




Outline HR workflow.

  • HR process and employer needs established

Customize the Discovery Interview Guide.

  • Customized Discovery Interview Guide

Practice conducting a discovery interview.

Module 2: Conduct Employee Interviews and Build Empathy Maps

The Purpose

Interpret employee thoughts and feelings to create an empathy map.

Key Benefits Achieved

Discovery interviews conducted to uncover employee needs.




Conduct discovery interviews.

  • Discovery interview findings

Use interview findings to create an empathy map.

  • Empathy map completed

Uncover employee needs and insights.

Module 3: Create a Journey Map and Prepare for Brainstorming

The Purpose

  • Understand moments that matter to employees through journey mapping.
  • Draft the problem statement.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Established employee needs and moments that matter.
  • Prepared to brainstorm.




Create an employee journey map.

  • Journey map completed

Identify moments that matter.

  • Employee needs established

Define the problem statement.

  • Defined problem statement

Module 4: Select a Brainstorming Method and Brainstorm

The Purpose

  • Start the brainstorming process using “How might we” statements.
  • Record potential solutions to pilot.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Brainstorming session conducted.




Create “How might we” statements.

  • “How might we” statements defined

Select a brainstorming method.


Conduct a brainstorming session.

  • Brainstorming method selected and brainstorming session complete

About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 5-phase advisory process. You'll receive 10 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation #1 - Identify priority areas
  • Call #1 - Collect and analyze data from existing employee surveys.
  • Call #2 - Prioritize lifecycle segment to address and establish metrics to measure success.

Guided Implementation #2 - Empathize with employees to understand their experience
  • Call #1 - Define selection criteria for employees, review Discovery Interview Guide, and prepare for interviews.
  • Call #2 - Analyze data collected from employee interviews and empathy map findings and prepare for employee journey mapping activity.
  • Call #3 - Review employee journey mapping findings and the problem statement.

Guided Implementation #3 - Brainstorm options for moments that matter
  • Call #1 - Review how to create “How might we” statements and select a brainstorming method.

Guided Implementation #4 - Prototype and test potential solutions
  • Call #1 - Determine approach for selecting which prototypes to test.
  • Call #2 - Review test session feedback to determine whether to go to pilot or to revise and test again.

Guided Implementation #5 - Pilot solution and prepare for implementation
  • Call #1 - Determine project plan tasks for pilot.
  • Call #2 - Assess results of pilot and prepare for full-scale implementation.


  • Anonymous Contributor, Marketing, Consumer Packaged Goods Company
  • Melodie Barnett, Managing Partner, Pivot
  • Michelle Berg, CEO, Elevated HR Solutions
  • Michael Blair, Consulting Analyst, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Phil Buckley, Managing Director, Change with Confidence
  • Mark Diker, Director, Human Resources, Penguin Basements Ltd.
  • Barbara Giarelli, HR Representative and Change Manager, Building Construction Products Division, Caterpillar, Inc.
  • Erin Gordon, Vice President Human Resources, Lindt & Sprungli Canada
  • Pernille Hagild, Country HR Manager, IKEA UK/IE
  • Lisa Hodgson, Recruiter, Bruce Power
  • Fathima Jaffer, Senior Manager, Enterprise Employee Experience, TD Bank Group
  • Elan Keshan, Consulting Analyst, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Devorah Klein, Principal Consultant, Marimo Consulting LLC
  • Gabe Kleinman, Director of Content and Marketing, Obvious Adventures
  • Mark Leung, Director, Rotman DesignWorks
  • Melissa Master-Holder, Vice President, Learning and Development, LPL Financial
  • Stacey McCullough, Design Thinking Consultant
  • Jacob Morgan, Author, The Employee Experience Advantage
  • Stephanie Speal, Senior Director, Employee Engagement, Measurement & Employee Experience, CIBC
  • Estela Vázquez Pérez, Director, Employment Brand at Employee Experience, Centre of Expertise, RBC
  • Ben Whitter, Founder, World Employee Experience Institute