The employee experience (EX) journey map identifies the moments that matter during a VA employee’s career using the same human-centered design process that VA’s Veterans Experience Office (VEO) has applied in the development of 45 customer journey maps that also improves the experiences of Veterans and their families.

The map will help VA reach its goal of improving not only the experience of Veterans but of the VA employees who support them. It does this by providing insights on the interdependent relationships between employee experiences and customer experiences.

Improvements to the employee experience, based on insights from the EX journey map, will help VA attract top-talent, better serve VA’s customers, and continue to rise in “Best Places to Work” rankings among federal agencies.

Developed in partnership with VA’s Office of Human Resources and Administration/Operations, Security, and Preparedness, the journey map is based on 11,000 insights collected from diverse sets of VA employees across 33 geographic areas. Five phases were identified:

  1. Considering employment at VA.
  2. Starting a VA career.
  3. Performing, growing and adapting.
  4. Changing roles.
  5. Moving on.
Employee Experience

Airis McCottry Gill (left) of VA’s Veterans Experience Office lead the team to analyze and compile more than 11,000 data points to produce the Employee Experience journey map. Also pictured is Eitan Naftali  (right) from the General Services Administration who was on detail to VA to support this effort and bring a cross-organizational perspective.

Twenty-three employment stages are mapped within these phases, each of which includes moments that employees typically experience. Finally, the Journey Map identifies 30 key moments that matter, bright spots, and pain points which may have a significant impact on an employee’s experience.

“VA has an incredibly talented team, and whatever we can do to improve their experience working at VA means they can spend more time serving our Nation’s Veterans, families, caregivers and survivors,” said Airis McCottry Gill, director of management, planning and analysis for VA’s Veterans Experience Office. “Employee experience and customer experience go hand-in-hand, and we are happy to share our lessons learned with our agency partners.”

VA pioneered customer journey mapping among government agencies in 2015 and it leverages the human-centered design expertise to understand the pain points and bright spots for improvements to the customer experience.

Like the previously released Customer Experience Cookbook, the VA EX journey map is being shared government-wide as one example to help other agencies meet their employee and customer experience goals.


Chi Szeto is a U.S. Army Veteran and senior field consultant with the Veterans Experience Office.

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One Comment

  1. tom wioncek December 22, 2020 at 10:11 am

    THE VA AND ALL IT’S STAFF ARE THE VERY BEST. GOD BLESS YOU. MERRY XMAS, HAPPY NEW YEAR. YOU ARE ALL LOVED AND APPRECIATED ‍♂️

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