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  4. CX in Action: Mapping the New Employee IT Onboarding Experience

CX in Action: Mapping the New Employee IT Onboarding Experience

Release Date: February 6, 2024

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”
- Aristotle

As an integral component of new employee onboarding, the DHS Headquarters IT Operations Division (HOD) is dedicated to ensuring a seamless and supportive transition for both remote and on-site new hires. HOD creates an inclusive and welcoming experience from day one by supplying new employees with a comprehensive suite of government furnished equipment, software, and services designed to meet their needs. These initial interactions play a critical role in shaping new employees’ perception and overall work experience by fostering a sense of belonging and motivation, setting the stage for long-term engagement and success.

To refine and enhance new employee onboarding, the HOD project team partnered with the Customer Experience (CX) Directorate to learn how to leverage CX methodologies, with a focus on human-centric approaches. This collaboration reflected HOD’s commitment to continuous service improvement and innovation.

Project Goals

  • Learn how to conduct user research and create customer journey maps.
  • Document new Federal employees’ IT onboarding experience.
  • Understand the customer experience to identify pain points and implement improvements.


  • Background Research: Reviewed key documents, SOPs, data, tools, and existing customer feedback (surveys, qualitative findings).
  • Stakeholder Interviews: Reviews current internal processes, service delivery workflows, systems, and data.
  • Customer Interviews: Interviews hiring managers and new Federal employees.
  • Journey Mapping: Visualized the customer journey of new hires that live Outside the National Capitol Region (ONCR).

Key Findings

  • New employees view onboarding as a singular event, a disconnect exists due to a lack of coordination across the various processes that support the onboarding experience.
  • Remote employees encounter challenges in receiving and setting up their equipment (on-site employees experience fewer issues).
  • Incorrect shipping information for remote employees lead to delays or missing equipment, causing a loss of productivity for the staff. Shipping addresses are not systematically validated.
  • Tracking onboarding requests and shipped equipment is challenging for hiring managers and new employees.
  • Possessing a single point of contact helps new employees navigate onboarding and address roadblocks.

Next Steps

The HOD project team gained valuable insights from engaging with customers and mapping the new employee IT onboarding experience. Identifying improvements based on research, not assumptions, increased the HOD project team’s confidence in identifying the next steps:

  • Standardize the process and communicate timelines for hiring managers and new employees to set expectations.
  • Verify addresses before equipment is shipped. Make enhancements to the platform and enable automatic status updates to help new employees track onboarding requests and shipped equipment.
  • Continuously capture and evaluate operational metrics and customer feedback to identify and implement improvements.

Reflections About the Process

The HOD project team is grateful for the opportunity to engage directly with customers, enhancing their experience and refining internal processes. This approach resulted in holistic thinking and an understanding of how misalignments within operations impact the customer experience. The HOD project team plans to apply these insights across various processes and services, with learned skills in user research and journey mapping to ensure a continued focus on customer needs and satisfaction.

Last Updated: 02/08/2024
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