Businesses, in current day’s context, can no longer afford to think only of existence; they need the key element of “excellence” as well for surviving in today’s competitive environment. When one looks closely at the so-called “great organisations”, one is bound to seek answers to whether they owe their excellence to fixed assets, technology, plant and/or machinery? While these factors are certainly significant and contribute in their way towards an organisation’s success, there is one more aspect that makes these organisations great – the employees.
If this aspect is the key element for an organisation’s success, what is the effort made by an organisation for hiring the best talent who have a lot of lucrative job opportunities at hand? How would the organisation be able to attract the right talent towards a certain position? It is a fact that every organisation wants the best talent on board, but how many of them succeed in acquiring such talent? This question presents itself to most of the organisations in today’s job scenario!
Once an organisation succeeds in hiring the right talent, the next question faced by them is to define strategies for engaging and retaining the talent. How to keep the organisation alive and vibrant so that the employees look forth to working everyday? The blueprint that defines this clearly for the organisation is what is contained in the Employee Value Proposition (EVP).
And, yes, the EVP needs to be custom-made and tailored to suit the specific needs of the organisation. Hence one EVP could be very different and varied from the other. The concept of EVP has been around for years but has been gaining more traction lately – and for good reason.
One website defines EVP as “an amalgamation of characteristics, ways of working in an organisation, and the associated benefits. It strikes a deal between an organisation and employees instead of their contribution and performance. This ‘deal’ defines an employer while differentiating it from its competition.”
Another site states, “an employee value proposition (EVP) is the unique set of benefits which an employee receives in return for the skills, capabilities and experience they bring to a company.”
Most organisations have built, and many more are in the process to build, unique brands of themselves in the eyes of prospective employees. What this means is developing a statement of why the total work experience at a particular organisation is superior compared to other organisations. This value proposition outlines the unique employee policies, engagement initiatives, rewards programs, and benefits programs that establish an organisation’s commitment to people and management development. Precisely, it answers an employee’s key question as to why should he or she join an organisation. In fact, employee value proposition should ideally be communicated in all the hiring efforts of the organisation. The EVP can be projected on the company’s website, through job fairs, sharing at seminars and conferences, and through job advertisements. A clearly formulated Employee Value Proposition leads to engagement of the employees and it satisfies their expectations in their workplace.
~~ Benefits of an EVP ~~
- Attract and retain talent-A clear and unique EVP ensures to facilitate the attraction and retention of people that one could otherwise lose to other organisations which offer relatively more attractive EVPs.
- Engaged employees-The process of creating an EVP entails talking and surveying the existing employees of an organisation. This is quite a powerful engagement tool, and employees are usually seen to appreciate and enjoy when the organisation takes constructive steps towards this direction. This process also helps to enhance employee participation, rebuild trust and boosts employee motivation.
- Define HR priorities-Defining an organisation’s EVP helps to better define the HR priorities. To create an EVP, it is imperative to comprehend from the perspective of employees what is important to them as well as the potential hires for the organisation. Possessing this insight facilitates to understand what specifically needs to be done to attract, engage, and retain the employees. It also helps to gauge the areas of improvements and to analyse what is likely to make employees leave the organisation.
- Creates a strong ‘people’ brand –Organisations with robust and credible EVPs become renowned owing to the fact as to how they treat their employees and the quality of their workforce. An ideal example of this could be ‘Apple’ and ‘Google’. These organisations do not get into the ongoing war for talent; instead they have talent queuing up and aspiring to join them.
Another hidden, but a powerful, element is the social impact that the organisation creates for an employee. A person working with a well-known and respected organisation inadvertently garners social respect, is in the who’s-who list of the neighbourhood, and is looked upon by friends, family and the community. This social aspect can also boost the EVP quotient for the organisation in a subtle manner.
Even while recognising the benefits of EVP, a lot of organisations stumble upon the following two key issues when it comes to their EVP:
Firstly, they struggle to distinguish themselves from their competitors. This distinction is vital if an organisation needs to stand out from the “crowd of sameness”. A pertinent question arising in the mind of an aspiring talent could be “What is in it for me”….and a clearly elicited EVP will facilitate that talent to make the decision when it comes to choosing between competitors.
Secondly, although their branding is attractive, it does not precisely reflect the reality. An effective EVP not only facilitates an organisation to stand out as unique, but it also ensures that the ‘contents’ reflect the ‘packaging’. It has been observed that quite often people join organisations lured by the ‘branding’ but end up being disappointed when they face reality. You know you have hit the bull’s eye when – you become a magnet for drawing talent, and have been able to successfully engage and motivate employees.
Employee Value Proposition is a crucial marketing tool that enables employers to attract and retain the right talent and to build the competitive edge, which is the driving force. An EVP is about defining the essence of the company – how it is unique and what it stands for. It encompasses the central reasons that people are proud and motivated to work there, such as the inspiring vision or distinctive culture. When integrated into all aspects of a business, a strong EVP will help to retain top performers and attract the best external talent. l
Author-Rajashree Sengupta has over 20 years experience as an HR professional with Manufacturing, Media, Telecom, Rail Transportation & Energy industry. She has held diverse portfolios in her career, and has led in positions of strategic significance. Her last assignment was in the Learning team of GE Power (formerly Alstom India Limited).