Your employee value proposition can become your competitive advantage in the midst of the great resignation and talent exodus.
Post-pandemic, several organizations feel compelled to reassess the relevance of their employee value propositions. As per Gartner’s research, the expectations of employees have shifted towards seeing employees as people, not workers; providing holistic life experiences, not just work experience; and employers that make them feel, rather than offer great benefit features that don’t cater to their needs.
Most often when organizations decide to define/re-define their employee value proposition (EVP), it gets confused with recruitment marketing efforts that the company undertakes to attract talent, somewhat simplifying the bigger challenge of retention. A well-executed EVP tends to permeate through and is well integrated into all people processes and strategies of the organization. It provides a decision platform for all leaders and managers when it comes to creating the right team climate and experience.
Research by several consulting organizations throws light on the fact that, if organizations get their EVP right, they can reap several benefits, such as a decrease in their annual turnover by 69%, increase in new hire commitment by 30%, and reduction of the compensation premium by 50%. It has immense positive impact on employee engagement and employer brand advocacy.
Sharing my personal learnings and takeaways.
Flows from the top
Most EVPs fail because they do not have the focus and attention of top management. EVP is your employer brand story and it can only be communicated through consistent experiences. Leaders play a pivotal role in creating such experiences and getting buy-in from all the people managers who will need to live up to them.
Organizations often fall in the trap of describing themselves as who they should be, rather than, who they are and what they promise today. Getting the right balance between reality and aspiration is the key. The moment our value proposition is skewed towards future aspirations and commitments, it creates dissonance and attracts cynicism from employees.
It is important for the brand story to be honest, credible, and simple. It must reflect who we are and what we offer today, with some room for aspiration to meet ever-changing market dynamics and business strategy.
Be fact-based and audience-driven
In order to be authentic and real, It’s important to spend considerable amount of time in the assessment phase. Understanding and validating what employees feel and appreciate about the organization.
While the most basic source of data is the survey that most organizations conduct to define their employee value proposition, there is very rich data already available in every organization, in form of several climate and engagement surveys conducted over time.
It’s important to get a holistic view. Analyze data from multiple sources, internal and external (candidate perception, external websites such as Glassdoor, etc., and recruiters inputs), quantitative and qualitative (interviews, SWOT, and focus groups), to identify the key themes of your EVP.
Not an HR initiative
While such initiatives are usually led by HR and the Communications team, their role is limited to understanding and articulating the employee perspective and communicating EVP. The execution is purely based on the consistency of experience we promise. That is the responsibility of every leader and manager of the organization, along with the HR function.
When each one of us takes ownership of the experience we create for our teams, we bring our EVP to life. This requires a structured change management approach and constant reinforcement for EVP as a common decision platform while taking actions and decisions.
Global, yet local in communication
The key narratives and themes may remain universal, but the way it is communicated across regions and different personas need to be customized. Communications need to be authentic, providing adequate proof points backing promises or future plans to reach those promises.
As the war for talent intensifies and the need of our talent is shifting, it becomes important to re-assess our employee value proposition. However, it’s equally important to keep in mind that it should be honest, credible, and consistent.
Please do share, your unique experiences and learnings in defining or integrating EVP in your organization.