Inspire your people with a Value Proposition.

by Rob Sheppard

[Approx. 4-minute read]

If you manage a business, chances are you occasionally lose sleep over the following question:

Are my [good] people thinking about leaving?

The post Covid employment landscape for many industries has radically impacted this question- especially as ‘employees’ may now find themselves returning to work asking ‘why am I coming to work?’.

They may come to the conclusion that the rewards are not compensation enough for their experiences (how they feel) when at work.

Business leaders can start to plan for these questions (and regain some sleep) by defining what it means to be working for the organisation – using an Employee Value Proposition (or EVP).

What is an EVP?

An EVP is the promise you make to people about how they will experience working for you.

It is the ability to articulate all the support, rewards, recognition and value of work offered by the company.

Sounds simple you might say…

That’s because some business leaders think an EVP is just the ‘cream on the top’ of their work/rewards strategies (your birthday as a paid day off, free apples in the lunchroom – that type of thing).

However, when you ask ‘why do people come to work and what is the meaning they get from that experience?’ the answer should start to feel a little more nuanced.

Especially when the EVP is broadened to also include the promise the organisation makes to future employees about their needs.

Traditional vs Post Covid EVPs

Traditional EVPs have placed a heavy influence on the financial rewards and benefits (‘perks’) as the key underpinnings to the attraction and retention of top talent.

The COVID-19 pandemic radically reshaped this approach – with people’s priorities for recognition and belonging now recognised as important elements of an EVP.

Growing research is being reported on that also indicates the importance people place on sharing the organisaiton’s values – and wanting to be involved in supporting the community through the actions of their employer. [1]

Elements of a Post COVID EVP

Traditional EVPs have included the following types of offerings (which should continue to be considered):

  • Competitive salaries
  • Bonuses
  • Shares
  • Extra paid leave
  • Training and development
  • The work environment (break out rooms and bright open spaces etc)
  • And a ‘Culture’ – often with Value statements liberally plastered throughout the office

Contemporary EVP’s now also include broader elements that affect the decision-making processes of current and prospective employees. These elements include:

  • Leadership (and how leaders manage)
  • Culture (Values) that are clearly aligned to a Purpose
  • The nature of work (is it radically flexible or just ‘flexible’)
  • The employer’s role in society (this drives from having a clarity of Purpose and a ‘uniqueness’ to what they do).

Why worry?

Given an EVP is ‘the human deal’ the company makes with current and future employees – it also allows the organisation to demonstrate how they live up to their promises to their people.

You get to walk the talk.

– a #robservation

Employers will benefit from this as it reinforces how teams are engaged with the business needs (and Purpose) and also helps employers invest resources into what is really important to their teams – not just what the Company thinks is important to their people.

Retention and attraction of people and productivity are all outcomes you can expect to see improve.

How to start an EVP

A broad guide to the KEY steps in implementing an EVP strategy include the following (noting each activity should have a separate set of actions):

  1. LIST: Create a list of your current known EVP offerings.
  2. SURVEY: Conduct a ‘cross-cut’ survey of team attitudes towards the current EVP – and what they value in their work-life experience (perhaps via an anonymous survey).
  3. ANALYSE: Create a Gap Analysis of what your current EVP is lacking compared to what your people are asking for.
  4. IDENTIFY: Identify opportunities to implement or change existing EVP based on this Gap Analysis
  5. UPDATE: Consider how to incorporate the identified EVP into broad marketing and Hr activities.
  6. MEASURE: Create measures for these initiatives
  7. REPEAT: Monitor, manage and repeat EVP reviews and initiatives

The wave of the future

The various research (see the link to Gartner at the end of this article) is already starting show that in a post COVID employment world, money isn’t everything.

Companies who used to rely on ‘well-above-market’ remuneration and rewards might not claim the top spot in what is important to their people – maybe not even 2nd or 3rd spots.

And this is where even SME business can compete against their larger cousins.

Purposeful work and recognising your humans is much easier to do when you are smaller and more agile.

And if it’s all still confusing?

If you need help or have a sense this might be a future issue for you and your business, please click the link below and we’ll be happy to speak to you about any ideas this article has raised for you (or your team).

Thanks for reading!

[1] See Gartner’s research