Cameron Larkin | , , , , , , ,| By
Creating a Successful Employee Value Proposition
“Employees are a company’s greatest asset – they’re your competitive advantage.”
I ardently agree with that assessment from former Chairperson and CEO of Xerox Corporation, Anne Mulcahy.
Despite the constant technological advancements and rise of the robots, the ‘right’ people will continue to lead an organization’s growth and success.
Over the last several years, the market has shifted to being candidate-driven, and that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon.
The competition for business-critical talent continues to rise. (Almost) gone are the days of a surplus of critical talent and a dependence on active candidates. Talented individuals now have an array of elements impacting their decision about where they work and why they stay (or leave). For example, a Qaultrics report notes, “89% of employers believe pay is the #1 driver of employee attrition”, however only “12% of employees cite pay as the #1 reason they leave”.
For organizations, a well-defined and targeted employee value proposition (EVP) is crucial to both attracting and hiring top talent, and importantly, keeping your best and brightest.
What is an EVP?
In short, it expresses the ‘employment deal’ – the value that employees are expected to contribute, with the value that they can expect in return.
The connection an employee makes with an organization’s EVP determines the strength of the contract formed, directly impacting engagement, productivity and performance, and whether the organizational strategy and values are brought to life. The effectiveness of an EVP is largely reliant on how clear, communicated, embedded it is. View 9 Employee Value Proposition Examples When Creating Your EVP.
Leaders need to be clear on what the organization is really known for in the market (particularly the talent market) and be across if the wider leadership team know how their employees feel about working for the organization. Additionally, can the employees clearly articulate why working at one organization is greater than applying their talents elsewhere?
Key components for an effective EVP
Alignment, alignment, alignment
The EVP requires synergy with the organizational strategy, key priorities, vision and values, and the strategic workforce plan (factoring in the future talent required for success and not simply delivering only for the current workforce). Furthermore, incorporate what the organization wants to be famous for in the future while differentiating to remain competitive.
A fruitful EVP will connect with the organization’s vision – ‘what will we/want to be famous for’, the well-defined values, behaviors, and culture. A future-focussed approach should be adopted coupled with positioning both internally and externally joining the brand and the EVP. Listen to Ep 18 – Employee Value Proposition (EVP) Examples.
The employer brand forms part of the EVP, thus must also align closely to facilitate in creating a differentiation in the market. Greater positioning of the EVP and brand engenders a higher level of delivering on employees’ expectations and encouraging employees to adopt behaviors that will deliver the brand promises.
To meet the wants and needs of those who are your main source of competitive advantage, the EVP needs to be segmented, which can be achieved in multiple ways.
A key product of an EVP is an enlarged ability to attract, acquire and retain top talent. Therefore, segmenting the offering to meet those wants and needs of talent who are a chief source of competitive advantage can be vastly beneficial.
Key aspects to effective talent segmentation:
Acquire a deep comprehension of what is driving the organizations’ competitive advantage: This will obviously fluctuate based on shifting market circumstances, competition, and strategy, and it is critical to understanding which talent and expertise will add the most value to the organization.
Appreciate which talent is most critical in driving this competitive advantage: This is not just your ‘high performers’, but those with the specific expertise to indeed enhance value given the market context. These are the people you most want to retain.
Recognize what the talent really wants: Aligning your top talent into ‘talent interest groups’ with similar needs and wants enables the formation of a tailored EVP targeted at those specific groups.
Tailor the offering to align to the distinctive wants and needs of each group: Gain a detailed appreciation of the challenges fronting each group, in addition to the kind of experience the organization wants to fashion for them based.
Often, the principal differences in engagement are seen among different organizational levels and job functions. In an organization where employee groups span both white and blue-collar, as well as ranging from individual contributors to the executives, it is imperative to understand the variance in engagement drivers to create a culture of engagement and high performance.
The real impact of an effective EVP will only be seen if it is effectively conveyed and entrenched up, down and across the organization.
Once clearly defined, there are specific key factors to nail down to ensure that the roll-out and embedment are done so in a sustainable and impactful way.
The messaging to current employees: An all-embracing communications agenda is essential to safeguard the EVP from collecting dust on a shelf in the HR department’s office. It must be understood and valued by the employees.
What is conveyed to the market (the future talent): The EVP forms a key part of the employer brand, appealing to both talent and consumers. A high recommendation is to make sure the market is well aware of the positive and exciting modifications occurring within. Be Innovative in how you present externally – there are numerous platforms and tools now which can be utilized.
Integration into all people elements: The EVP, the values and culture it embodies must be firmly embedded within all people processes. Adopting an agile approach, take each element through sprints and find areas for greater embedment. Those processes include recruitment, appointment onboarding, learning and development, career opportunities and development, remuneration and recognition, diversity and inclusion, culture and brand, wellbeing, performance management, and promotion.
If the leaders aren’t behind in, there’s no chance: The leadership team and middle management must accept responsibility to underpin the EVP on a daily basis. For this to happen, they need to be trained and given the apparatuses’ to have impactful discussions and thus seeing the successful embedment.
Outline key performance indicators to track impact and return on investment: Formulate quantitative indicators in line with the broader organizational objectives. For example, improvement in employee engagement, improvement in employee turnover, etc.
Don’t rest on your laurels: Have in place a continual feedback platform and one which must be open to all employees of the organization, not just those in management positions. Remember, if you don’t embed right throughout, the chances of success significantly decrease.
Over-communications trumps under-communication: Referencing the EVP continually post-implementation and emphasize where and how it has delivered on its promise. There are many ways organizations can do this, for example, the CEO or the periodical updates, town halls or annual conferences.
Measuring for success
You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
As soon as the EVP is active, it must be examined and polished due to it being an existing constituent of the organization’s DNA. Measurement (continual measurement) is therefore paramount.
To ensure a complete view of the return on investment is realized, key areas to capture data are:
Internal metrics: A view of historical data over time shows people trends within the organization. The internal view of the current situation and can identify heat maps and will clearly display areas in need of addressing.
External metrics: Organisations must factor in external-facing key performance indicators to see how the EVP is influencing future talent attraction and comparison to competitors.
Quantitative data: Quantitative data is highly effective in conveying the benefits to key stakeholders. They will be keen to appreciate what the organisations investment of resources is delivering.
Qualitative data: This component typically relates to the employee voice being heard. Qualitative data allows for a deeper dive, and incredibly useful after analyzing quantitative data.
When to refresh?
The EVP should be frequently assessed and where needed, refreshed to ensure relevance, be it reactively (in response to EVP metrics including low or continually decreasing employee engagement, high turnover, an inability to acquire top talent etc) or proactively (for example, in the view of changing organisational context such as a significant transformation, restructuring etc).
So, what’s the value…?
An effective, tailored and bedded down EVP which is lived and breathed throughout the organization proliferates candidate and employee engagement, experience, and motivation, consequently amplifying and sustaining high organizational productivity, profitability and performance.