Reimagining Employee Value Proposition (EVP) in the New Normal
Results and relationships to be top-of-mind
The pandemic was a litmus test for the corporate furniture such as purpose, values, principles, behaviors, etc. In the employer brand world, organizations must to ensure that the employee value proposition (EVP) is robust and is delivering what it promises, in good times and bad. According to Gartner, organizations today spend an average of $2,500 per employee on employee experience every year, and such investments are expected to continue.
In the post-pandemic world, progressive organizations must shift from an employee-centric EVP to a human-centric EVP. It’s time to look beyond traditional EVPs built around compensation & benefits, and focus on career growth, mental health, flexibility and work-life balance.
What Does EVP Mean in the New World of Work?
The coronavirus has changed the relationship between employees and their work, and the EVP must evolve to reflect these changes. Winning the hearts and minds of new workers requires an environment that considers them as people, not workers; a workplace that offers an exceptional experience, not just work.
At every company, employee engagement drives both performance and retention outcomes. Employee engagement is a direct result of a strong company culture. By providing upskilling/reskilling opportunities, exposure to the latest in technological advancements, leadership support, and an open mind about what makes the organization a great place to work, companies can evolve to keep pace with employees’ expectations to really drive success. Companies need to focus on building deeper relationships, offering flexibility, autonomy & growth opportunities, ensuring holistic well-being and thus helping our people find purpose.
In short, results and relationships will become top-of-mind for organizations in the new world of work – the ability to achieve great things with great people but in a slightly different way than before Covid era.
Importance of Employee Advocacy
One of the biggest myths to debunk is that if you build a strong EVP, it will naturally build brand awareness and attract talent. But, ‘building’ the employer brand is only the job half done. Once you have a great EVP, you need to invest budget, time, and effort into getting that message across your career site, social media and other marketing platforms.
Having said that, employee advocacy is the strongest level of endorsement a company can receive. So, it’s critical to create awareness internally through newsletters, company blogs, town halls, and emails. Past employees or ‘alumni’ are the most powerful influencers and ambassadors of any organization. Having a community manager who strategically engages with the alumni across various knowledge sharing platforms/forums can have a greater positive impact on an organization’s employer brand.
EVP Should be More Than Just an HR Initiative
EVP should be a leadership imperative, not an HR initiative. Leaders must understand their role in shaping an organisation’s EVP, regularly connect with employees, and reinforce and strengthen organisational culture. This helps employees build a strong sense of purpose and be highly engaged while at work.
According to a Gartner report, organizations that effectively deliver on their EVP can decrease annual employee turnover by just under 70% and increase new hire commitment by nearly 30%. However, several companies fail with their EVP is because it comes as an afterthought to rising attrition.
All the HR actions related to EVP, Employee Engagement, Employees Development, Happiness at Work should be visible and vibrant across organization all the time. Authentic care by the company and effective communication from the leaders become essential here. A well-defined EVP can provide the building blocks for organisational success when it truly becomes part of your organisational DNA, by reinforcing it at all levels in the organization.
Employee-Centric EVP to Human-Centric EVP
Today, more and more employees favour flexible work conditions. According to Gartner research, among employees who are currently working remotely or in a hybrid arrangement, 75% say their expectations for working flexibly have increased. The pandemic showed us how performance improves when employees were given flexibility over where, when and how they work. Asking employees to return to work every day will, at least for the short term, have a negative impact on their performance. It will also negatively affect the organization’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts because underrepresented groups of talent have seen significant improvements in how they work since being allowed more flexibility.
HR leaders should consider a more human-centric approach to their return to work policy to help employees sustain high performance while minimizing remote work fatigue in the hybrid world.
It is quite important for organizations to reinvent their EVP for a post pandemic workforce. The pandemic changed the way leaders work – they learned to lead with empathy, compassion, clarity, trust and emotional intelligence. Embedding these values into your EVP, even after employees start returning to work on a regular basis, will help you retain happy employees whose trust and respect you’ve earned throughout the challenging times.