Why an Employee Value Proposition matters, and how to develop it  

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Article by Nick Gallimore, director of talent transformation and insight at Advanced

The confluence of a widespread re-evaluation of what people want from their jobs, post-lockdown, with a growing skills shortage and increasing numbers of unfilled job vacancies is resulting in a perfect storm for businesses seeking to attract and retain talent.

Millennials and Generation Z employees (aged 25-40 and 16-24 respectively) now make up more than half of the global workforce, precipitating a shift in prevailing attitudes and priorities. Renumeration is no longer the sole focus for working at an organisation. The Advanced Annual Trends Survey shows that 75 per cent of employees are more likely to stay with their employer due to the benefits package, so creating an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) with the features that people really want can make the difference between success and failure in the keenly competitive competition for talent.

These are some of the things, beyond salary, that employees want to see now:

  • Flexibility. The pandemic revealed to bosses what employees always suspected, that they could be just as productive and effective in their roles when working from home. As hybrid working patterns are now becoming established, many people want to be able to work from home in a flexible way that suits them, their families and their other commitments. Other flexibility such as banked hours, time off in lieu and earned wage access (EWA) may all be attractive to employees seeking to have a better work-life balance in the long-term.
  • A focus on health and wellbeing. Our annual Trends Survey highlights that 50% of HR professionals feel that a focus on wellbeing is crucial for modern organisations. Many businesses implemented online health and wellbeing support during lockdown and are developing ways to extend that into real-world activities such as gym memberships and on-site yoga and meditation sessions to help staff stay fitter and deal with work-related stress. They are also putting an emphasis on team activities and fun, informal sessions as an antidote to stress.
  • Opportunities for development. 96% of employees in our Trends Survey felt they would be more likely to stay with their current organisation if it offered a clear and well-defined programme of training and development. People want to see a clear and realistic career path, with opportunities for promotion and advancement, in order to stay and build a longer-term career within an organisation.
  • Improved D&I. Employees also want to be able to see people like themselves succeeding in their roles at all levels, so it’s important to have a well-designed and implemented policy for increasing diversity and encouraging inclusion. At Advanced we use focus groups to help inform our policies and make sure they reflect what people want, with groups that meet regularly, representing women, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and the LGBTQ+ community. Our recent Diversity Pay Report has also provided actionable insights to help us improve further. Demonstrating a genuine commitment to representing the interests of everybody in the workforce is a good way to improve diversity and attract more varied demographics into an organisation.
  • A commitment to ESG. All employees, and younger ones in particular, are increasingly aware of the environment and the need to protect it for future generations. People are already wise to ‘greenwashing’ – the unsubstantiated or simply untrue claims that some companies have been making about their impact on the environment. They want to be proud of where they work and what their employer is doing. Many are keen to be part of green focus groups to share ideas about how to make positive changes. Organisations that are actively promoting a recycle, repair and re-use message, and are measuring their carbon footprint and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can demonstrate their eco-credentials with integrity.
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In order to design an EVP that will attract and retain the best talent, leaders should consider the essence of their organisation, why it is unique and what it stands for. The EVP should reflect the overall vision in order to inspire talent to want to join and then to stay, seeking to highlight the unique values and features of the business that will make them the employer of choice.

Authenticity is critical as people will soon see through the hot air of extravagant claims when a company is falling short. The needs of employees will naturally evolve, so some benefits such a maternity and parenting leave may be of specific appeal for certain age groups or life stages. But it must evolve in response to broader changes too, such as the pandemic, which has, despite the privations, been a very positive catalyst for shifts in attitudes and renewing the employer-employee relationship.

An authentic and evolving EVP must, in the end, be properly communicated to prospective employees and existing staff if it is to fulfil its function in attracting and retaining the best people. This means making sure that everyone knows what is on offer, and that the unique vision and culture of an organisation is reflected in all of its communications, from job advertising and social media, to messages within internal employee forums and performance monitoring platforms. When an EVP is truly embedded in company culture and truly reflective of its values, it can become irresistible to employees who share the same values and concerns.

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