The Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is one of the best tools available to recruit and engage employees. It encompasses all benefits derived by employees from their relationship with their employer – both intangible (the promise of job security, progression, the culture, work environment and work-life balance) and tangible (pay, bonus packages, benefits such as company cars and physical work spaces). The elements of an EVP will all be of varying importance to the employee, but getting this mix right is critical to attracting, retaining and motivating the people responsible for delivering the company’s vision.
Some sectors are facing issues when it comes to succession planning. Ensuring that there is a strong pipeline of talent across all levels of seniority, and overcoming a growing skills gap, is a challenge that some sectors are feeling acutely, such as the third sector. Combined with the two thirds of organisations reporting difficulties in recruiting the right talent, one approach is to invest more in the existing talent available to organisations. Building talent, as opposed to attracting talent, places emphasis on what can already be done in-house to meet the demands facing organisations.
The war for talent
By turning an organisation’s attention inwards, businesses should assess how their current ways of thinking and acting are translating into the employee experience. Often the focus is external, ensuring that companies are paying competitively, providing strong narratives for gender pay gaps, diversity and inclusion initiaties etc. However, getting ahead of the curve and being innovative when it comes to truly building an organisation that offers fair and transparent HR practices is a step change that creates loyal talent from the inside out.
Take pay off the table as an issue
Benchmarking pay against the wider market ensures you are paying competitively, so that pay is taken off of the table as an issue. Only then can people’s attention turn to the value they derive from the additional benefits the company offers, such as opportunities to learn and progress and the values promoted by the organisation itself.
The essential elements of a strong EVP
With some concerns that Brexit may exacerbate the existing skills shortage in the short-term across the UK, a strong EVP is a critical tool for employers to increase the longevity of key roles that can help to achieve their long-term objectives. The central tenet of a strong EVP is to be clear about what you are promising employees and to ensure that these promises are met. A disconnect between what organisations want prospective employees to believe they offer when it comes to their culture and what they actually provide to existing employees is critical. This degree of alignment is the determining factor behind whether the company can successfully attract and retain employees.
How to create an effective EVP
Design an effective reward strategy – above all else, listen to what employees value. Employees that join from inception and buy-in to the company’s values and vision are likely to also have clear ideas about the intangible and tangible benefits they value. Providing these will propel them in their productivity and job satisfaction, so involving them in the design process when setting your reward strategy can save a lot of time. Employee opinion surveys provide immediate feedback about what employees value most, directly from those affected by the strategy employers set.
Lay the foundations of a fair culture – employers increasingly tell us that diversity and inclusion strategies, and evidence of fair pay practices, are important to their employees who value the fact that their employer is responsible and ethical in its conduct. This signals a collective and inclusive culture that many employees value in itself. Reward design relies on an organisation being able to demonstrate that they are making objective decisions around pay and career progression. Job families provide an effective framework to transparently and consistently ensure parity of pay, whilst providing a robust methodology to guide and justify decision-making.
Remain innovative – a sustainable model for talent acquisition is to keep ahead of the curve and to foster investment in talent that is already in place. Hundreds of thousands can be spent on the acquisition of talent, when a supportive environment that empowers current employees to thrive and meet the skills gaps within an organisation will reap greater rewards in the long-term. Initiatives such as entry interviews to understand the expectations of employees and help them on their journey with organisations from the outset are an innovative step from the more traditional exit interviews. It is this type of proactive thinking that will help organisations stay ahead in meeting the promises they make to their people and driving down employee turnover.
Execute an impactful communication plan – Communication tools such as Total Reward Statements demonstrate the value that employers offer employees and the investment being made in each individual. Reward statements outline the full value of what the employee has received from their employer over a set period of time – both tangible (e.g. pay, bonus schemes and benefits) and intangible (e.g. learning and development opportunities, holiday entitlement). Furthermore, communicating performance management processes and pay decisions is important in strengthening the trust level in the employer-employee relationship. Being transparent about the steps involved in this process and the methods being used to inform these decisions is crucial to employee satisfaction.
Show that you deliver on your promises
As recruitment continues to be a significant challenge, ensuring that the promises employers make externally resonate with the experience of current employees is critical in driving down retention issues and bolstering the existing culture.