I recently completed my ITIL v4 Advanced modules. Common theme across all of the modules was ‘value’. And that got me thinking..
All this thing about ‘Value’ leaves me wonder struck at how human beings have learned to bring meaning to life. Think about how we humans invented the concept of currency- from the early beads and stones to the modern notes and cryptocurrencies, mankind has been able to transfer ‘value’ from one medium to the other without any compromise.
When you hand over a dollar note to the baker in return for a loaf of bread, the paper currency transfers value to become equal to all the raw materials, the efforts of the farmer to grow the grains and the baker to bake it.
When it comes to labor, it has always been a tricky task to transfer the value of labor into rewards. Wages are but a means to do that but I always feel that wages don’t necessarily reflect the exact value of the work because of all the years of training that a person undergoes, the food he eats to stay healthy and the skill he uses to get it done.
Perhaps this is how the concept of ‘Employee Value Proposition (EVP)’ has come about. The EVP has come to determine the employer’s brand in today’s world. Companies that boast of a high EVP attract the best talent which shows its significance.
Employee Value Proposition (EVP) Explained
Briefly put, it is a measure of all the benefits that company offers to an employee in return for his commitment and contribution to his work at the company.
What the employees offer are their skills, capabilities and experience, apart from their continuous efforts. In the hypercompetitive labor markets today, companies need to strengthen their EVP to attract good talent and to retain the best performers. A strong EVP means potential employees perceive the company to be a great place to work. Companies need to develop their individual EVPs that comprises of the right attributes. When a company fails to do so, it shows a gap between promise and results. At the core of the EVP lay the reasons why people choose to work for a company (or not).
Attributes of Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
It is solely based on what the company deems important for the employees to value it as a great employer. Equally important is that the employees must share that perception in turn.
- Compensation: Though not a strong determinant of why an employee must value an employer, compensation shows whether the employees are satisfied with their salary and other benefits offered by the employer. Salary structures that take into account the individual’s skills, abilities, potential and value to organization, where performance is evaluated based on fair methods and increments depict steady growth for both the employee’s and the company’s earnings, are a good indicator of a strong EVP.
- Work life balance: The world over, scores of employees’ value (or have come to value after the pandemic situation) work life balance more than monetary compensation. Paid days off, maternity leaves, nursing breaks, hybrid workplaces or complete work from home opportunities, flexi work, parental leaves, counseling, elderly support, child care at the workplace are great ways to help employees achieve that elusive work life balance which they strive to attain.
- Career stability: All employees fear one common thing, the fear of losing job or being redundant in the workplace. A company that takes efforts to provide challenging roles to its people so that they know they have a stake in the company’s growth, enables them to stay motivated. Companies today realize the importance of continuous training, mentoring, sabbaticals and investment in enhancing its employees’ skills. An employee who’s happy that the company helps him stay relevant and grow, would love to stay back and deliver.
- Location: The place of work matters more in large cities where employees find extended commuting times very cumbersome. If someone spends 3 to 4 hours in commute daily, he is, in effect, losing out on quality time for himself and his family. It also boils down to the physical and cultural work environment. It is a proven fact that employees feel happy to work at spacious, well lit and happy places than the drab ones. The cultural work environment accounts for the work culture that the company stands for.
- Value/Respect: Companies that respect its workforce through gestures big and small, through its transparency and flat organizational structures, through unform evaluation systems and take efforts in chalking out growth maps for its people turn out t be valued more than those that offer fancy emoluments.
Strengthening Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
It starts with determining the factors that you wish to build upon.
Talk to existing employees to understand what they love and what bothers them.
Understand what you lack and take active efforts to bridge the gap between why people work for you and why they leave.
Make use of continuous feedback, exit interviews, surveys and questionnaires, suggestion boxes and open-door policies to understand what employees want.
When a company tries to whitewash its EVP, it is seen as such by potential employees who would opt to inquire with existing ones. Therefore in order to have a strong EVP, the company needs to make genuine efforts and not to try and brush problem areas under the carpet. Reasons why people opt to work for a company (what placement officers term as ‘Dream companies’) and why they decide to leave gives a fair idea of what the company needs to work on.
Companies also need to be wary about not spending its resources on things that don’t align with the company’s greater brand. Simply trying to bring in everything would be futile. Rather, it would choose and decide on specific factors which would help everyone on board. Then the company needs to communicate its (strong) EVP to outside people, potential employees and competitors using specific media and tools. That way more people would know about how the company is a great place to work. It also makes existing employees feel good about working for their organization.
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