EVP – Do You Truly Value Your Biggest Asset?
When organisations think about marketing, they often focus on customers: how can they persuade people to buy what they sell. As a result, many organisations invest a substantial amount of capital and resources to perfect their customer value proposition (CVP), that is a business or marketing statement that describes why a customer should buy a product or use a service.
But there is another ‘market’ that is just as important: their employees, the very people who make and deliver the brand to customers. After all, customer satisfaction can only be achieved through employee satisfaction, which is reflected in how they interact with customers and external stakeholders on behalf of the organisation. However, we have observed that not many organisations devote the same amount of resources into creating a great employee experience, as they do for their customers.
It is therefore critical for organisations to create and nurture a compelling and enduring Employee Value Proposition (EVP), whether they are striving to attract and retain the best talent in today’s competitive market, engage employees to achieve sustainable growth, or align employee behaviours with business and customer needs.
What is an Employee Value Proposition?
An employer value proposition (EVP) is defined as a set of associations and offerings provided by an organization in return for the skills, capabilities and experiences an employee brings to the organization. The EVP is an employee-centered approach that is aligned to existing, integrated workforce planning strategies because it has been informed by existing employees and the external target audience.Minchington, B (2006) Your Employer Brand – attract, engage, retain. Collective Learning Australia
The concept of an EVP is not novel. But the changes in values and personal priorities important to all of us are constantly reshaping the workplace. On the recruitment and employment front, what candidates look for in a prospective employer and what employees look for in their current employer has changed dramatically and will continue to be that way for years to come. Therefore, employers should at all times reinvent and reenergise their EVP with a future-forward mindset and use the latest technologies such as big data, advanced analytical processes, in the same way they build bespoke CVPs by using state of the art research tools to analyse consumer segmentation and behaviour.
We believe organisations can create an effective and efficient EVP by considering the following:
- Ensuring competitive contractual rewards programs and simultaneously expanding the definition of rewards beyond this
Employees do not want homogenous rewards instead they desire and need more differentiated rewards. By understanding which reward elements are essential to be competitive and which elements are differentiators, organisations will go a long way towards effectively delivering an EVP that resonates.
The Expedia Group is passionate about promoting wellness and encouraging a healthy and balanced lifestyle for its employees and their families. The company’s wellness and fitness reimbursement program is designed to give employees the flexibility to expense activities that would contribute to the individuals’ wellness needs. This can be anything from fitness programs to flying trapeze classes!
- Creating Meaningful and Tailored Career Management Programs
New age work arrangements necessitate new age career frameworks that consider both the jobs of today and needs of the future. Having a career framework facilitates visible career options and growth by defining jobs in an organisation and how they are related through shared accountabilities and competencies.
EY offers personalised career development including coaching and support to help employees build their careers and provide them with access to formal learning so they can develop the skills they will need to thrive in the future. EY Tech MBA is one of their innovative learning programs which allows their employees to develop the technology, leadership and business skills they need from anywhere in the world, in a way that truly suits them through its virtual learning model.
- Investing in Employees’ Financial, Physical, Social and Emotional Well-being
According to Mercer’s research, thriving organisations acknowledge that the four dimensions of well-being (physical, emotional, financial and social health) are interrelated, and they are committed to enhancing employees’ overall well-being. Research from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates the strong impact of such issues on the bottom line: Employees with a high sense of well-being have lower health costs, higher productivity and employers have 35% less turnover.
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) supports its employees holistically – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The company’s hallmark program, Energy for Performance (E4P) from the Human Performance Institute, is virtual and every employee is encouraged to attend. Lisa Tay, Head of Human Resources at J&J in Asia Pacific explains that “E4P uses a multi-disciplinary approach built on the sciences of performance psychology, exercise physiology, and nutrition to create lifelong behaviour change, powered by personal purpose.” J&J also has a global Health Reimbursement Program, which encourages employees to subscribe to virtual fitness classes, guided meditations apps, or to buy home gym equipment.
- Developing Pride and Advocacy Through Purpose
Just as customers are seeking more than just a product from the companies they buy from, employees today are seeking more from their employer. They want to feel proud of their work and proud that their organisation shares their common values. Therefore, organisations which connect their business purpose with the work employees do can make work more engaging and rewarding. Employees who are purpose-driven are motivated by more than the contractual rewards or even career advancement — they are driven by the work itself and the value behind it.
- Communicating the Value Proposition in an Engaging and Personalised Way
We have seen many employers design a perfect EVP on paper. However, they are often unable to translate this to the elements pertinent to employees’ personal circumstances or articulate this in a way that’s truly meaningful to individual employees. To succeed, organisations should make the proposition more personable by designing and enhancing the EVP through digital and individually targeted communication mechanisms.
Aligning the EVP with the CVP
We believe that customer and employee satisfaction are two sides of the same coin. Happy employees are the key to happy customers, and happy customers lead to higher brand loyalty, more sales, and bigger profits. We recommend that the single most important area of focus for companies building their EVP is the need to create and align employee experience. When organisations create differentiated EVPs and focus on creating an aligned experience, they set themselves apart from the competition. Engaged employees are the key to unlocking their organisations’ competitive advantage and are therefore their greatest ASSET.