Ask Not What You Can Do For Your Employer…
Oscar Wilde once said, “The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.” While this might be true for some given the current economic circumstances, as the economy turns a corner, how will companies attract and retain top performers? According to a recent Towers-Watson report, the answer may lie in a good Employee Value Proposition.
What is an Employee Value Proposition, or EVP? It outlines what an employee (or prospective employee) will get out of working for your organization, other than just a paycheck. It may also outline the basic behaviors expected of employees in return, such as exceptional customer service, respect for others, and teamwork. An EVP should include items such as the company’s mission and values, compensation structure, vacation time, health benefits, stock options, rewards and recognition, work-life balance such as work from home or flex-time policies, discounts, training and advancement opportunities, and any other “perks” that differentiate you as an employer from your competition.
The Towers-Watson reports states, “only 34% of organizations report having an EVP that they have articulated, documented, and communicated.” Yet companies that do so are twice as likely to align their internal value proposition with what they stand for in the marketplace. In today’s culture of Web 2.0, social media and user reviews (see glassdoor.com for a perfect example), your employees are a vital part of your marketing strategy—so aligning your internal and external brands is essential. At a time when so many companies have been forced to freeze salaries and reduce their workforces, it is more important than ever to retain consistency and positivity in other aspects of the employee experience. Consider these numbers from a recent Deloitte white paper:
- 41% of customers are loyal because of good employee attitude
- 70% of customer brand perception is determined by experiences with people
- Failure to deliver on the EVP causes a more than 25% decline in new hire commitment levels across the first 12 months
An EVP that is well-communicated and aligned with the employer’s brand can increase engagement by providing employees a better view of the company’s expectations, and allowing them to more easily align their behaviors with these expectations. And keeping an EVP as consistent as possible during turbulent economic times—possibly even improving it for your highest performers—can provide reassurance to those who may be worried about their job security, keeping performance levels stable.
There is no formula for creating an EVP—it just needs to be easily accessible to all employees, comprehensive, and up to date. Many companies include it on their intranets, on the career page of their website, or even establish a dedicated website. Even if the EVP might be slightly different for different parts of your employee population, it’s best to keep the format consistent, and communicate it effectively—including any changes that are made to it over time.
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