Higher compensation continues to be the top reason employees are jumping ships. But apart from better paychecks, an increasing number of employees and job seekers are prioritising emotional care and mental health benefits. They expect employers to ensure their overall well-being.
Post-pandemic workforce trends throw up challenges from the Great Resignation to the rebuke against quiet quitting. Employers are often at a loss to understand what measures can bring employees to the workplace.
In other words, traditional approaches related to employee value proposition (EVP) on the foundations of monetary incentives and workplace experiences have proved to be insufficient in attracting and retaining employees. It’s time to challenge the assumptions, explore and pay heed to what employees feel before coming to work. At the same time, attention must be paid to knowing how they may feel while at work, and after work.
In other words, the focus is on emotional salary.
Emotional salary and EVP: What’s the link?
Traditionally, EVP strategies focus on rewarding workers for their performance, branding the experience that an organisation provides to them, and attracting talent. However, only 31% of HR leaders believe that their employees are satisfied with their EVP, and 65% of job applicants actually discontinue a hiring process due to an unappealing EVP. At the same time, employee engagement levels have continued flatlining since 2016, while attrition rates remain a key challenge one year into the Great Resignation.
So, what’s prompting employees to find new workplaces? Nearly 80% are looking for employers that are helping them unleash their creativity, express their true identity at the workplace, and position them in fulfilling purposeful roles. Toxic behaviour at the workplace remains the top contributor to employees’ intent to leave an organisation, whereas flexibility is taking on new meanings as work-from-anywhere and work-at-anytime are setting the baseline of expectations.
Employees are now beginning to focus on how their work makes them feel – tapping on this trend, employers must reshape their EVP to meet the changing needs of their employees.
Here are five ways employers can boost their EVP by incorporating emotional salary into it.
Help your employees find purpose in work
Instead of simply making statements about purpose, make it a point to regularly communicate the organisation’s efforts toward societal, ethical, and environmental issues that they are addressing. Highlight these achievements in JDs, champion them across channels, and show your employees how they have contributed towards their achievements. Make them feel invested and excited to return to work every day.
Provide autonomy and personal growth
It’s essential to think of autonomy before letting your employees choose where they work and when: empower them to make decisions that are close to their role, and let them pick exciting opportunities within your organisation. Beyond work, help your employees grow as people and not just professionals. How? By enabling them to shape their careers in alignment with their values and needs outside of work.
Eliminate toxic behaviour from the workplace
Toxic behaviour is the top contributor to employee burnout, distress, and attrition. In other words, it nullifies your EVP and is emotionally taxing to your employees. Treating employee wellbeing as a strategic priority, sensitising all employees on issues like mental health and toxic behaviours, and leveraging employee listening tactics to promote a stress-free work environment.
Help your employees build deeper connections
Instead of simply offering insurance coverage to the employees’ families or pets, show them that you care about their community and relationships outside of work. Ensure that your employees are not overworked, and provide scheduled time off. Promote self-expression, and extend your inclusivity efforts beyond no-tolerance charters.
Alleviate rote tasks from day-to-day work
When employees expect fulfilment and exercise their creativity at work, eliminating rote tasks from workflows is a critical need today. Empower your employees with automation and decision support tools, and help them transition into roles that require more human and fewer machine skills. Finally, empower them to realise a shared, holistic impact for themselves, the business, the environment, and the community to help them find meaning in their work.
It is worth noting that emotional salary is a concept, and it can take on multiple forms. As employees willingly return to the office, leisure spaces, child care programmes, and flexible timings can also contribute to the emotional salary for the employee. Ultimately, it is a way to highlight that the organisation cares about how it makes the employees feel about their work in the framework of their lives. It recognises that work is a subset of the employees’ lives and that employees are people, not workers. When employees are voicing out their emotional needs from work and the data chimes in unanimously, keeping emotional salary out of the EVP equation is likely to make organisations struggling in today’s competitive and bold talent landscape.