Margaret Dsouza is the Head of HR at Zeta. She partners with the leadership team to design effective solutions to enhance organisational effectiveness and ensure that it is aligned with the organisation's goals and objectives. Margaret has been instrumental in building and sustaining a positive and progressive work culture. With over 15 years of experience, she is well versed in building high-performance and goal-focused work teams built on a foundation of shared collaboration, open communication, and a strong sense of accountability.
In an exclusive conversation with People Matters, she shares insights on designing holistic employee-centric policies to build a strong employer brand and how it can align with business needs. Here are some excerpts.
How has the definition of EVP changed in the current hybrid context?
EVP or employer value proposition is nothing but the employer’s true promise to the current or the potential employees. A core promise that a candidate or an employee can experience or be assured by while in the organisation.
Since attracting new talent is challenging, companies must highlight their EVP. With hybrid work models, companies must introduce more innovative EVP strategies to drive talent attraction, engagement, and retention. The hybrid context will push companies to keep the current needs of their employees in mind and put new EVP strategies in place that cater to those needs.
As employees realise that their organisation values their needs and adopts effective policies to support them, they seem to have a more positive outlook toward their work and, in turn, strive to achieve more for the company. Hence, having a solid EVP strategy in place is essential for companies to drive value and growth.
What areas do you prioritise the most when strategising for your EVP?
Employee holistic wellness and growth is an important priority area at Zeta while strategising our EVP. We recently introduced the parental support benefits program in the organisation that encourages all employees, irrespective of their gender, marital status and type of parenthood, to spend quality time with their little ones. The policy aims to move away from gender-defined parenting roles. Instead, it is centred around caregiver responsibilities that include several benefits to employees in the form of paid leaves, flexible working arrangements, commute benefits, lactation rooms for new mothers, and an adoption assistance program. This has been developed with a central objective to be more inclusive and provide employees who have become new parents much needed time with their children and relevant benefits.
Apart from this, considering growth as a factor in our EVP strategy, as an initiative, we allowed our employees to spend one sprint out of five working days on some project that may be of interest to them. At Zeta, we also constantly invest in driving innovation, upskilling and reskilling employees. We have been providing relevant learning and development courses across the spectrum to support this.
How can investing in your EVP serve your business needs?
EVP has become an urgent HR or the People Function today. Organisations increasingly focus on catering to their employees as they form critical internal stakeholders. Talent acquisition has become a difficult function today as employees seek more than just compensation. Employers are expected to create compelling EVP strategies for their employees, which facilitates organisations' growth.
As every business or product has its own unique value proposition to its customers, the EVP makes the organisation a distinct place for the talent to aspire for or thrive in, “an employer of choice”. EVP directly impacts the business outcomes as it's a fairly straightforward connection - people make the business happen & the core value proposition that the organisation delivers to its people is responsible for their success. So that's the correlation I am talking about.
How are you measuring the ROI of policies catering to EVP?
The ROI of the policies catering to EVP leads to a highly engaged, happy and productive workforce. In Zeta, employee well-being is given the utmost importance, so our policies or practices are focused on catering to the holistic wellness of employees and their loved ones. People speak/express their appreciation towards such policies & practices openly and also through various pulse surveys.
What are some words of advice you would like to share on innovating EVP strategies?
HR leaders must keep their organisation's employees at the heart of their EVP strategy. They must not be afraid of challenging the existing status quo and going above and beyond to fulfil their employees' needs. While salary, perks and benefits are important factors in determining EVP, the focus should also be on creating a meaningful and progressive strategy that supports and nurtures what employees require.