The nature of the workplace and workforce is ever-changing with the ongoing macroeconomic dynamism and evolving workforce expectations. While the pandemic era saw the ‘Great Resignation’, the post-pandemic times saw ‘Quiet Quitting’, and the looming economic downturn of 2023 is presenting cost challenges. Investing in the right human capital is the key for organisations to tide over these waves and build a competitive advantage. To balance the myriad talent needs with the organisational needs, HR and business leaders must revisit what truly matters to employees. Employees today want more than just compensation, hence crafting a relevant and purposeful employer value proposition (EVP) is the way to build a compelling employer brand and meet employer and employee expectations.
The modern workforce drives unique employee expectations
Today’s workforce is diverse in numerous aspects – multiple generations, mindsets, ethnicities, time zones, working styles, thoughts, aspirations, life expectations, and much more. Tying in this diversity with a common thread is possible only if organisations devise different talent-attraction and talent-engagement mechanisms for different cohorts. At the same time, the talent strategy must uphold equitable treatment based on the principles of fairness and justice. As a result, the EVP must inculcate concepts such as meaning & purpose, DEI, flexibility, mobility, well-being, continuous learning, and career growth (both professional and personal). HR leaders must, therefore, revisit and rethink the softer aspects beyond compensation, such as culture and values, non-monetary benefits, upskilling and career pathing opportunities. And must align one’s people with the performance and productivity goals of the organisation.
How to reinvent the EVP
A study by Deloitte stated that organisations that co-create with their workers were 1.8x more likely to have a highly engaged workforce, 2x more likely to be innovative, and 1.6x more likely than their peers to anticipate and respond to change effectively.
It becomes imperative that organisations reinvent their employer brand with a tailored approach which caters to the needs, wants and aspirations of different employee groups. The way ahead is to co-create the EVP with one’s people. Here’s how to get started:
Drive a learning and high-performance culture:
Partner with and empower talent with the right learning resources and avenues for career growth. Investing in a learning suite such as Akrivia can help instate learning in the ‘flow of work’. It is L&D’s job to curate the learning goals in alignment with the business goals to drive the right performance. For example, managers are the building blocks of a high-performance culture and must be trained to manage diverse and distributed teams. The learning strategy must tie in with the performance management process, from KPI-setting to performance realisation, and ultimately with the business strategy.
Encourage mobility and growth:
A Gartner study shows that 56% of candidates are applying for jobs outside their current area of expertise, and this figure is expected to climb further in the coming years. L&D and performance outcomes must go hand-in-hand, hence, HR must curate career paths and growth avenues in sync with the learning strategy.
Three-quarters of employees and job seekers say a diverse workforce is essential when deciding where they will work. To stand as a preferred employer for fresh young talent, a DEI policy based on equality and fairness is non-negotiable. This should be implemented with initiatives such as safe spaces to discuss and engage, inclusive hiring policies, and robust avenues to express and address grievances.
Curate a ‘basket of benefits’:
Gen Z and women employees often value non-pay benefits such as flexibility, upskilling avenues, mentoring support, and challenging and meaningful roles. These can be made available as a custom-made basket for employees to choose from.
Focus on wellbeing:
The pandemic brought the need for wellness and well-being to the forefront. Nearly two-thirds of organisations globally say employee well-being has been more important to their company since 2020, and 47% say employee well-being has become a bigger priority since 2020. 41% of organisations also said they had a well-being strategy that was fully integrated into their overall business strategy. Physical, mental, social, financial and spiritual well-being must be integrated into the EVP. Strategies such as proactive rest days, counselling tie-ups, wellness activities, no-meeting days, etc., can appeal to certain employee populations.
Cultivate and convey the culture and values:
Culture is the glue that binds people and organisations. HR must define the values and culture, work towards aligning the organisational values with peoples’ values, and imbibe them deeply into the EVP. An authentic EVP, can generate trust and help potential talent proactively engage with the employer, building a sense of connection and community. This is a win-win for both ends of the employment contract.
At the core, the new-age EVP must derive from donning a holistic lens and creating a truly engaging employee experience (EX). Akrivia’s Engagement Suite promises such capabilities to drive employee engagement and strengthen people-centric practices.
The tech-and-touch approach
Technology can help curate and communicate the employee experience across various talent spectrums. For example, the EVP must customise roles and offer location-time flexibility to attract non-traditional workforces such as gig, freelance, and contract workers. Organisations increasingly use emerging technologies such as AI to collect data about employees’ health, family situations, living conditions, mental health, etc., to customise policies and processes and employees’ true needs. However, data privacy is necessary, and HR leaders must prioritise transparency around how the organisation collects, uses and stores employee data. HR must also allow employees to opt out of practices they find objectionable.
Many organisations craft the EVP, but the most important aspect of attracting, engaging, and retaining top talent is to communicate the EVP properly. Be it for leadership buy-in or on-the-ground propagation, HR must devise a detailed communication strategy through multiple online and offline channels, targeting internal employees and external potential talent and stakeholders. To make this a reality, business leaders must ‘walk the talk’, living the EVP daily.
Building an employer brand is the prerogative of not just HR leaders, but it must have executive support at the CXO level. It is not a one-time exercise but an ongoing commitment. Only then can organisations make the EVP come to life and drive sustained business performance. If you want to know more about how Akrivia HCM can empower you to design a powerful EVP, schedule a demo today.