When I was asked to share my perspective on the core principles of an evolving EVP, I had a flashback to one of my first projects as a talent management consultant, where I partnered with a seasoned leader to support a large Indian FMCG organisation in defining their EVP.
This was around 2007 when the concept of EVP, especially linked to Employer Branding, was just about evolving and as talent management advisors, we were chartering a fresh path. When I think back on what were the aspects which truly helped us determine a meaningful EVP for the said organisation – I think our quest for the answer to the question on what makes the work experience there more superior than other organisations – gathered from multiple internal and external stakeholders- gave us the right direction and set the right tone for the EVP.
From then to now, 15 years hence- I believe some of the principles remain the same and some have gone through quite a bit of evolution. I will attempt to list down the ones which are critical as per my experience -
Be clear about the reason why you want an EVP to be articulated
Creating a value proposition statement, which truly resonates with employees, managers, leaders, the external talent market and your clients and customers as well, also means that you are truly committed to keeping the EVP alive for the organisation- and a reflection of the same should touch each and every concerned stakeholder. Creating a nice sounding statement which has no reflection in reality will lead to dissonance and disengagement much quicker that not having an EVP in the first place.
The basis of the EVP should be on “what exists and is real” and not a utopian idea of what “should be”
When an organisation creates an EVP and communicates it across the board- Managers and leaders need to feel a sense of ownership towards delivering that EVP to each and every colleague. Their sense of alignment and buy-in will come in when they believe in the authenticity of the articulated value proposition and how they can translate that to an on the ground experience for colleagues. Creating something which is more aspirational and does not embody the realities on the ground will be frustrating and ultimately lead to a sense of disconnect and possibly disengagement
EVP needs to have the full commitment and support from the leadership
As is the case with all people related processes, it is extremely critical that leaders of the organisation have a role to play in defining the EVP and are committed to bringing it to life for colleagues across the board. Articulating an EVP which espouses the organisation as fully diverse and inclusive, but having Managers select only a certain segment of the population ad nauseum during the hiring process defeats the purpose. Leaders should be ready to stand up and defend the EVP if required and have whole-hearted commitment to the same to make it a success :
Generic vs Customised
One significant difference from the EVPs of yore and what the world is now evolving towards is the shift towards a more per person approach. This is also embodied in how organisations are shifting from a point in time employee feedback experience to an ongoing connect with colleagues to understand how their experiences shape up at different life stages in the organisation – on joining, on confirmation, post their first appraisal cycle, on being promoted or given new responsibilities, on joining back post maternity leave etc. This approach towards colleagues ensures they feel the organisation is listening to them through their journey and not just as a part of a once a year survey. Flexible benefits is another indicator of how individual choices and preferences are shaping the value proposition of today.
Flexible working is another step in this direction
People across the world have been working in a completely different style over the last 2 years- and the inherent advantages of that have to be accepted and handled. organisations which fail to appreciate the same and believe they can flick the switch back to pre-pandemic work patterns will surely grapple with managing employee expectations. So many people have lost their support systems or have had to become the primary caregiver for ageing parents- there productivity and commitment to their work is unquestionable but they require an organisation which allows them to continue to operate from home for the majority of the time so they can also give equal importance to their personal responsibilities. Similarly, there are those colleagues, who have found it extremely difficult over the last 2 years to work from the restrictive environment at home and would much prefer the professional ambience at office- ensuring that these colleagues are provided the ability to work out of office all days of the week is another element of the flexible model which needs to be thought through.
Looking at employees as a part of a larger ecosystem and not just limited to their “work hours”
It is the kind of big shift organisations need to make when thinking through the EVP of today. Colleagues and their personal needs and requirements shape who they are at work as well. Providing the necessary flexibility, support system and enabling tools to make overall life simple ensures we have highly engaged and productive colleagues who are geared to deliver their very best to the organisation and feel the emotional connect as well, which ensures a longer lasting and mutually appreciated relationship
It is a good time for every organisation to re-think their EVPs and ensure they are adapting to the needs and requirements of the working human in a manner which is best suited for the organisation’s business outcomes and delivers a quality of life to colleagues.
Learn how you can elevate the employee experience by redrafting EVPs at People Matters EX India Conference 2022.