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Linking EVP to Employee Engagement

An Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is in some ways like a psychological contract. It’s the entire employee experience of being at work.

EVP is the way in which an employee experiences everything about what they have going on with their coworkers, team, boss, leader, and their organization.

Those decisions regarding the value proposition are made moment to moment. These moment-to-moment experiences build over time into this cumulative thing called the EVP. Your EVP is also important for communicating your offer to job seekers, and it’s key to attracting the candidates you need.

The term EVP has been around since the late 1990s. It was featured prominently as a solution to what was then being called the “war for talent.” Now, with a tight labour market in Canada, EVP is gaining traction once again as employers look to become more competitive with their employee base to remain relevant in the marketplace.

Components of an effective Employee Value Proposition

There are three non-negotiable components of an EVP:

  1. Procedurally fair compensation structure
  2. Dignity in work
  3. Belief that individual work is meaningful.

Another critical component that cannot be lost in the process is understanding that each company has its own unique EVP and defining and executing it clearly helps to attract and retain the right people.

How does employee engagement fit into the picture?

Think of EVP and employee engagement as siblings—two separate but related concepts affecting the employee satisfaction continuum. Employee engagement only applies to the period when a person is an employee. In fact, engagement sometimes gets serious consideration only during the annual employee survey.

Managers who know the survey is coming start paying more attention to their staffs, then wait in fear for the results. Executives’ pay attention to the issues only after the results come in, then go quiet for the rest of the year. Engagement traditionally has given only modest attention to the reputation or “employer brand” of the organization before and after a person joins.

EVP, on the other hand, needs to be present from a candidate’s first interview to their last day on the job—and everything in between.

Leveraging an Employee Value Proposition to recruit millennials

Generational diversity is a topic that is being referred to more often now than ever. Change of perception with regards to the generation can change our behaviour towards people.

There are many discussions and debates surrounding millennials being lazy, unproductive, and least engaged. However, as per the research by Mark Hirschfeld, Vice President at BI WORLDWIDE, they found out that these assumptions are false. Millennials can be and often are involved. He also shared The New Rules of Engagement and what you can do to make every day count and how you can adopt these methods in your organization to improve EVP.

  1. Make it personal: More than ever, great managing is a matter of intense understanding of each unique individual — knowing their abilities, their aspirations and how they work best. Success on this rule is critical for achieving all the others.
  2. Make money a non-issue: Money isn’t everything. It only gets you so far. But companies that mishandle this emotional area will make it a bigger deal than it has to be.
  3. Help them thrive: Never have work, personal life and health been so inextricably connected. Protecting employees’ holistic wellbeing doesn’t just reduce costs; it invigorates the employees and the business.
  4. Realize their potential: In lieu of permanent placements and pensions, employers are expected to provide growth opportunities. Offering tools, learning and development for employees to be successful will grow your top talent — and your bottom line.
  5. Foster belonging: Employees cannot fully commit to a company they do not feel a part of. Fostering a sense of belonging within the organization, the team and the work itself is critical for employees to stay and do exceptional work.
  6. Be boldly transparent: Gone are the days of top-down leadership. The best ideas may come from employees, so listen with an open mind and use those ideas to shape the vision for the future.
  7. Give it meaning: People need to be part of something bigger than just a job and a paycheque. Meaning drives higher performance.
  8. See their future: What people do today is largely motivated by where they think it will take them in the future. Companies that are deliberate about helping employees chart that future will be rewarded with those people’s best work.
  9. Magnify their success: What a company recognizes gets repeated. Making a big deal of employees’ accomplishments ensures the victories will be multiplied.
  10. Unite them: People have always been willing to take one for the right team but only if they feel others will do the same. With more people working remotely than ever before, it’s never been more important to create conditions that foster strong collaboration.
  11. Let them lead: True empowerment is not just a place to voice ideas but having those ideas seriously considered. It’s not just being told to take a risk but being supported when the risk does not go as planned. Empowering this way will ignite inspiration.
  12. Challenge them: Your best employees are eager to accomplish something incredible together. Challenge, rally and support them wholeheartedly and you’ll be struck by what they can do.

The statistics from research between the year 2014-2016 show almost similar score of engagement between millennials and non-millennials using the above engagement method.

Millennials are considered to have a need for meaning and purpose in their work more than any generation. However, the research demonstrated that all generations look out for a broader mission in their work which directly impacts their performance and commitment towards work. Organizations need to look at each generation differently and understand their talents and skills which would make a change and have a diversity of thoughts.

BI WORLDWIDE’s research also shows a high correlation between happiness and all the performance variables that organizations need, such as customer focus, retention, innovation, collaboration, and speaking well of the firm. To put it plainly, happiness at work is the ultimate EVP.

Final thoughts

Your company’s value proposition is a vital tool for your employee engagement strategy, so the messaging should be executed to the fullest and deliver on what is promised. If your leadership takes progressive action with EVPs, then the rest of the organization is likely to notice and become more engaged.

Reach out to us and we’ll help drive employee engagement and bring your EVP to life.

Dr. Brad Shuck on Employee Value Proposition.

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