The greatest asset your company has is its people. Successfully delivering products and services to customers and innovating in an ever-changing environment depends on your employees. Given that your company’s performance is contingent on its people — attracting, retaining and ensuring employees are positively engaged in supporting the organization is a top concern, especially in a tight labor market. Employees are more likely to be positively engaged when they perceive that both the tangible and intangible rewards they receive from your organization outweigh the effort they put into your organization. This concept is the Employee Value Proposition and is the basis for creating and sustaining a positive employee experience.

Companies that successfully create, communicate and execute a compelling Employee Value Proposition are better positioned to win the war for talent.

To develop a strong EVP, there are four key questions that are important to consider.

1. What is your Employee Value Proposition?

For better or for worse, all companies have an Employee Value Proposition, but not all companies have taken a mindful approach to understanding and defining the value they want to provide to their employees.  An Employee Value Proposition captures what employees will experience that is unique about working for your company. It defines what your company stands for as it relates to its employees. The rewards employees receive can be tangible such as health care, compensation, or time-off, but often other intangible rewards are equally as important. Intangible rewards such as flexibility, the type of work environment the company promotes, training and promotional opportunities and the way employees are recognized can be just as meaningful to employees as monetary rewards. Thoughtfully defining an Employee Value Proposition based on what your employees value is the first step to creating an Employee Value Proposition that drives talent acquisition, retention and engagement.

2. Do you take a strategic approach to communicating your Employee Value Proposition?

Companies tend to focus on a tactical approach when communicating rewards to employees, but the opportunity to truly leverage your company’s Employee Value Proposition requires a strategic approach. A strategic communication approach identifies all the target audiences within your company that are critical to driving engagement. Target audience identification starts with applicants who are not yet employees, includes current employees at all career stages and covers all levels of leadership, including the executive team.  A strategic approach is one that is proactive, continually reinforced and marketed to employees in a way that is meaningful to them.

3. Are you being proactive in measuring whether you are successfully delivering on your Employee Value Proposition?

Simply identifying and communicating an Employee Value Proposition is not enough. You must understand how well your company is delivering on the Employee Value Proposition you have created. An Employee Value Proposition is a promise to employees about what they will experience working for your company. When there are significant gaps in what employees expect and what they experience, turnover, dysfunctional teamwork and disengagement occur.  Companies that establish ways to measure how well they are delivering on the Employee Value Proposition are able to make course corrections before these negative outcomes happen. Being proactive allows you to understand what organizational changes need to be made to close the gap between what people expect your company to deliver and what they perceive is actually being delivered.

4. How do you ensure your employee value proposition stays relevant over time in an evolving organization and talent market?

To remain relevant, an Employee Value Proposition should be revisited on a regular basis to ensure what employees value continues to be what your company delivers. Losing some of your best, long-term employees is a key sign that a company’s Employee Value Proposition is no longer relevant to your top talent. Organizations and environments need to adapt their Employee Value Proposition as the way in which people expect to work, the rewards they value and the way they want to engage with the company they work for continues to change. The external environment is not static and your employee value proposition must evolve over time. Creating ways to ensure you are listening to the changing needs of your employees, especially those you want to retain, is critical.

Successfully creating, communicating, measuring and adapting an Employee Value Proposition that helps employees answer not just “Why should I work for your company?” but “Why should I stay at your company?” provides a strong foundation to drive positive employee engagement.

Dr. Alison Midili Smith consults with businesses across various industries to help companies achieve their goals through the development of their most important asset, their people. She strategically advises and supports organizations and leaders in their human resource practices. You can connect with her at www.emilyrogers.com.

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