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How to Create a Compelling Employer Value Proposition (EVP)

Branding Strategic Comms
Employer Value Proposition

In a world that is rife with uncertainty and continuous change, organizations must find newer ways to attract and retain top talent. Evolving expectations and specific needs of Gen Zs and Millenials at different stages of their lives, require organizations to craft an Employer Value Proposition (EVP) that is both personal and relevant to them. An effective EVP is central to an organization’s employer brand. It improves its ability to attract, retain, and engage talent by clearly articulating the unique value it offers to its employees. 

Here are a few things to consider when building an EVP that is personalized and relevant in 2024:

Personalization and Authenticity

The workforce today comprises mainly millennials and Gen Z employees. These generations prioritize authenticity, flexibility, purpose, and personal growth. The Deloitte Global 2023 Gen Z and Millenial survey highlights that they seek employers who offer more than just a paycheck – they want a role and a company that aligns with their values and offers a clear path for growth and development. 

Organizations must be authentic in their communication and not just invest in policies and programs because they are ‘good to have’. Gen Z and Millenial employees want to see genuine commitment and impact shown towards matters that concern them. Companies like Patagonia, which aligns its operations and mission with environmental sustainability, resonate deeply with employees who value ecological conservation, showcasing the power of authenticity.

‘Life Stage and Life Needs’ matter. With different challenges faced at different life stages, every employee may not be attracted to the same policies. Organizations need to keep this in mind when drafting policies for employees across age groups, cities and cultures. For example, when organizations tried to implement the ‘back to work’ programs after the pandemic without considering the needs of all employees. It was hence received very well by some and not so well by others. 

Flexibility and Well-being

The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently altered expectations around work-life balance, making flexibility and well-being critical components of an EVP.  As per The Deloitte Global 2023 Gen Z and Millenial survey, nearly half of Gen Zs (46%) and four in 10 millennials (39%) say they feel stressed or anxious at work all or most of the time. This makes mental health and well-being a top priority for them. 

When implementing policies companies must focus on improving the overall environment within the organization in order to make it conducive to employee wellbeing. The Indeed Work Wellbeing 2023 Report highlights the importance of PS or Psychological Safety. Employees who feel a high sense of psychological safety (PS) in their work environment are more likely to share ideas, ask questions, and voice concerns. 

Companies looking to build an EVP that resonates with Gen Z and Millenials must consider having robust programs and processes around improving mental health. 

Flexibility also scored high in the Deloitte survey. Employees crave flexibility not just in terms of work timings, but also with the ‘design and practice’ of the work. They are more likely to prefer an organization that offers them flexible work hours and hybrid work. Organizations must find ways to enable this in some shape or form to stay attractive.

Higher Purpose and Impact Matter

It is not what you do, but ‘WHY’ you do it that matters. Employees want to contribute to something larger than themselves.

The Edelman Trust Barometer 2024 highlights that employees want businesses to partner in large societal change. When an organization takes a stand on an issue that concerns employees, they are more likely to align with it for the longer term. 

An organization must learn to articulate and share its purpose in a structured and clear manner. If there is impact that can be showcased, it should be done in a subtle yet impactful way. An organization’s purpose may not be directly linked to causes that concern the employee, but they can get attracted to the impact if it is significant enough. 

Purpose can be a powerful motivator in a workplace that drives performance. Employees who derive meaning from their work are more engaged, productive, and satisfied.

Investment in Individual Growth and Development

This aspect has been an important aspect of most EVPs for a while now. This remains relevant in 2024 as well. Organizations need to offer enough and more opportunities for professional development which may be organization or employee-led. 

An organization might not have the resources to run a standalone Learning and Development setup, but it can still encourage personal development. There are ample online resources that can be leveraged for individual learning and development. The organization can offer to pre-pay the subscriptions or tuition for courses in high-demand fields.

Organizations must also focus on building programs to develop ‘Emotional Intelligence’ or EI within their managerial ranks. EI encompasses qualities that go beyond general intellectual intelligence and technical abilities to include self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social competency. Managers with high EI can help identify and manage their own emotions as well as the emotions of others in high-stress situations. 

A Supportive Culture

A supportive culture is one where diversity is celebrated, inclusion is a reflex, and respect is non-negotiable. Organizations that succeed in creating such an environment not only enhance their appeal to a diverse range of talent but also foster innovation, reflect the diverse markets they serve, and enhance their reputation as employers of choice.

Employees must feel that they can share feedback and ideas without fear of retribution. Organizations need to invest in mechanisms beyond the annual employee engagement survey to identify areas for improvement and make adjustments.

Diversity, Inclusion and Sustainability initiatives need to go beyond the traditional and incorporate programs that are truly meaningful, supportive and valuable to employees. 

An EVP that can capture the essence of this type of culture will come out trumps over the rest and be seen as an employer of choice. 

Addressing the Challenges of 2024 

Shifting Demographics and Values

The workforce of 2024 is a diaspora of diversity in terms of age, gender, race, and cultural background, necessitating EVPs that are both adaptable and inclusive. Organizations must understand the varying needs and expectations of a multigenerational workforce, where each group values different aspects of work life, from flexibility and purpose to stability and career progression. An inclusive EVP must speak to these diverse values, ensuring every employee feels valued and understood. Organizations should provide work environments, whether in-person or virtual, where professionals are protected from non-inclusive behaviours, like harassment or microaggressions.

Technology Advancements Driven by AI

With the onset of AI and automation in almost all roles the skills required in the workplace are constantly evolving. Companies need to provide continuous learning and development opportunities to help employees adapt and grow with these changes. Upskilling and reskilling become critical components of the EVP, ensuring that employees remain relevant and engaged in their roles as industry demands shift. Organizations must commit to fostering a culture of learning and innovation to attract and retain talent in this tech-driven landscape.

Economic and Social Uncertainty

The fluctuating economic conditions and social challenges of recent years have heightened the importance of job security and a supportive work environment. Employees are looking for employers who can offer stability in uncertain times, along with a culture that prioritizes mental health and well-being. EVPs that emphasize these aspects can help organizations stand out as employers of choice, demonstrating a commitment to employee welfare and long-term career development. Even in uncertain times, organizations have the ability, and responsibility, to help ensure the financial well-being of their employees. This can start with offering market-competitive salaries and benefits.

An EVP based on Sustainability

Sustainability has become a significant concern for employees, influencing their choice of employer. An EVP that integrates sustainability demonstrates a company’s commitment to environmental and social responsibility, aligning with the values of an increasingly eco-conscious workforce. Companies need to show how their operations, products, and services contribute to a sustainable future, making sustainability a core part of their employer brand and value proposition. They need to highlight key commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and the impact they are making in this area. 

The EVP of 2024 and beyond must be dynamic, reflecting the changing landscape of the workforce, technological advancements, economic and social conditions, and growing environmental concerns. It should be holistic, addressing the varied aspirations and concerns of a diverse workforce while demonstrating a clear commitment to innovation, stability, inclusivity, and sustainability.

Conclusion – Every EVP Needs to Deliver to Individual Aspirations

Building an EVP that delivers to individual aspirations as well as stays true to the organization is not easy and needs careful thought and clear articulation. The organization needs to commit to authenticity, flexibility, purpose, impact, and personal growth. 

To create an EVP that resonates with existing and prospective employees, the organization needs to understand employer brand touch points and work backwards to articulate them. There needs to be enough time spent on researching not just the perceptions of current employees, but also the perceptions of people who interact with your organization in different ways. To make sure that there is no disconnect in what is being said in your EVP and the experience the touch points need to be audited regularly.  

In the end, it takes a keen understanding of the current landscape and emerging needs of this generation to craft an EVP that becomes easy to communicate through your employer branding initiatives. 

Need help with articulating your EVP. Reach out to us.

 

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