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Employee value proposition is the secret sauce in talent management

Posted by | October 13, 2017 | Talent Management

Via Financial Express : Employee value proposition is the secret sauce in talent management

EVP in India should focus on the company’s market position, a culture of innovation, and growth opportunities for the individual and the company, and not just compensation.

Ask the CEO of any large organisation on the biggest challenges in the market and he or she would most likely list ‘talent’ as one of them. Talent is becoming the biggest worry for organisations across the world. But sadly, talent management programmes have not been able to build brand connect to desirable levels with existing and potential employees. So, how can organisations fight the talent war that is raging in their respective markets? Employee value proposition (EVP) has arrived and already companies are reviewing and re-energising their EVP characteristics to ensure that it resonates better and creates a more authentic, compelling and attractive brand. What does EVP mean? EVP takes its name from the well-known marketing concept ‘unique value proposition,’ the value the company provides to its customers. It can be defined as benefits provided by an employer in lieu of skills, capabilities and experiences an employee brings to the organisation. EVP is just as important for attracting potential external talent as it is for retaining existing employees.

It is the underlying magic that can be the differentiator and provide competitive edge. It is the ‘magic sauce,’ as marketing guru Guy Kawasaki calls it, to being different from your competition. In short, EVP encompasses everything an employer is doing to attract and retain talent. It includes all the pay, benefits, rewards and perks that come with being an employee of that organisation. Basically, it’s the raison d’être why anyone would want to work in your company as opposed to finding employment somewhere else. So, how do you put together an effective EVP strategy?

Start with research:

i. Find out existing perception—both in the market and internally—about what your company currently offers. Is this perception aligned to the organisation’s goals and vision? What can be improved to better reflect the company vision and culture? You should consider the type of company culture you would like to foster;
ii. Understand what are the values and benefits that are important to the talent you would like to attract. Remember to also get input from current employees on the benefits they would value.

Drawing up EVP strategy

Be prepared to consider changing the benefits on offer to be more aligned with the goals, values and needs of existing and potential employees. Do not overlook the tough-to-quantify items that bring value to employees, like challenging work, interesting company culture, and values that align with their personal goals. Integrate the components of EVP with existing systems. For example, if the company offers time-off for employees to volunteer for charities, do not let it be overlooked in the administration of leave programmes, and make sure it’s communicated and reflected in the company’s EVP.

Rolling it out

Here is a four-step guide to implement EVP strategies:
i. Remember the importance of communication. Employees need to be aware of what is offered to be able to take part in and appreciate it;
ii. Make sure the leadership of the organisation is actively involved in developing EVP;
iii. Integrate EVP with external brand and customer experience;
iv. Work with all stakeholders to ensure EVP is integrated into total compensation packages and communicated consistently and effectively.

EVP for start-ups

What about start-ups? Do they need a differentiated strategy? For any entrepreneur venturing on the start-up journey, the idea of EVP should not come as a surprise. You should be thinking about people issues from day one, and have a plan in place. For most start-up founders, the first set of hires are easy as they are the people who have come together on the same passions and ideologies. It is the second set of hires that may not fully buy into the ‘big idea’ and therefore sustaining them would mean offering them a different set of EVPs to keep them engaged and motivated.

The easier option is to lean on to new funding to address pay and benefits related issues. But you must go beyond that to ensure the team stays together. A strategic EVP that offers the internal and external talent pool a range of experiences needs to be set in place. While this will need a good amount of investment of time from the founders, it needs to be specific and contextual to the company, the market and the business model. And it must continuously evolve to map to the growth of the company itself.

An interesting finding was made in KPMG’s India’s Annual Compensation Trends Survey 2017-18. The top reason for employees to change jobs still is better pay (28.1%) but another 23.4% quit for better career opportunity. The takeaway here is the increasing focus on better career opportunity. Thus, EVP in India should focus on the company’s market position, a culture of innovation, and growth opportunities for the individual and the company, and not just compensation. After all, talent is that magic ingredient that can propel your organisation to the next level.

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