Nailing your employee value proposition

By Robert Half on 10 February 2014

In order to attract and retain high-performing employees, today’s businesses need to compete hard by presenting an exceptional employee value proposition (EVP). A great EVP is not only an essential recruitment tool; it can be the difference between a low-performing or high-performing workplace. According to research by Towers Watson, employers who get this right benefit in terms of employee engagement, financial success, market profile and retention.

Your EVP is the contract between you and your employees. It specifies what your employees provide to you and what you provide to them in return. Most businesses know what they want from their staff, but not all are clear about what their staff need from them in order to make that happen. A great EVP covers key categories:

1. Remuneration

Salary and benefits need to be competitive and tailored to the role and their employee’s needs. If it’s a routine job then a good ‘health and wealth’ (dental and super) benefits package might be the ticket for the right person. However, if it requires initiative and performance, a lower base wage with performance-based incentives might be best.

2. Culture

Again, the right culture is determined by the job at hand. If you are after a vibrant, competitive and energetic ‘go-getter’ workforce then you will need to provide lots of personal autonomy, opportunities for creativity, interactivity, rewards and fun. If you are looking for stability and longevity in your workforce then your culture should offer security through opportunity for position and salary advancement, professional development, a low-stress environment and lots of social cohesion.

3. Flexibility

The days when workers were wedded to their jobs are long gone. Most businesses make no promises and employees respond by keeping their options open. However, many businesses massively improve both their retention and their employee performance by allowing their staff the flexibility to work around their other life and family commitments.

4. Respect and appreciation

This is probably the most undervalued part of the value proposition, but its impact is enormous. Nothing will kill morale quicker than feeling like the boss doesn’t appreciate and respect your abilities and contributions. The old ‘parental workplace’ practices, where the boss elevated their own importance at the expense of their ‘underlings’, is death to employee engagement. A clever workplace celebrates all their workers, particularly the lowest, as the backbone of their success. Learn how to improve office morale.

The essence of an effective EVP is the willingness to tailor it to the needs of individual employees. There is no one-size-fits-all approach that will work, but a genuine interest in the real world needs of your staff will put you way ahead of the pack.

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