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What’s an Employee Value Proposition? Good question…because at first glance it sounds like business jargon. Guess what…although it isn’t necessarily the easiest concept to immediately understand, if your organization doesn’t get it, you’re in trouble.

The ability to GET Employee Value Proposition means GETTING better employees, keeping them longer, and generating higher productivity and profits.

Here’s what the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is: An understanding between an organization and its employees on what the business will provide experientially in exchange for the productivity, dedication, and engagement of its employees.

The beauty of the EVP is that it is not a “Give and Take” relationship, but rather a mutual “Giving” relationship or a “Give and Get” – from both sides. This whitepaper from Towers Watson provides a great background and detail on the EVP concept, and offers some very compelling reasons why companies need to pay attention:

    • Almost three-quarters of survey respondents (72%) cite problems attracting critical-skill employees.
    • Only 18% of the survey respondents have differentiated their EVP from other organizations with whom they compete for talent.
    • More than three times as many employees (58% versus 16%) are highly engaged at companies that have highly effective EVPs than at companies with low EVP effectiveness.

What does this tell us? Today’s organizations (likely yours) aren’t getting enough of the right people, and they don’t have differentiated messaging and marketing to get those people.

Finally, when companies do get the Employee Value Proposition right, the results are huge—more employees who are engaged, which means higher productivity and profitability.

While there are technical elements that play into the EVP that a company can develop with its employees—pay structure, rewards, technology, job architecture, and competencies—there are certain elements that are just as critical and seemingly less scientific. What about concepts important to EVP listed in the Towers Watson report, like managerial effectiveness and employee segmentation? Although managerial effectiveness is certainly measurable, there’s an art to the science as well.

However, knowing all employees—from leaders to managers to teams to employees—inside and out, can be just as focused and specific.

Think about how an EVP differs based on each employee. What the does experience of working look like to individual employees? Some (those who prefer social, relational, and collaborative environments for example) may be more engaged in a highly team-centric culture. Others (analytical, data-driven, and logical thinkers) may prefer a highly metric-oriented culture based purely upon performance.

Segmenting employees in new ways—not just by high-potential and high-performance as Towers Watson research points out, but also by how employees think, behave, and are motivated—can boost the value proposition big time.

Am I saying to put people in boxes and only have like-minded employees working together? Absolutely not!

What I am saying is to be aware of the vast diversity that exists in your organization—your employee base will run the gamut of thinking and behavioral preferences. Simply creating this realization and valuing these differences builds a value proposition beyond what a company typically can produce.

  • How much more will an employee feel valued if they’re manager understands how to best communicate, assign work, and reward their performance?
  • How much higher will retention be if employees are put in work teams that encourage new perspectives while heightening the value of each person’s own unique approach?
  • How much more can high-potential employees achieve if their work is geared more specifically to their strengths?
  • How much more effective are managers with high self-awareness and an understanding about their teams and direct reports?

Getting to the next level of retention and engagement requires companies to more clearly and accurately define value for their employees. Defining value means defining who your employees are. And that means knowing them on a broader and more informed perspective.

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