The professional landscape has experienced a startling jolt in the past few years, and as a result, organizations have been compelled to rethink their approach to attracting and retaining talent.
With remote work becoming ever more prominent, employees are experiencing the newfound opportunity to be more selective than ever in where they choose to work and what they expect from their employers.
The byproduct is a brighter spotlight is being shone on the importance of an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) as a crucial means of remaining competitive in a rapidly changing employment environment.
Perceptive organizations are investing heavily in enhancing their EVP as a tool to attract and retain their most vital asset: human capital.
Employer Brand vs. Employee Value Proposition
In order to take meaningful action, it’s crucial to clearly understand three key concepts and be able to distinguish between them.
- Brand: Your company’s brand is the way it’s perceived by its customers and stakeholders.
- Employer Brand: Your Employer Brand is the way that your company is perceived by current or potential employees. It includes your company’s vision, values, culture, and credibility as a viable career move. And when a candidate vets your business during their research process, your Employer Brand is what helps them decide whether your company is the right fit for them.
- Employee Value Proposition: If your Employer Brand is a promise to employees, your Employee Value Proposition is how you uphold it. Your EVP pertains to the tangible steps your company takes to bring its Employer Brand to life.
The inherent value of your company’s Employee Value Proposition comes down to one simple idea: the trade-off that comes with employment.
Within this equation, your employees offer you their time, skills, expertise, and output as conduits to generate positive and profitable business results.
In exchange, your business offers them an inspiring, empowering, and fulfilling work experience and incentives package—a top-tier Employee Value Proposition.
Human capital is your company’s most valuable commodity
Skilled employees are the atomic particles of a successful business, and your Employee Value Proposition is what attracts and retains them.
It positively contrasts your business against its competitors, often acts as the tipping point that inspires employees to choose your organization over another, and can even attract passive candidates who may not be proactively seeking new employment but are enticed by an attractive opportunity.
Statistically speaking, businesses that effectively deliver on their EVP can decrease annual employee turnover by nearly 70% and increase new hire commitment by as much as 30%. On the other hand, 75% of Americans would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed.
Your Employee Value Proposition is now more important than ever
An attractive Employee Value Proposition was always an important factor in business. But in the modern professional landscape, it’s more crucial than ever before.
As recently as 2019, the most important components of a company’s EVP were:
- Perks and benefits
- The proximity of the office to employees’ homes
But today, those factors alone aren’t sufficient. The bar has been raised and it’s attributable to two clearly defined trends.
The pandemic changed the way we work
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. This sudden pivot in the way we work created significant ramifications for businesses with outdated, neglected, or misaligned Employee Value Propositions.
As social distancing mandates took effect and businesses worldwide were forced to work from home, it became apparent to employers and employees alike that a remote work scenario was more viable—even valuable—than anyone had previously realized.
The normalization of remote work removed the traditional geographic barriers that bound candidates when considering roles. It made lucrative opportunities more easily accessible than ever before.
Alongside an abundance of new opportunities, employees become acutely aware of the benefits of having flexibility in their workdays and supercharged their desire for work-life balance. But it also highlighted the challenges in achieving work-life balance in the absence of a dedicated workspace.
The ultimate outcome is an unprecedented opportunity for employees to be selective in where they work. Businesses face tremendous pressure to become more appealing to employees and candidates as a byproduct.
New generations are shifting the employment market
In tandem with the changes fueled by the onset of the pandemic, the growing diversification of generations in the workforce—and their respective professional preferences—further complicates matters.
By 2025, Millennials will represent 75% of the global workforce, and Generation Z is beginning to stake its claim as well.
With their professional priorities and preferences standing in stark contrast to those of earlier generations, there’s a tug-of-war between traditional workplace norms and the seemingly undeniable trajectory for the future.
Unlike previous generations, the younger members of the workforce demand:
- Fair pay
- Personal purpose
- Work-life balance
- Development opportunities
- Positive workplace culture
- Social causes and giving back
Millennials and Gen Z are also less tethered to the idea of staying at a job for the long term, meaning they’re significantly more comfortable than the generations preceding them when it comes to making career moves based on what best aligns with their values and lifestyle.
Even the world’s most renowned corporations, like Google, Apple, and Microsoft, aren’t exempt from these changes. They retain employees for less than two years, on average.
The net result of these changes has been threefold:
- People are demanding more flexibility from their employers
- Quality of life and work-life balance are becoming increasingly important
- Employees won’t hesitate to leave their jobs if the company doesn’t align with their values—and they’ll be comfortably able to find a better-suited alternative
The framework for a successful EVP in 2022 and beyond is built on a foundation laid by these fundamental principles.
5 ways to improve your company’s EVP
In the post-pandemic world, a strong Employee Value Proposition is less hinged on upskilling employees or offering perks than it is on how working for your company enhances their lives.
It’s still important to ensure that, to whatever extent possible, your EVP meets the baselines for factors like:
- Competitive salaries and compensation structures
- Paid time off
- Insurance and retirement funds
- Development opportunities
- Perks and incentives like gym memberships
The viability of checking these boxes will vary with every business, but the key is to consider new and innovative opportunities to enhance the employee experience.
1. Treat employees as people rather than workers
The underlying principle of every Employee Value Proposition is to ensure your company views employees as people rather than workers.
This is an important distinction.
Your organization would doubtlessly treat workers well and compensate them fairly. But connecting with them personally rather than just professionally provides you with incredible insights to help shape your EVP, including their:
- Interests and passions
- Meaningful life goals
- Sources of intrinsic fulfillment
Work is a subset of life—not a separate entity from it. The two have become inherently intertwined because we spend a significant portion of our waking hours at work or being accessible.
Understanding what employees want from their lives rather than just their jobs allows you to create roles that are engaging, fulfilling, and supportive of work-life balance.
2. Infuse purpose into work
Basic psychology dictates that purpose is one of the defining characteristics of humanity. It’s inherently ingrained in us and is one of the most fundamental necessities for a happy and fulfilled life.
Given the correlation between work and life, finding ways to infuse purpose into your employees’ roles is incredibly important.
This is especially true in the wake of the pandemic which, for many, acted as a catalyst to elevate personal purpose and values, causing 65% of people to rethink the place and purpose that work should have in their lives.
People want to feel valued in their work rather than simply create outcomes and value to benefit others. If this is lacking, employee retention will crumble.
The ways in which you make work a purpose-driven endeavor for your employees will depend on your business and your team. But it should always be authentic and derived from your company’s—and your employees’—values.
3. Be a citizen of the world
Our desire to find purpose at work has translated into a growing recognition that enterprises exist within society and bear responsibility for the outcomes they produce—good and bad. This has been accentuated in the past two years, with studies discovering that 56% of employees said the pandemic made them want to contribute more to society.
For younger generations, this sentiment is even more profound: research has found that 75% of Millennials would take a pay cut to work for a socially-responsible company, and 71% of employees at large feel it’s imperative to work at an organization with a culture that supports giving and volunteering.
It’s no longer enough to be a business that simply generates profits. Your company needs to be a citizen of the world.
At CANOPY, sustainability is a key component of who we are. It’s at the core of all of our decision-making. We operate this way because it’s important to us as a business and a team but also to the members who work in our spaces. To align with the values of our most vital stakeholders, we actively ensure that we’re acting sustainably in every possible aspect of our spaces and our operations.
4. Rethink the purpose of your workspace
In a world where employees have the option to work virtually anywhere, your workspace can no longer be utility-driven. Instead, it needs to be a place where your team truly wants to spend time.
The optimal workspace is a value-add for your employees, enhancing their lives and supporting work-life balance.
In order to understand how it can do so, you need to remember that ultimately, work-life balance isn’t just about shorter or fewer work days or a quicker commute. It extends to a sense of community, connectedness, and holistic well-being.
When your workspace provides elevated, purpose-driven design, thoughtfully-curated events, an environment catered to wellness, and an engaged community of like-minded professionals, it enhances the lives of your employees and supports the success of your business as a result.
5. Focus on how people feel
The truest measurement of your company’s EVP is in the way it makes your employees feel. Its success can’t be measured by checking a few boxes pertaining to perks and benefits.
All of the factors that go into your company’s EVP should be planned accordingly.
Creating a top-tier Employee Value Proposition ultimately comes down to ensuring your company promotes respect, inclusivity, and support. Your focus should be to listen intently to your people, care for them in a genuine way, and structure your EVP based on those factors rather than simply giving them what you think they want.
In the post-pandemic world, Employee Value Proposition isn’t just a buzzword anymore. It’s an integral part of attracting and retaining top-tier employees who will drive the success of your business.
If you’d like to see how the right workspace can enhance your company’s Employee Value Proposition, we invite you to take a tour of your local CANOPY location and learn why it might be the right place for your business.