When it comes to value what’s on the table?
It’s sometimes difficult to appreciate what ‘ties’ people to the organisations they work with in the face of their expressed disgruntlement with their ‘lot’. Gentle (and not so gentle) probing will often prompt a rather prickly ‘I’ve no choice’ response. I’ve often thought and more than occasionally said that it’s not lack of choice but a fear of the consequences of making the choice to move on.
Yet that’s probably a little simplistic. Our bonds with our workplace are formed around a multiplicity of things that we connect with emotionally and psychologically as well as physically – the pay and conditions stuff.
Closer questioning can reveal where the emotional connection in particular sits and with what, and whilst this may be sounding like employee engagement it goes deeper than that.
What’s on my mind here is the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) – the totality of the ‘contract’ the business makes with each of its employees in return for their commitment and best efforts. The EVP is pretty all encompassing from the pay, conditions and benefits, through job/work design, opportunity for growth and development, to culture, quality of leadership, clarity of purpose and its meaningfulness, how well the values are lived, how valued and cared for I am, etc.
Actively shaping the value
The fact is every organisation has an EVP – all of the elements above and many more are part of the fabric of organisational life. What’s less likely though is that you’ll have shaped them into a coherent package and aligned this with organisation strategy and goals or built the people strategy around it.
Does this more conscious approach – formalising our EVP – matter? I would say it does. Crystallising what’s special about an organisation – what employees most value – provides the foundation for keeping people on board and bringing their best to their work. And, it attracts people who really want to be a part of the organisation because the ‘benefits’ go much deeper, are more meaningful than the size of the pay check.
There are benefits all round…
- As leaders we gain a powerful tool allowing us to talk about what being part of the organisation means in a holistic rather than transactional way. This goes to the heart of the relationships that build the engagement that drives performance.
- For employees it develops a stronger sense of their value and lifts engagement.
- And for the business there’s the obvious financial benefit of lower recruitment costs, the retention of committed people and stronger performance.