Engaging employees through awards and recognition and by tailoring an effective Employee Value Proposition (EVP) can therefore help develop workplace happiness and motivate employees in a dynamic work environment.
At a time when the advent of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) has led to heightened competition, corporates irrespective of size, are struggling to retain their best talent amidst the uncertainties surrounding the job market. Promoting workplace happiness and keeping employees motivated and engaged is the key, to not only sustain employee productivity and achieve organisational success, but also to attract prospective employees to the organisation. Engaging employees through awards and recognition and by tailoring an effective Employee Value Proposition (EVP) can therefore help develop workplace happiness and motivate employees in a dynamic work environment.
An EVP is the complete offering a company makes to its prospective and current employees in return for their best efforts, and assures employees of stability, transparency and engagement at every stage. A well thought-out EVP is arguably the most effective strategy that can be adopted by an organisation, to not only attract the right kind of talent, but also to retain them, as it become one of the strongest brand ambassadors, and be instrumental in lead generation, it is the companies that stand to gain.
Developing an effective EVP
Developing an effective EVP has at its core, the basic question, 'What would attract the best talent, motivate them to give their best at work and then make it worth their while to stick with the company without jumping ship?' With rapid technological advancement, the nature of workforce and talent requirements is undergoing a transitional phase. Technology and digital disruptions of workspaces through advancement in AI and automation capabilities will render an increasing number of processes and can be customized to effectively serve this dual purpose - of attracting favourable new talent, as well as promoting retention through employee satisfaction. An EVP goes beyond pay and benefits, and looks at all the non-financial aspects that attract, retain, and motivate employees, and the reasons former employees would speak well of the company. An EVP considers how the company is perceived before, during, and after employment, and is in sync with the company's goals, strategy and culture, which results in happy employees translating to happy customers. Further, by taking care of both its internal as well as external stakeholders, an EVP can help an organisation build a positive brand image for itself.
An effective EVP framework
An effective framework of Employee Value Proposition tailored to suit a particular organisation, or a set talent segment, will deal with the major challenges facing the corporates in the dynamic world such as automation, re-skilling, employee morale and performance anxiety - including fear with utmost efficiency. An effective EVP strategy has two main advantages over the traditional employee engagement tools, as it takes a broader 360o view of the relationship, beginning well before a new hire comes onboard, and goes all the way through to his or her time as a former employee, and carry forward the relationship between the company and the employee through alumni programmes etc. Further, by building a strategy around off-boarding on the lines of existing strategy for onboarding as these ex employees can functions redundant without requiring any form of direct human intervention. The resultant effect of all this will be an increase in workforce supply on account of redundancy, as well as scarcity of relevant talent, owing to the changing job requirements. Companies will soon be faced with the daunting task of finding increasingly specific talents for its workforce in a fiercely competitive labour market, that is in perpetual short supply of relevant talent. In such a scenario, the retention of existing talent will also function as a challenge.
In developing an EVP, the basic question of what attracts, motivates, and retains the best talent, needs to be addressed for all stages of an employee lifecycle. Starting with what is known as 'Decision Day', which is the point at which an employee has been given the offer letter and he/she has decided to join the organisation. This is the start of the relationship with the employee, and therefore, engagement has to begin at this point. The next stage we focus on is the 'First Day' - which is the day the employee joins the organisation. This is a critical stage as the employee experiences the organisation in person for the first time. The next stage, which really is the majority of the lifecycle, is what we term as 'Every Day'. Here we consider how organisations are engaging their employees every day across recognition and engagement touch points. The other focus area for EVP strategy is 'Achievement Day' - an occasion to celebrate with the employee on achieving company and personal milestones. And finally, the last stage, which most organisations do not focus on, but is quite critical is, 'Referral Day', which is when the employee has left the organisation - so the exit interview, the on-going engagement post resignation - how are we keeping him/her loyal to the brand and leveraging his/her loyalty.
Developing an EVP strategy
Early implementation of the recognition strategy, and exploring all available opportunities for awards and recognitions such as, service anniversary, result based recognition, sales and performance based incentives, 360o communications, regular meetings, events and individual and/or group travel are some of the approaches that can be adopted by an organisation. Peer to Peer recognition has maximum impact on employees, and at the same time, reinforces the corporate core values. All these factors hold the key while developing an EVP strategy that delivers maximum benefit for the employee as well as the company.
By putting the onus of providing attentive and supportive managers, work-life balance, teamwork, a promising future and other reasonable requirements for a good job on the company, an EVP helps in creating 'engaged' employees. And, by focussing on the three prong approach to build a happier workplace- Recognise, celebrate and engage, corporates can promote a culture of recognition, create a happier workplace, and ensure loyalty and commitment. When the leadership of an organisation commits to work towards the ultimate employee value proposition which is 'Happiness', it stands to gain from the positive engagement of happier workers like attracting and retaining key talents, creating a strong people brand, and reinvigorate disenchanted workers. A well-formed EVP strategy will be a win-win for all as employers can count on a highly motivated, committed employee willing to go the extra mile, and employees will enjoy the experience of a meaningful and fulfilling job.
However, it becomes pertinent to understand that developing an effective EVP requires all the various departments and stakeholders in an organisation to work in tandem with each other.
An effective EVP cannot and will not evolve out of the HR department or any single department of the organisation. In order for an EVP to be effective, it needs to incorporate the best propositions on pay, perks, career progression, rewards and recognition amongst others, and for that, a holistic understanding of the underlying concept behind an EVP and of the various components of the organisation is essential.
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