Published in BizCommunity on 24 March 2022
In 2022, you will be offered one of two choices: The perfect opportunity to embrace reframing or resetting your organisation to adjust to our present uncertain labour climate; or the chance of being left behind as you experience “The Great Resignation” of people resigning and the inability to fill your critical roles. One thing is for sure, and that is the ongoing necessity to keep remote workers attached to one’s company values through Covid-19 and the persistent social revolution.
With many employees now fully/partially distributed outside of the workplace, organisations have to work that much harder and smarter to nurture their employer brands, foster their company cultures and review the value that they are offering to both employees and prospective candidates.
Companies have quickly realised that, in order to attract the best talent, offering the flexibility of WFH (working from home) or WFA (working from anywhere), is nowadays viewed as less of a competitive advantage, but a given! To stand out from talent competitors, companies are constantly searching to craft something far more unique and compelling to attract their future talent.
EVP innovation and relevance is key
A company’s employer value proposition has never been more “fluid” than it is today. Why you might ask? As long as the post-Covid pandemic climate remains uncertain, so will the shifting/evolving needs and appetites of people. Companies need to work that much harder to keep remote workers connected to the organisation’s culture, with every effort being made to nurture employees’ sense of personal purpose, belonging, contribution and impact. At the same time, Leaders need to be constantly tailoring and innovating their value propositions with assurance to retaining their high-demand skills.
With a dispersed workforce, building a culture of teamwork, trust, constant collaboration, solid business principles, and a strong heartbeat can be considered as ongoing work in progress for employer brand leaders.
Companies that have increased their levels of listening, communication and encouragement to hold two-way conversations will be best positioned to understand and address what talent wants. Failure to do this will result in employees becoming detached from the company values, with companies running the risk of employees becoming disengaged, demotivated, feeling isolated and possibly even seeking alternate employment.
Leaders will be required to reenergize and tailor the employee experience acknowledging the fact that, as Josh Bersin so aptly put it, the
Employee experience has become a crusade, with every HR and IT department focused on it. Companies realise that without providing ongoing attention to creating an employee-centric remote workforce, their customers will not be happy. Employee experience is not just a programme to improve retention or productivity, it’s now core to your brand.
If employees feel that their safety and well-being is being compromised, they are not being listened to or their needs are not being met, they will tell their friends and network and your employer brand will suffer.
Here are some considerations of how companies are adapting to keeping their remote employees connected to their employer brands amidst the ongoing Covid uncertainty:
- Companies that are running pulse surveys to check-in and provide themselves with a real-time understanding of whether their EVP holds relevance for their employees, versus running bi-annual employee engagement surveys, will remain competitive and reduce their attrition. LinkedIn confirms that over “60% of organisations across the world have an EVP, but the core values are not well known throughout the organisation by the people that work within it. The 2020 and post-Covid culture will change this further.”
- Embedding and internalising the EVP remains key and leaders need to be intentional in continually highlighting, positioning and demonstrating how employees are behaving, living out the company culture, activities, celebrating achievements/promotions and sharing interesting projects. “Out of sight is out of mind” and more so when working remotely, thus channels of communications need to remain open.
- Employees consider internal mobility and opportunity to upskill and develop their learning as a necessity (LinkedIn confirmed that internal-mobility hires increased by 18.8% from 2019 to 2020). Employees are serious about establishing a career path and look to companies like Salesforce as an example. Salesforce has a dedicated internal win-win mobility programme geared towards retaining employees through providing them with new roles and opportunities to progress their career. Salesforce can enjoy sustainable growth and business results whilst employees have the opportunity to establish and grow their skills sets and careers further. Internal talent pipelining should not be unfairly overlooked. Through further repositioning of ones EVP internally, companies can encourage re-engagement and retain ones valued internal resources versus incurring unnecessary expenses in hiring, onboarding and training new recruits from scratch.
With most companies now offering remote working, what more can companies offer to prospective candidates?
- Companies are building personas with a stronger focus towards streamlined EVP offerings, talent segmentation, personalised communications, tailored experiences and recruitment marketing campaigns.
- In line with the above, companies might feel its worthwhile focusing on the scope, quality and depth of work to differentiate their offering. Different talent audiences such as sales people might want a completely different set of requirements to IT. Sales people are generally driven by recognition, growth, visibility, incentives and career aspirations. They want to identify with what career progression is on offer, what they can enjoy as a top performer, the quality of their leader, the depth of their training and skills development, the quality and culture of the team, and how they can improve professionally. Now more than ever people are seeking the right companies that will assist them in furthering their careers and align with their personal interests, desires and moral beliefs (eg. Gen Z and millennials seek companies that have a greater focus on diversity and inclusion, social and environmental responsibility).
- Offering flexibility across different dimensions covering location and infrastructure (where), hours and scheduling (when), scaling and technology (how), job content and sharing (what) and by the alternate workforce (who) needs to be defined, packaged and positioned correctly when targeting jobseekers as flexibility has a different meaning for different people.
Two things remain certain within our fluid, post-pandemic remote society: 1. EVP’s need ongoing attention if companies are to retain, engage and attract the best people, and; 2. Companies need to follow the golden rule of treating candidates and employees the same way they would treat their customers. The combination of IT and humanising the candidate experience remains essential within the virtual recruiting process. The big differentiator will be the manner in which talent advisors amplify and integrate the values and emotional connection (small acts of kindness, empathy and being more mindful of social challenges) of their employer brand to shift the candidate experience from good to exceptional.