Published in CHRO SA on 23 November 2023
It’s pointless to build an authentic, competitive, and fit-for-purpose EVP if employees don’t see it reflected in their daily lives, writes Celeste Sirin, MD of Employer Branding Africa.
Both employees and “consumer-centric” job seekers are clear that they don’t want a generic, diluted EVP that is hard to relate to. This year, many companies engaged in introspection. Therefore, it was not surprising that I presented at two conferences on the importance of personalising EVPs to make them more relatable to employees.
In 2023, many organisations have tightened their budgets and resourced from within rather than replacing people. The tech sector was hit hard by the global economic slowdown in 2022, with a PwC survey finding that 42% of African companies laid off employees in that year.
Despite these challenges, talent leaders continue to play a vital role in engaging, retaining, and developing the pool of talent that often possesses overlooked skills. This shift in focus has led companies to recognise the need to embed and drive their EVPs internally and create a more human-centric journey.
Disengagement or the loss of a valued team member can have a detrimental ripple effect on company productivity in our challenging and uncertain economic environment. While predictions confirm that in our AI-dominated world, mental and financial well-being, and the mobilisation of internal resources will continue, what will it take for leaders to prevent their trusted and loyal workforce from restlessly seeking alternative employment?
Recognition of purpose and meaning
Often, we see the pillar of “Purpose” being replicated as one of the key values and driving forces for companies. Employees want to see how their personal contributions can impact the company’s greater purpose. Seeing this, along with leaders appreciating and recognising employees’ personal contributions, will give employees a sense of true belonging.
Consideration: Involve employees in the development and/or refinement of your EVP to ensure that it reflects their values and aspirations, and that it is truly aligned with them. Discuss how your overarching EVP can be more relatable and impactful in your employees’ “immediate world”, otherwise you run the risk of it being ineffective and meaningless. In other words,where in the value chain do they impact the organisation’s ability to meet its goals and achieve profitability?
Internal mobility, growth, and development
Companies and employees acknowledge the urgent need to future-proof themselves in our AI-automated world. The most obvious quick wins for companies will be to mobilise and grow their loyal employees from within. Otherwise, they run the risk of losing them to other employers who have implemented personalised succession plans to provide a conducive environment for career seekers seeking ongoing learning opportunities.
LinkedIn’s 2023 Future of Recruiting Report confirms that 75 percent of recruiting professionals believe that internal recruiting will play a crucial role in shaping talent acquisition over the next five years.
Consideration: Offer employees personalised career development plans that provide them with access to training and development resources, mentorship programmes, and job shadowing opportunities. Strengthen your internal recruitment marketing strategies to encourage overlooked but valued employees to apply for and develop their growth paths from within.
Appreciating generations and DE&I
Faced with five generations in the workplace and a diverse multicultural global landscape, it is important to embrace and celebrate this tapestry of differences to foster an inclusive workplace.
Consideration: Perhaps leaders need to lead by example through gaining an understanding of their unique perspectives and values. Encourage open dialogue and collaboration between your multicultural and multigenerational employees through simple open conversations. Develop and tailor micro-EVPs to address the needs of specific employee segments especially your high-demand and/or underrepresented audiences.
Addressing individual needs on the Maslow hierarchy
Leaders must understand that every employee has unique needs along the spectrum of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. They should provide personalised support, considering each employee’s position, from physiological and safety requirements to self-fulfilment aspirations. This could include offering flexible work arrangements, mentorship and coaching, and provision of financial or wellness workshops.
Consideration: One way to do this is to talk to your employees in order to tailor your offering to suit the individual where it matters most. For example, offer employees flexible work arrangements, paid time off, and other benefits that support their balanced wellbeing. Individualising the offering can lead to increased employee engagement, productivity and satisfaction.
In today’s dynamic job market, a personalised and evolving EVP is not a luxury, but a necessity. By crafting a specific and relatable EVP, you can attract, retain, and grow a thriving workforce.
Remember, your EVP is a living document, not a static slogan. Regularly revisit it to ensure it aligns with your employees’ changing needs and aspirations. As your company and the world transform, so should your EVP, ensuring it inspires your employees to stay and remains a powerful magnet for top talent.