For the past 2 years we have all been living in a somewhat simulated environment, with most of what we took for granted no longer as freely available for us to enjoy. This has resulted in many people re-evaluating their priorities and what matters most to them, especially post pandemic.
Against this backdrop is the sharp rebound in economic activity resulting in a heightened demand for talent, forcing organisations to reorient their Employee Value Proposition, so that they are not only able to attract new talent but also retain the talent they have.
Our research indicates that employees are increasingly mindful of the choices they make and seek opportunities with organisations that offer a more holistic experience. Organisations have re-evaluated many aspects of their EVP and we share here some of the core pillars that any forward-looking organisation may want to consider.
There are five ways to rethink employee value:
Personalized Value Proposition
The idea behind the personalised value proposition is that each individual is unique and is going through a different life stage at a moment in time, at which point a set of things become relevant to that employee. This mindset goes beyond gender, age, and other stereotypes traditionally used to craft engagement strategies for specific demographic groups. Let us illustrate this concept of personalisation with an example of Unilever. Unilever instituted a program that allows employees to choose the kind of rewards and benefits that may be etc. The program acknowledges the uniqueness of each employee and conveys the message that the organisation is creating a platform through which curated needs can be delivered to each employee.
For a few years now, flexibility has been a prevalent concept, and one that employees value significantly. The pandemic has focused the attention of the world on hybrid working - crafting a workplace strategy where employees can choose to work from home or from office or a combination of the two. However, many organisations have realized that flexibility goes well beyond just the workplace. The newer propositions around flexibility involve looking at different employment models. There is a significant gig workforce in our country, and this is only growing. Continuing with the Unilever example, the organisation has also created a flexible program that allows employees to choose the type of employment contract that they want with options including full-time, part time and contingent contractsOffering the choice of contingent contracts is a recognition of the The contract decides how many days the employee will work for, what the role will entail, etc. Retirement and social security benefits have been extended to gig workers as well.. In an environment where talent is in such great shortage, many organisations are tapping non-traditional hiring pools such as retired employees and getting them on contracts of various durations. An Indian Energy and Power consulting organisation hired two retired engineers from the electricity board on contract. Extremely pleased with their performance, the company extended their contract with a pay raise. To their surprise, one of the employees asked for the pay raise to be withdrawn indicating how being productive and employed was enough of a value proposition for him and how money was only a token. Being flexible about flexibility is helping organisations to be creative and get a set of people who are more willing and engaged.
A large part of our current focus is on inclusion of a set of defined special needs groups. Our notion of inclusion goes beyond just looking at these groups to a more holistic consideration of what organisations need to do to strengthen the emotional bond between the organisation and the employee. And there are just so many ways to do this. Some organisations work on building a connection between the employee and his or her spouse and children through family day celebrations, office-visits, children’s education sponsorship, formation of employees’ spouses, self-help groups etc. In turn each of these initiatives enhances employee retention as the relationship is now between the organisation and the family, and not just the employee. During the pandemic, many consumer organisations in India extended health care benefits to their dealer/distributor networks, making them an extension of their organisation. As employees start seeing the organisation’s network of relationships expand, and the organisation’s initiatives support a broader cross-section of the community, their sense of belonging and pride starts increasing.
The notion of sustainability revolves around what the organisation can do to continuously enhance an employee’s value in an environment of constant change. Being relevant from a knowledge, capability and skills perspective and remaining employable is valued by employees across all levels in the organisation. . organisations that focus on sustainability focus on building careers and futures of employees by providing learning opportunities, For instance, Infosys offers over 27k courses on its in-house learning platform LEX. It not only helps reskill, upskill and cross-skills employees, but also recommends self-paced learning paths based on employees’ interests, skills and roles. A great way to blend personalisation, flexibility, inclusion and sustainability all through addressing one universal need!
Today’s employees prefer working for organisations that have a purpose that the employee can relate to and feel proud of. And often this purpose goes beyond the organisation’s need to make profits. 37% of employees in our India Global Talent Trends study 2020 would prefer to work for an organisation that has a sense of purpose. Many organisations have brought to life their purpose beyond profits mission and endeared their employees through their work. Usha International, for example, has through its Usha Silai School initiative joined hands with several NGOs to empower women from minority groups by skilling them in sewing and giving them the opportunity to be financially empowered. . Many large Indian industrial houses, with the Tata group being one such leading example, have built their brand on their contributions beyond running a successful commercial organisation.
When organisations consider personalisation, flexibility, inclusion, sustainability and purpose in the employee initiatives they offer, we believe that employees will start seeing the value proposition appeal to their head and heart. Leaders committed to such a holistic value proposition, managers communicating frequently and transparently about what is on offer, and the deployment of technology to enable a seamless delivery of the proposition to the employee are foundational for the EVP to deliver results!