The Perfect Talent Storm – EVP Part ii

24th May 2021

… why making sure you have an outstanding EVP is more important than ever.

 

Many organisations have not paid as much heed to the employee value proposition as they have to their customer proposition… and many organisations [for both customer and employees] have sought a quick fix throwing budget at acquisition and retention without focusing on value.

The best time to get your Employee Value Proposition focussed was years ago; the second best time is now. The perfect talent storm is building! The contributors are:

 

  1. Organisational visibility

The accessible data on most organisations is everywhere! When I started job hunting in 1995 many organisations did not even have a proper website and social media was some way off. I relied on the ‘gut feel’ about the organisation and where possible some opinion from family and friends. Today, I expect a job hunter in a matter of hours to have gathered an enormous amount of information on a prospective organisation. A reasonable proportion is likely to be social opinion, so as an organisation we need to be super clear on how we communicate the proposition we offer.

‘Online workplace transparency has become an accepted norm among job seekers. That has dramatically changed job seeker behaviour and companies’ ability to attract the talent they need. Candidates are investing more time and energy researching company culture before accepting jobs, and that has created a dynamic in which employers with strong workplace cultures are enjoying a powerful strategic hiring advantage’ Glassdoor’s Job & Hiring Trends for 2020 Andrew Chamberlain, Ph.D., Chief Economist.

 

  1. Culture-first decade for employers

Not before time, there is formal recognition that in modern services organisations our teams and individuals are the very life blood of our organisation, we need to shift towards employee focussed strategies.

Clearly, great workers have always been important but in the knowledge-based economy the point is that many roles are highly differentiated, and where the drive, experience, ability and knowledge of one individual worker can have a huge impact on a business.

‘The Business Roundtable, a prominent group of nearly 200 CEOs from the world’s biggest brands, declared that shareholders were no longer the central purpose of today’s companies. The new mission statement — revised for the first time ever — states that employees are the focus of the modern corporation, along with customers, suppliers, and the broader communities in which companies operate. It’s hard to overstate the importance of this shift. This formal recognition of employee culture in business today is one that executives can’t afford to ignore. In 2020, we expect this changing tide of CEO opinion to usher in a new wave of culture-first thinking among business leaders, elevating employee engagement to the status of core business focus for a growing number of companies’ Glassdoor’s Job & Hiring Trends for 2020 Andrew Chamberlain, Ph.D., Chief Economist.

As I said not before time, but a word of caution here. I have seen too many organisations that, in my opinion, waste time and effort in trying to design a ‘work place culture’. I believe work place culture emerges from effective leadership, from great hires, from the way we treat each other, it’s from the 100s of little things that make us – us! It can’t simply be designed and implemented!

…. but an ‘Employee Value Proposition’ can be designed, implemented, communicated and measured (more on that next week). In getting the EVP right and by the very fact that the leadership team feel an EVP is of importance we are colouring in a vital aspect towards a great work place culture.

 

  1. Decreasing employees tenures

‘The fact is our mentalities have drastically changed over the last decade. From baby boomer’s 10 years tenure outlook to an average of 5 years now’.  HPPY

5 years appears to be a quoted norm for the UK (lower for the US – The median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their current employer was 4.1 years in January 2020).

… but these numbers tumble on both sides of the Atlantic when you look at Tech jobs and jobs for younger generations with quoted tenures as low as 1.6 years.

Sources include: CIPD Megatrends Report – https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/megatrends_2013-job-turnover-slowed-down_tcm18-11402.pdf

Awesome training, robust employee engagement strategies and effective hiring are therefore valuable assets in achieving organisational goals. We can stretch the tenure norm by the strength of our organisation and our Employee Value Proposition.

As a side note, there is some evidence that GenZer’s are maybe beginning to buck this trend and be looking to stay with their employers longer. However, this does not devalue the EVP requirement. In fact it strengthens it, although Gen Z may stay longer their ‘needs’ in making the decision to join and stay are very much EVP driven. The need for purposeful work in a transparent organisation with sound ethical principles and an authentic narrative are paramount. As Digital natives GenZ are great at unveiling the truth too!

https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumer-packaged-goods/our-insights/true-gen-generation-z-and-its-implications-for-companies

 

  1. War for Digital, Data and Technology talent

‘There’s no going back. The great acceleration in the use of technology, digitization, and new forms of working is going to be sustained. Many executives reported that they moved 20 to 25 times faster than they thought possible on things like building supply-chain redundancies, improving data security, and increasing the use of advanced technologies in operations’.

https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/leadership/the-next-normal-arrives-trends-that-will-define-2021-and-beyond

.. and this acceleration coupled with the predicted bounce back in global economies over 2021/22 puts further strain on Data, Digital and Technology talent verticals. Verticals that were already feeling the strain of demand far outstripping supply.

Although extrinsic rewards will be important, changing jobs isn’t all about the money either, as 74 percent of younger employees would accept a pay cut for a chance to work at their ideal job, and 23 percent of those seeking a job wouldn’t need a pay increase to take a new position (2017).

More specifically on the technology front this Forbes article [insert hyperlink] is worth a quick read with particular reference to why Developers leave their roles.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2020/09/04/13-reasons-devs-leave-companies-and-how-to-turn-them-around/?sh=3546a1ec48d7

For firms with a high percentage of technologists it is worth exploring if these reasons for leaving reasons are covered by your EVP.

… and remember within your own organisation to look at why people stay. I sometimes feel there is more focus on exit interview data then there is on collecting data on the reasons why loyal achievers with company DNA, choose to stay

 

  1. Pandemic realities

It is hard to write any articles without referencing the Pandemic. In the context of the Employee Value Proposition I think it is relevant for two reasons.

Firstly, for many it has been a time of reflection. Anecdotally a lot of workers have emerged from lock downs questioning their priorities in life. The need for purposeful and intrinsically rewarding work is a persistent theme. Are we offering that? .. how are we measuring it? … and how are we communicating it?

Secondly, if your model has largely shifted to remote and home working (either in the short term or looking further ahead) then how much of your EVP is truly relevant. If you are staring at the same four spare bedroom walls then some of the areas you really valued about your role are just no longer there and the temptation to move can be greater.

Arguably there is a case for an EVP specifically designed for our remote workforces!

 

  1. Hard numbers

… an engaged work force, a compelling ‘Employer of Choice’ brand and stronger retention is good for the bottom line.

‘In a major long-term study, companies that had the best corporate cultures, that encouraged all-around leadership initiatives and that highly appreciated their employees, customers and owners grew 682 percent in revenue.

During the same period of evaluation — 11 years — companies without a thriving company culture grew only 166 percent in revenue. This means that a thriving company culture leads to more than four times higher revenue growth’.

https://blog.smarp.com/employee-engagement-8-statistics-you-need-to-know

www.forbes.com/sites/johnkotter/2011/02/10/does-corporate-culture-drive-financial-performance/#7e87df117e9e

 

Next week: how we use THRIVE and other tools to Design, Implement and Measure EVPs for our customers.