How to attract and retain the right leaders for your business

Why your employee value proposition is key to securing the best talent

According to IMD, leadership talent is becoming a scarce commodity, with power increasingly shifting from employers to employees. In this environment, what motivates brilliant, talented leaders to choose your organisation over another?

Your industry, your reputation, the nature of the role and remuneration – all these can tip the balance when a star performer chooses their next employer. But something that’s frequently overlooked is your employee value proposition (EVP).

What is an employee value proposition?

An EVP is the unique set of benefits your people receive in return for their skills and experience. Not just their salary, but also the informal and intangible benefits people gain from working for you.

Beacon Management Review describes an EVP as ‘an answer to the employee’s questions: “What’s in it for me?” and “What more can you offer?”

Organisations with a strong EVP typically take an employee-centred approach that encompasses the total work experience. This includes factors like:

  • Growth and professional development – can people see an exciting future career ahead of them? How will you support them to enhance their skills in a changing workplace?
  • Management structures and organisational hierarchy – how much autonomy do employees have?
  • Employee recognition, including remuneration and non-traditional rewards – do you offer experiential, brag-worthy or concierge-style rewards?
  • Community service, organisational mission and values – are people proud to say they work for you? Do they come to work with a sense of purpose?
  • Flexibility – are people able to work from home (even after Covid)? Are there part-time work arrangements or flexible work hours? What are your parental leave options? Do you support unpaid leave, study leave and sabbaticals?

Why it matters?

A strong EVP can make employees feel more connected to your organisation and to their teammates. Colleagues who relate to each other more and feel like their values are aligned to both the organisation and each other, are far more likely to get along and collaborate effectively.

Happy employees aren’t just more productive, they’re your most important advertising channel, reflecting your brand and what you stand for, both in their interactions with customers and in the wider world. Employees who, thanks to a strong EVP, feel fulfilled at work are more likely to recommend your organisation to others. In a passive market, they will help to champion your brand and actively bring candidates to you.

A strong EVP also helps when you’re formally recruiting. You know a prospective candidate’s first stop after seeing your job ad will be reviews on Google, Facebook, Glassdoor and Seek, where current and former employees rate their employers, air their grievances and report on great experiences. A strong EVP means people are more likely to review your business favourably, even if they move on in their careers.

An EVP is not just nice to have, it’s essential

You’ll get an excellent return on investing in your organisation’s ability to attract, retain and engage talent. Gartner research in 2018 found organisations that effectively deliver on their EVP can decrease their annual employee turnover by 69%.

Think about the high cost of hiring and training new employees – not to mention the loss of intellectual property and client relationships that comes from talent churn. Is it time to review your organisation’s EVP and making sure you’re delivering on its promises?

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