As published on HarvardBusinessReview.com.
A seismic change in how people view work and the meaning work brings to their lives has created the biggest talent crisis in recent history.
The situation is truly unprecedented. Today, 41% of employees in the global workforce are considering resigning from their roles, and 36% of those leaving their roles do so without having their next job in place.
What’s going on? For many white-collar workers, the historical changes to their lives and the way they work have essentially flattened Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
In the past, job security, decent compensation, or at least a tangible opportunity was the price of entry for people coming into organizations. Now a massive number of employees not only want to feel invested in the work they do, but they also want to see that their employer is invested in the same things they value and believe in.
Employees want to:
- Feel valued
- Feel a sense of belonging among caring and trusted colleagues
- See the potential to grow
- Have the flexibility to integrate work with their personal lives
So why are we still seeing employee value propositions (EVPs) from 2019 in the marketplace when so much has changed since then?
With so much riding on escaping “The Great Resignation” unscathed, employers must start from scratch and create a strong EVP that fully delivers on their company’s employee-experience promise. One that fuels a culture where everyone can bring their full range of talents, feel valued, and do great work.
Every organization must update its talent strategy—starting with a refreshed employee value proposition as a cornerstone for attracting and retaining top talent.
Through our recent experience of helping clients create and execute their EVPs, we’ve identified five truths that must be present for any organization’s EVP to succeed:
1. Your EVP must be holistically linked to your purpose. People are increasingly looking to join organizations that have a greater purpose beyond profitability. Ensure your EVP clearly articulates this purpose and connects to the employee experience and the role your people have in helping your organization achieve the greater good.
2. You must foster a culture of belonging, flexibility, and growth. How does your organization facilitate connection and inclusion? How does it help people learn and grow? How does it accommodate everyone’s unique needs? These are questions people ask in both their job searches and their own organizations.
3. You must look inside first and create a movement. Involving your people in the creation process is critical to ensuring your EVP is both real and aspirational. And giving your people the opportunity to show and tell the world about who you are as an organization is the most powerful way to bring your EVP to life.
4. Your EVP must be authentically yours and authentically human. Make it authentically yours by emphasizing what you value as an organization. This means ensuring you tell the story of who you are and what you stand for. It’s critical to connect social causes, diversity, inclusion, and sustainability to your EVP. This is what current employees and candidates are looking for, so make sure they clearly see who you are.
5. Your words and actions must match the employee experience. Balance talking about where you are going (your ambitions and intentions) with what you’re doing to get there. Anything you say to the world will be meaningless if your internal environment and actions don’t support it.
Refreshing your EVP is a first step in winning the war on talent today and in the years to come. But it’s not the only step. The changes in the world of work will continue to evolve, with far-reaching effects on every aspect of the employee lifecycle and even the business models of the future. And remember, refreshing your EVP is not a one-size-fits-all approach. The needs are different for each organization and its workforce, so consider that as you update your talent strategies.