Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash
The employee value proposition (EVP) used to be pretty straightforward: offering in-person recognition, gym memberships, a coffee bar in a lavish office, and even gaming systems in the breakroom all drew talent to the “cool” companies who offered them.
Tech companies and early startups counted on these EVPs to draw and keep some of the best talent despite lower salaries and the company’s risk of failure. But even if your company is well-established and pays well, as a recruiter you have probably relied heavily on your EVP in your recruiting efforts. The employee is asking, “What’s in this job for me?” Your answer has to include something other than a large paycheck.
However, the free beer Fridays and foosball tables that drew employees before no longer have the same impact. Post-pandemic, employees are looking for something more and for different things altogether in an EVP. Here is how you can revamp yours.
Maybe it was the fear of impending death from a strange new virus. Maybe it was employees having to work from home and spend time with their spouses and children, but the pandemic reawakened the discussion in the United States about work/life balance, with an emphasis on life.
Priorities shifted for a lot of people, and as a result, there was an increased focus on mental and physical health and lives outside of work. As a result, they decided that four-day work weeks, daycare on-site, and other perks mattered more than casual Fridays.
Your EVP should include perks that promote this work/life balance. These can’t just be quirky things like gym memberships and fitness challenges but need to add real value to your employees’ lives. Monthly mental wellness days that benefit everyone and on-demand (and even onsite) counseling are just a few examples.
We are all aware of the need to care for ourselves better, and it’s not enough to talk about it. Your EVP tells employees if you care about their well-being long term.
Remote work went from being a perk to something we had to do, but it will never go back to what it was before. The pandemic proved a couple of things: remote work is possible, and for some employees, it is better than working in the office.
At the same time, there are some people who need the in-person connections found in the office, and who do not relish remote work at all. When it comes to your EVP, all remote or all in-person isn’t going to cut it anymore. The option of remote work, hybrid work, or part-time remote/part-time in-office is essential to attract the widest spectrum of employees. Yes, this does create challenges and a different type of work for managers, but prospects are looking for companies that allow their employees the option to “work from anywhere” including an office if needed.
Flexibility is top on the list of what employees want, and post-pandemic EVPs must address it.
Pre-pandemic, a startup could have a line of applicants, but 2020 taught us that no job is safe and no company was immune to layoffs. We all saw the CEO who laid off a large portion of his workforce over Zoom. For employees, this sent a clear message that the company did not value them, and everyone was expendable with little to no notice.
So you need to illustrate through your EVP that your company is financially sound and ready to weather whatever happens long term. With a looming recession and uncertainty in the global economy, employees are looking for a company that will be there for them and will meet payroll, and they don’t care about Muffin Monday or Taco Tuesday.
Stability matters to the next generation of employees and anyone who weathered issues during the pandemic. You need to show your potential employees that it matters to you, too.
In addition to a pandemic, hurricanes and natural disasters filled the news cycle. Climate change went from a mainstream conversation to a mandate. Companies that go green are more likely to attract employees than those that don’t.
But it’s more than that. It’s about ethically sourcing supplies and about your mission. Your employees need to feel a common sense of purpose, one they can align and identify with. They want to make a difference in the world both by what they do and what they don’t do. As the boundary between work and the rest of our lives gets thinner, employees are looking for companies that share their values.
Companies must take a stand on issues and develop a culture of caring about the world around them. It’s a vital part of today’s EVP.
Finally, there is the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). This is something employees have come to not only expect from their employers but to demand. Companies that not only have clear policies but actually bring underrepresented talent into their organization inspire employees to join them.
Company values matter, but you must be sincere in your application of them. Underrepresented groups should be treated and trained equally, promoted at the same rate as other groups, and equally supported.