In the first part of this series, we looked at the challenges posed upon Executives to retain and attract talent, post the pandemic. We saw how employees' priorities and preferences have evolved to appreciate a good employer. In this part, we will ponder over solutions to have a systemic approach and redraft the value proposition for employees in an organization.
What Should Leaders Do?
Mark and Amy suggest three systemic steps to attract and retain employees:
1. Assess what your company has and what your employees need.
Understand the supply and demand sides of the equation. Collect information on what your organization currently provides concerning the four factors, how employees experience them, and what your employees want. Dig deeper into each question and get as much information as possible. Each cause has different implications for action.
2. Change the conversation.
Upon preparation of the value proposition, managers and their reports should discuss it in an integrated way. Explain why it's necessary for the company and how it will benefit employees over the short and long term rather than read the proposition. They emphasize the structured conversations about the relationships among the factors during (i) recruiting and onboarding, (ii) Managing performance, and (iii) Setting and adjusting policies.
3. Continually update.
Lastly, employees' needs are dynamic and should be reassessed regularly. The company can decide on the periodicity as per the changes in the organization and experience in retaining and attracting talent. However, it should be done at least once a year.
Bonnie Dowling has a different approach. According to his research, he has categorized employees who quit into five personas: the traditionalists, the do-it-yourselfers, the idealists, the caregivers, and the relaxers. These have been created based on employee stature, commitment, duration of employment, employee age, etc. The intent here is to show that the value proposition has to address the various choices of the employees. The 'One size fits all' kind of policy will not work in the future.
Bonnie's solutioning emphasizes creating a welcoming and sticky culture and doesn't mean bringing people back into the office. This does not work by just putting up posters; executives will have to 'live' the culture and make employees experience it. Culture is all about how interaction takes place with each other daily. It's how managers lead. And individuals and colleagues looking out for one another. Bonnie is confident that this works in a hybrid environment as well. One needs to believe, put in the effort, and re-prioritize actions.
Bonnie adds that there are short-term and long-term plays. According to him, one has to reduce employees' demands and rethink how one works. The gains made throughout the pandemic in terms of automation should not be lost, like the use of technology. One must also look to increase the supply of workers for a long time.
While creating a complete and compelling value proposition, Indeed, in its article on Employee Value Proposition, echoes a similar view and summarises the following five steps:
- Understand employee perception
- Determine the critical points for the EVP
- Create the EVP draft
- Finalize the EVP for use and distribution
- Review and assess results
They further add that EVPs are an integral part of any organization. Creating these is a complex process; the results aren't always permanent. A company may change its EVP to keep it current and relevant to its workforce's needs. When defining EVPs, organizations often ensure that they reflect their brand and culture while being flexible enough to adapt to new circumstances.
- Bonnie Dowling is an associate partner in McKinsey's – Podcast: To slow down attrition, pay closer attention to what workers need (https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/to-slow-down-attrition-pay-closer-attention-to-what-workers-really-need.
- Rethink Your Employee Value Proposition - by Mark Mortensen and Amy C. Edmondson (https://hbr.org/2023/01/rethink-your-employee-value-proposition)
- How to Create an Employee Value Proposition in 5 Steps https://ca.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/employee-value-proposition