Five ways to improve the employee value proposition
Organisations are rethinking the employee value proposition and digital experience. We look at what that means for the world of work and what it could mean for you.
The relationship between employer and employee has changed. Even at some of the world’s best organizations such as Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, the average time an employee stays with them is only 1.8 to 2 years.1 And that’s after all the tempting perks and benefits on offer.
So progressive organisations are changing too. They’re rethinking their employee value proposition – what they offer employees. They’re looking for new ways to boost employee engagement, including building new employee engagement strategies. And they’re redesigning platforms and policies to treat employees as people, not workers, so everyone has a better employee experience (EX).
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How is employee value proposition different from employer brand?
In its simplest terms, the employer brand is external (the perception of people outside the organisation) and the employee value proposition is internal (the perception of employees from within). Most companies spend a lot of time, effort and money building their employer brand. That makes sense - attracting the best talent is usually a high priority for the leadership team.
Often, employee experience can suffer when there's a talent brand gap - a mismatch between the expectations of the employee and the reality of what the employer is able to deliver. That could be a failure operationally (what job the employee does) or in terms of workplace culture (how the employee feels).
Digital employee experience – getting technology to work at work
This is a vastly different experience to when we use apps in our personal lives. With just a few touches of our own mobile apps we can have last-minute express delivery of essential items, or stream our favourite video content from anywhere on any device. Consumerisation and digital technologies in our home life has created an expectation for better experiences in our work lives.
Too often, businesses fail to meet these expectations.
Employees often struggle to connect with colleagues and people spend lots of time searching for critical information essential to productivity. Instead of a seamless digital experience, employees often have to navigate through complex systems, processes and organisational structures to get the information and support they need.
That’s expensive. Every week, employees spend 20% of their time looking for information. And 70% of workers report having to enter the same data across multiple systems just to get their work done. All this contributes to a negative employee experience for the digital worker – which isn’t good news for business.
Three signs of a weakening employee value proposition
How do you know if you might have a problem? Here are three signs to look out for.
According to Gartner, only 23% of HR Leaders believe that most employees will continue working in their current organisation after the pandemic ends. But companies are no longer just fighting with their competitors to retain talent.
After the job market recovers and after more than a year of working from home with back-to-back Zoom meetings, it’s expected that many white collar professionals are just not changing jobs, but stepping off the career treadmill altogether.
In the YOLO economy, younger workers are leaving jobs to explore entrepreneurship, freelance work or turning their side hustles into full time gigs.
In this model, the traditional employer approaches are less effective. The conventional thinking of new perks and benefits, plus upskilling the workforce to keep pace with digital demands, is no longer delivering expected outcomes. This is a worrying trend for companies. But the first step in seeking solutions is to understand the underlying reasons.
On the other hand, disengaged employees often make less of a contribution towards team goals and organisational objectives. And they’re less likely to recommend their employer to other people.
Improving communication in the workplace is key to improving employee engagement. Workplaces that encourage open communication and provide a platform for everyone to speak freely are more likely to have employees who trust their leadership, share ideas and ask for help when needed.
The average business uses around 88 apps. Larger organisations can deploy as many as 175.2 And without safeguards in place, employees can bypass IT to download even more unapproved applications to collaborate and store data. Toggling between applications and an increased number of virtual meetings leaves employees with very little time to do actual work.
Traditional organisations equate employee visibility with productivity. This mindset has to change and employers should put the right infrastructure in place to encourage employees to find the right balance between prioritising critical tasks and improving collaboration with the right mix of unified tools and culture.
Connecting people with the best digital tools can improve employee engagement
Five ways to boost the employee value proposition
So what can you do to build a more people-centric organisation? Here are five things to try.
Build meaningful connections
Most of us spend a third of our lives at work. Wouldn’t it be great to spend that significant period of time making meaningful connections? We probably all agree on that.
But while it’s easier to connect with colleagues in the same building as you, it’s more difficult when companies are spread all over the world. And as more organisations adopt hybrid and remote working, it’s going to be critical to find ways to keep the disparate workforce together.
Think about how you can build a community within your company that reduces barriers between teams and hierarchies and identify the role that leadership plays in building organisational culture (hint: it’s not just the responsibility of the HR team).
Driving inclusion campaigns are good but how do you bring that company culture to life? One critical way is to listen to every employee while giving them a voice - an employee engagement survey is a great first step to understanding the needs of people in your organisation.
Create a flexible workplace
A flexible workspace includes everything from the aesthetic design of your physical spaces to the tools you use to talk and work together. Get the balance right, and you’ll be on your way to creating a more positive work environment.
But how can companies respond to changes brought about by the pandemic and the shift to hybrid working?
Gartner research suggests 82% of company leaders intend to let employees work remotely some of the time post-pandemic. To navigate these changes, it’s vital to provide choices within established boundaries and identify flexible activities within each role, team and department.
What you don’t need is another productivity tool. Instead, look for a unified platform that can connect your entire ecosystem of apps, employees and external partners with a minimal learning curve and a seamless digital experience.
Promote personal growth
Growth means different things to different people. For some, growth means learning and trying out new things. For others, it means taking more responsibilities and climbing up the organisational ladder.
Performance reviews aren’t the only opportunity to discuss growth and career plans. How do you make continuous learning a culture in your organisation? And how can these knowledge learnings be retained and shared across the organisation for anyone to access at any time?
Every employee should be able to see the opportunities available across your organisation. Plus, they should be able to find resources and follow mentors to learn and develop new skills. Gaining visibility of other departments and projects helps organisations work towards a common goal.
According to James Davies, a UK-based Wellness Coach, “Companies increasingly want to inspire their employees to have personal goals, to deal with things like anxiety, to be more motivated. I think we’ll see wellness as more employee-driven with lots of resources and tools.”
But how do business leaders make these resources available when people need them to help manage stress and build a better work-life balance?
Part of the answer is by putting together the right policies and benefits. The other is building a community where people with similar interests can come together and share their knowledge and experience to help and support each other.
That might mean online groups for parents returning to work, health or hobbies and interests. These groups bring your people together to make your organisation more creative and productive as you think about the next phase of your organisation’s growth.
Unite with a shared purpose
Every organisation wants to see individuals and teams work towards the common goals and objectives. But organisations aren’t always very good at celebrating or recognising the collective efforts that led to success.
Business leaders design rewards and recognition programs to address this gap. But is it enough? How can you continue to inspire every employee to engage with the big picture no matter how small or large their role is?
The answer lies with finding ways to help people feel part of something bigger. To get them to believe in your organisational values. And to exude those values in every part of their working lives - whether it’s improving customer service or building a better society - people then feel more interested and inspired by what they can achieve as individuals and as a team.
Find out more about how Workplace can help improve your employee experience here.
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