A lot of companies are working hard to define and articulate their Employee Value Proposition or EVP. The EVP is essentially a statement of how the “total work experience” at the company is superior to others. It is the “deal” that you get in return for the skills, capabilities, experiences and time you bring to the workplace. We are just not talking about the “price” the organization pays, but the holistic “offer” or “deal” that must be offered to attract, engage and retain talent. EVP is a function of multiple things – pay, benefits, company image, career prospects, training opportunities, work-life balance, social experiences or team, purpose of the organization, autonomy, challenge and several other aspects of the role. And each of these variables are emphasized to different extents in different organizations to define a relevant and practical EVP.
Given the immense focus on defining and articulating the EVP, organizations should not be losing sight of an important aspect – implementing or delivering the EVP. Perhaps, it is much more critical. That is where it will be seen if your brand promise has been delivered or not. The HR team and leaders do play a critical role in articulating, reinforcing and marketing the EVP. But, the key agents who deliver the “deal” are the people managers. They are the ones who take the EVP to the employees in the form of a one-to-one individualized discussion. They will ultimately make or break the EVP promise.
So, if your EVP subtly communicates “median pay levels, but strong work-life balance”, and your managers are not sensitive to help their teams balance their work & personal lives, there is a deviation from the promise. Or, your EVP talks about “multi-disciplinary learning”, but managers nominate their team members for training for their existing job functions only, the deal is broken. There could be a disconnect if your EVP stresses on “a work environment with a daily celebration of success”, but recognition is limited to the Annual Chairman’s Award. The list can go on.
It is critical to align managers to the “what”, “why” and “how” of your EVP. They need to be educated on how to put it into practice and individualize it for their team-members. Remember, they have not been doing this all their lives. In fact, several view the EVP as a sum of pay and benefits alone. We need to support them to make the transition to this more holistic approach.
What are you doing in your organization to ensure that the promise of your EVP is delivered to the employees? How are you translating words into actions?