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Back to the Future: Reevaluating your Employer Value Proposition

Added - 06/09/2021

The importance of re-evaluating your employer value proposition in a changed world of work

September is here - the peak holiday season is over and for many the return to school and the workplace heralds the start of fresh beginnings.

What about all those returning to work after holidays, illness, parental leave or perhaps contemplating not returning yet as they are still on furlough? How about those for whom the recently discovered flexibility and benefits of working from home outweigh the prospect of returning to the daily commute?

Any break from work can trigger a period of reflection, perhaps sparking fresh ideas that excite you about returning but, very commonly the post-holiday blues kick in. This can be a period when doubts and concerns about how much you are enjoying your job can surface. For employers this can result in subsequent unexpected resignations or a period of reduced engagement or productivity.

The pandemic has amplified many existing workplace challenges as well as creating new ones. Employers are faced with candidate shortages in many sectors, whilst others are planning for, or dealing with the aftermath of, headcount reductions. Organisational restructuring has affected career paths and talent pipelines. Some businesses are wrestling with how to adapt to new customer demands and rapid market change. Others are simply trying to keep their business moving forward. Whatever the situation, no employer can afford to lose talented and committed people and so must ensure that their employer value proposition (EVP) remains relevant and effective at this critical time when employees may be reviewing their career options like never before.

So what can you do? As we all start to think about what the future looks like at work and the pandemic legacy that work is something you are engaged in but not always a place you go to, employers have a rare chance to re-set the psychological contract with their employees by adopting new approaches to EVP that demonstrate their commitment to the five attributes detailed in a recent Gartner report.

Based on our current experience of supporting clients through these and many other issues here are some useful actions that make a difference;

  • Provide practical coaching support for life events such as parenthood, bereavement, illness, marriage, job loss, pre-retirement, that shows that you care about the whole person not just the person at work. The last year has shown more than ever how critical these times are in a person’s life and there’s no doubt that employer support at these times has a positive impact on future retention and engagement.
  • Ensure clarity about any changed career options that helps people to make informed decisions about their future. Career coaching and planning that enables people to understand their strengths, skills gaps and routes to future success is motivational and helps people take control and move forward from a challenging period with confidence. It also helps to retain skills and potential across the workforce.
  • Offer as much choice and flexibility at work as possible. People want to feel like individuals and able to exercise some control over their working lives. Remember though that often when faced with choice people can feel overwhelmed and may need practical support and guidance to make the mindset shift that enables them to maximise their future opportunities and feel in control.
  • Build line manager capability to adapt to the new expectations of employees. Help them to have effective trust based coaching conversations. If employees bring their whole self to work then their line manager must be able to respond well to the many new situations and issues this will present and learn how to use their coaching skills in a broad context.

Never has an increased focus on EVP been more needed. The pandemic has made people think again about what they truly want from life and work and some people are still struggling to adapt and find the best route forward. Employers risk losing talent, potential and capability which may take a very long time to replace. Of course it makes commercial sense for employers too. Providing tailored coaching support which is really valued by people at times when it matters most, can make a significant difference to the lives and careers of employees whilst securing a future talent pipeline that strengthens EVP and enables the organisation to thrive whatever the future holds.

Our forthcoming event, ‘the Human Value Proposition’ explores the benefits of delivering a more ‘human’ deal. Sign up here

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