What strategies should HR leaders take as the competition for talent gets tougher in Asia?
HRD Asia speaks to Manav Batra, general manager at BI Worldwide (Singapore), a global engagement agency about the importance of having a compelling employee value proposition (EVP) to recruit and retain the best talent.
HRD: Why is it important for HR to define and understand their organisation’s employee value proposition (EVP)?
MB: Let’s start by first understanding what EVP really is. We all know about customer value proposition – it’s always centred around the customer.
Similarly, EVP helps define why a talented, in-demand candidate should choose to work for your company.
A well-defined EVP answers the WHYs. “Why should I join?” “Why should I care?” “Why should I stay?”
It is the perception of potential and current employees about the value they gain by working for an organisation. It states why the total work experience of working for an employer brand is a superior fit over that of any other company.
In today’s world, where it is a constant battle to attract and retain top talent, a sincerely defined EVP will help you attract people who share your brand’s passion and values; inspire people to do awesome work; and give your best employees reasons to stay.
A strong authentic EVP is transformative – for both employees and the organisation’s success.
HRD: How can HR execute a successful EVP strategy?
MB: Often, HR will come across two major challenges to ensure holistic execution of an EVP strategy:
1. Understanding the problem and the shortfalls
To develop an effective EVP, every organisation must first understand the emotional factors, often quite unique to their culture, which help attract and retain talented employees.
These emotions should be strong and compelling. They must trigger a reaction that engages current and prospective employees in a way that breaks through the clutter. It should clarify why an employee would willingly choose an organisation as a place to work.
The key is to accurately understand what these emotional factors are. Which factors are making the organisation do exceptionally well? Where are its shortfalls? But most importantly, how is the organisation performing on each of these factors against the best-in-class companies?
2. Crafting an employer brand expression via employees’ lens
Once you identify what employees value most, it needs to be expressed through an employer brand – developing and defining an employer brand is a process.
It is much more than creating a cool logo or a clever tagline. The key is to view everything through the employees’ lens. It’s important to communicate in a way that resonates with employees.
All messaging should speak to the employee versus about them. Whenever possible, inspire and empower instead of informing them. Give employees a reason to care by answering these questions: Why should they care? What’s in it for them?
HRD: Beyond execution, how can HR maintain the long-term success of the strategy?
MB: As your brand grows, your EVP should grow with you. You will need an activation and sustainment plan that is flexible.
Also, recognition is a key enabler to reinforce your EVP and employer brand. EVP expresses how each employee – regardless of his/her role – is expected to live your brand, every day.
We believe all recognition (whether daily, monthly or annually) must reflect and reinforce your specific brand values and behaviours. When you inspire your employees through your brand, and actively recognise those who live it out, your end-customers will be able to benefit from it.