Why EVP is vital to the modern business

Employee attitudes, wants and needs have shifted over time, and the organisation seeking to get the most from its staff will require a strong employee value proposition. Employees need to feel that "I matter” and “I feel cared for”.

Johannesburg, 19 Sep 2023
Aneesa Rahiman, senior human capital business partner, Altron Managed Solutions.
Aneesa Rahiman, senior human capital business partner, Altron Managed Solutions.

Enterprises are beginning to recognise the importance of what is referred to as the ‘employee value proposition’ (EVP). This is something that is increasingly playing a key role in the attraction, engagement and retention of top talent and the elevation of the entire employer brand.

EVP includes a number of components, explains Aneesa Rahiman, Senior Human Capital Business Partner at Altron Managed Solutions. These include salary, benefits, rewards, career development and work-life balance, as well as encompassing values, mission, social purpose and organisational culture.

“In essence, EVP is about the employee life cycle, and how the business looks after them while they are employed. Therefore, it is about more than just benefits and remuneration, but also includes things like recognition and reward,” she explains.

“Benefits in this respect don’t always translate to something as tangible as cash remuneration either, if one thinks about the younger generations who prefer options like remote work, or others who will choose to join a company that demonstrates progressive societal values.”

Rahiman notes that where many in the boomer generation would work for one company for decades, before retiring, the idea of working at one place for more than a couple of years is anathema to some millennials. On the other hand, they are attracted to companies that offer opportunities for growth and development, for skills improvement, and which expose them to different areas of the business.

“An important part of creating an effective EVP is demonstrating that the company shares a set of similar values and strives to behave in ways that exhibits the values in different settings.

“Autonomy is also important, as employees today want to be empowered to make decisions in relation to their job, and to be more autonomous in their work. Modern employees are not keen on being micro-managed and forward-thinking organisations should give more ownership to the individual. Generally, doing this encourages them to strive to be excellent in order to prove that it was right for you to give them the responsibility they demanded.”

Ultimately, she notes, the foundation of EVP lies in listening to your employees’ voices and adapting the organisation to meet these needs or demands. As an example, she points to how her organisation has moved away from having a single, closed medical scheme for staff. Today, the company offers multiple options for employees, allowing them to the choose cover they can afford.

“A good approach is to conduct an engagement survey with your employees to help you understand the employee needs and to listen to their voices. It is also useful to encourage C-level executives to undertake informal chat groups or ‘coffee sessions’, where anyone can have a say. Of course, you must then address the issues that are raised in these,” adds Rahiman.

“It’s really about gaining clarity in terms of understanding employee needs, and then to engage with them, address the issues raised, and take action to change things for the better. This includes offering skills upgrades and training, alongside performance management and strong development plans.”

It’s about understanding where the skills gaps lie and where the development needs exist and then assisting employees to achieve their goals. The same goes for employees seeking to move from one business unit to another – you should help to facilitate this, even if it is initially only by affording the employee the opportunity to spend some time in that department. In this way, they can learn about it firsthand, before you help them to grow into the new role over time.

“Ultimately, implementing a successful EVP begins with positioning your organisation to appeal to potential employees. This includes having a strong ‘face’ on the various social media platforms and creating a unified image of, and vision for, the company.

“A good EVP not only keeps existing employees happy, thanks to the opportunities and benefits offered to them, but will also help to attract potential employees to choose your business over a rival’s. And this means it needs to attract them to apply, excite them when they come for an interview and ensure they feel looked after and ‘part of the family’ once they have joined – thereby encouraging them to remain at your organisation in the longer term,” concludes Rahiman.