If your business is like most, only 1 of every 3 of your employees is “engaged” in your company, this according to Gallup. So, what precisely does that mean?
In the first place, employee engagement isn’t that different from engagement in any other sphere of life. For example, people who are “engaged” in a personal relationship want it to succeed. They’re loyal to their significant other and care as much about that person’s welfare and success as their own. People who are engaged in community, religious or civic organizations regularly attend meetings and want to make significant contributions that make those groups stronger.
In the same way, employees who are engaged are happy when the company for which they work succeeds—not only because it means their job is more secure, but also because they believe in that company and their coworkers. They rarely miss work, tend to come in a few minutes early to make sure the job performance is superior, attend company events and go the extra mile to excel at their work.
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT IMPACTS THE BOTTOM LINE
If that’s a picture of employee engagement, it’s not difficult to imagine what its opposite looks like. Disengaged employees might show up to work on time and do the minimum to keep their jobs—but they’re not passionate about their jobs.
And there’s one more thing: when disengagement is protracted over months or years, it can slip into active disengagement. For many employees, that’s already the case. As Gallup notes, about 13% of employees are “actively disengaged.” These are the employees who are unhappy, don’t like their jobs or companies and, most damaging of all, are often eager to tell anyone (including their coworkers) how much they dislike working for your business.
Finally and most important for the health of your business, actively disengaged workers are far more likely to leave their jobs and move on to other companies, and that directly impacts your company’s profitability and productivity. According to Forbes, the cost to replace an employee who leaves is approximately $15,000. If your business employees 100 people and 13 leave (those who are actively disengaged), the annual cost to your business is almost $200,000.
WHAT IS AN EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION?
Marketers are familiar with the concept of a “value proposition.” It’s a statement that clearly spells out how a given product or service benefits the person who buys it—think of IKEA’s “To create a better everyday life for the many people.”
An employee value proposition (EVP) takes this notion and extends it to the workplace. In other words, an EVP tells employees, in simple, concise and straightforward language, the benefits of working for a business. Creating a compelling EVP can help a company attract top talent and reduce employee attrition.
As Recruiting.com rightly notes, an effectively crafted EVP can help a business create the kind of employee experience that aids both hiring and retention initiatives:
“A strategic employee value proposition (EVP) is proven to help organizations more successfully recruit and compete for top talent. In fact, according to Corporate Leadership Council, organizations with managed EVPs are able to effectively source from more than 60 percent of the labor market. Your EVP is the value that employees gain in return for working at your organization. This can include rewards, benefits or opportunities like work-life balance or professional development. Your EVP is key for communicating your ‘offer’ to job seekers, and it is critical for attracting the candidates you need.”
YOUR EVP NEEDS TO BE A LIVING DOCUMENT
There’s little point to crafting an employee value proposition that sits on a shelf gathering dust. Its purpose after all is to move the needle on employee satisfaction and engagement. That means you need to bring your EVP to life for every one of your employees.
Of course, every business is different, with different employees and different human resources challenges. That said, most companies will benefit from best practice EVP strategies, including the following 4:
1. CREATE A LIST OF EMPLOYEE BENEFITS
For your EVP to be effective, your employees need to believe that the benefits it mentions are real. For example, Goldman Sachs’ EVP is “At Goldman Sachs, you will make an impact.” If Sachs’ employees felt they had little or no connection to corporate decision making, these words in the company’s EVP would ring hollow.
That means the first thing you need to do is create a list of benefits of working for your company. Before launching the EVP, you should share it with key stakeholders to ensure their view of your company is the same as your own. Finally, be sure to include both benefits that are tangible (things like flexible work options and healthcare) and intangible (such as a collaborative work environment and independence).
2. ASK YOUR EMPLOYEES
Your EVP will have more teeth if employees have a role in creating it. Of course, you can’t ask each employee to participate in the writing process, but you can tap into their views of your business.
One way to do that is by administering an employee satisfaction survey. This will help you identify areas where your business is strong, as well as those areas the need improvement. TellZen makes employee surveys more effective by closing the loop with interactive, continuous, confidential communication.
3. INCORPORATE KEY FINDINGS INTO THE EVP
Once you’re confident that your list of benefits is comprehensive and resonates with your employees, it’s time to identify the underlying themes that inform a positive employee experience. In other words, you need to edit down the many benefits you see to those which have the greatest impact on your workers.
For example, in creating its EVP, Yelp found that employees were satisfied with tangible benefits the company offers, but that what most inspired employees was the company’s prioritizing a strong work ethic with a casual work environment. Their EVP, “We work hard, throw Nerf darts even harder, and have a whole lot of fun,” was unconventional, but its rollout was successful because they’d done their homework and successfully identified what it was their workers most loved about their business.
4. DISTRIBUTE YOUR EVP WIDELY
The wider your dissemination of the EVP, the more impact it will have on employee engagement and satisfaction. That means including the EVP in everything from your website to recruitment materials, job announcements, and through every stage of the employee journey, including employee orientation, onboarding, training and performance evaluations. You need in other words to demonstrate to your employees that EVP is palpable, reaching into every part of their daily working lives. You can simplify and enhance distribution using TellZen’s single communication platform.
With an essentially full-employment economy, businesses need to work harder than ever to ensure the experience employees have with their companies is positive, engaging and satisfying. A compelling (and accurate) EVP is one way to do that—but it’s not the only one.
To learn more about the ways our Employee Experience Platform (EEP) will give your business that actionable insights that contribute to a culture of innovation and enhanced employee engagement, request your custom demo today.