Is your EVP secret to fighting the great resignation?

22 February 2022
EVP

The Great Resignation means that, above all else, employees are on the move. Tech employees are among many others embracing the trend and leaving their employers searching for better compensation, a new challenge or alternative corporate culture. As a result, knowledge-based sectors like tech are seeing record numbers of jobs advertised, and this is taking away the potential risk involved with leaving your current employer.

As the pandemic begins to subside and we’re seeing the beginning of a return to normality, ‘The Great Resignation’ is only set to continue. Millions of employees have had downtime to reflect on their main priorities and what’s most important to them. Many claim to have been unhappy with the treatment they received from their organisation during the pandemic. These individuals are searching for a more compassionate employer now that they’ve weathered the storm of uncertainty.

Employees moving to new opportunities creates huge issues for their existing employers. It takes time and resources to recruit good people, and if the role is vital to business growth, it can mean pausing business progression until a new hire is onboarded and up to speed. As the race for talent hots up, retention is becoming just as valuable as attraction. No one wants to be caught off guard and have to replace existing tech talent. Therefore, it’s no surprise that employers are trying to pull out all of the stops to hold onto their talent and ensure they don’t become victims of The Great Resignation themselves.

So, how can employers ensure that their employees stay and successfully avoid the great resignation? It all lies with their Employee Value Proposition.

We’ve just been through a significant period of change. As a result, many organisations are forced to rethink their people strategy. Otherwise, they risk being left behind in the race for talent. Scaling tech businesses are now asking the same questions: How do we create a more inclusive, intelligent and innovative culture? How do we connect different roles and teams in our business if we work remotely? How do we encourage our teams to live and breathe our values?

This is where your EVP comes in.

What is an EVP?

Your EVP gives your employees across all aspects of the organisation a clear cultural direction and something to buy into. It sets the expectations of what working for you will be like, laying out tangible and intangible elements of the workplace. In the current talent market, the pillars that make up your EVP are as important as your customer proposition; it also articulates your business offering and forms the basis of your employer brand, which will help retention and attraction.

For an EVP to succeed, it needs to resonate and appeal to both new and existing employees. A good EVP will act as a driving force to motivate and engage employees. In an era when attitudes and ways of work change so quickly, it’s your EVP that will help people to feel connected to their work and their teams. Your EVP will outline purposes and motivations for working and ensure teams remain excited about work and connected to others working to deliver the same mission. It reminds individuals why they joined your organisation and ensures that your culture is rooted in your values and overall business objectives. For example, if you start as an eco-friendly business, this needs to be a value that runs throughout your entire organisation and remains at the heart of your business as you scale. Think of your EVP as a blueprint for your values and behaviours. It keeps them alive and ensures that everyone within your organisation lives by them.

Why is now the time to refine your EVP?

Employee expectations have changed dramatically in the last few years, and it’s making many rethink the future of work. The power has changed hands. Employers can no longer demand unrealistic working processes from employees, or you can guarantee they’ll look for an opportunity out there, and there are plenty of them. With remote work taking priority, flexible hours to be expected, and many industries having to rethink the purpose of the office, now is the time to review what it means to be an employee of your organisation. No business can expect to be the same as it was pre-pandemic. Even if you can’t offer the level of flexibility office workers expect, not all industries and jobs can. Your workplace will still have to shift. For example, priorities like employee well-being and safety are coming to the fore across all sectors and will be crucial for talent attraction.

As the work environment changes, with a return to normality throwing out some permanent shifts for many businesses, employees need to remain engaged and feel supported. Amending your EVP at this stage can improve trust in both the company and its leadership. You can reengage employees who, let’s face it, are probably mentally exhausted from working throughout a pandemic. Your EVP could be a chance to reunite teams and re-energise your business, giving you all that boost to mean you’re raring to go in 2022.

How can your EVP help combat The Great Resignation?

Your EVP, as we’ve been saying, unites teams. If your employees feel a bit de-motivated by work, refining your EVP could solve this. It gives you an excellent opportunity to show how your workplace has changed to keep up with cultural changes and attitudes. Refining your EVP will also provide a renewed sense of energy to the business. If it’s communicated well, it will remind employees why they wanted to work with you in the first place and will show that you’re the same organisation they joined years ago, only new and improved.

As part of your EVP research, you can ensure your culture and offering reflect their needs by talking to your employees. Obviously, you can’t change the whole of your business to keep a few employees happy, but through thorough research, you can establish what will improve your retention and attraction efforts amid The Great Resignation. If all employees, for example, would like more healthcare benefits, it’s something your business can look into. Of course, you’ll be able to identify any negative aspects of your culture and anything that doesn’t align with the values you set when you started out, ensuring that your business is true to its core mission statement and purpose.

Incorporating employee feedback and listening to what they want will help your retention and stop you from falling victim to the great resignation. If you can provide things these team members are looking for, they’ll be less likely to consider opportunities elsewhere. It’s that simple. Offering training opportunities or more responsibility shouldn’t wait until an employee is handing in their notice. By having regular conversations about how you can make your organisation the type of place employees can thrive, you can create an ever-evolving, ever-relevant EVP.

Your EVP can also help attract talent in the middle of The Great Resignation. People will leave you in the middle of this crisis. That’s inevitable. For some, a refined EVP won’t be enough to retain talent when they’re faced with a higher salary or new opportunity. Progression is natural. Therefore, you’ll always have to consider attracting talent, whether you’re planning to scale or not.

Refining your EVP and ensuring it’s relevant to your current employees will ensure it resonates with like-minded talent looking for new opportunities. It can form the basis of your employer brand communications and connect with top tech talent. By talking to your current employees, you can establish what attracted them to your business and the highlights of working with you. These aspects can then be prioritised in your EVP and form the basis of your communications with talent. Hopefully, they’ll feel a similar emotional connection to your existing team and be ready to apply.

People are at the heart of your business, and your EVP ensures that they remain that way. It establishes the balance of what to expect and what employees should give in return. Importantly, it acts as a cultural “north star”, which people at all levels across the business, from c-suite to entry-level employees, can look towards. Refining your EVP can help you engage, motivate, and retain current teams, showing that you’re an employer fit for 2022 while also giving you guidance on attracting top talent in the middle of The Great Resignation.

Talent Works’ in-house research function and creative team work together to create EVP frameworks for scaling tech businesses. We’ve helped many incredible companies unite teams and motivate employees by researching their business’s unique selling points and finding messaging to promote real-life values and cultures to existing teams and new employees. In addition, we use EVP frameworks to form the basis of all our talent acquisition strategies, including employer brand promotion, writing job adverts, digital talent attraction and direct sourcing. Your EVP is the foundation of the business and is a great tool to sell the human aspect of a tech company to relevant candidates.

Contact us to find out more about how we can help you research, refine, and promote your EVP in the wake of The Great Resignation.

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