Technology is driving rapid change to the way we work, with many describing us as being in the middle of an industrial revolution.
Accelerated by COVID, we have seen a move to digital and hybrid working models, while jobs of the future are increasingly requiring workers with both digital competencies and soft skills such as collaboration.
We are also seeing that many management teams are largely unprepared for these changes with a lack of workplace training and slow adoption of digital technologies.
This comes amidst a 2022 changing balance of power between employers and employees in what has been dubbed ‘The Great Resignation’.
In fact, “Australian organisations are about to see people walking out the door”, according to a November-2021 employee survey and report from consulting firm PwC titled The Future of Work – What workers want: winning the war for talent.
What is your Employment Value Proposition (EVP)?
The report highlights an Employment Value Proposition (EVP) as being essential to an organisation’s ability to attract and retain talent, however it cautions that 48 per cent of employers have no intention of updating their EVP, despite recent monumental shifts to the way we work.
And even when they do implement EVP changes, there is an expectation gap between where senior leaders believe their workers ranked EVP preferences, and the reality from those workers.
This can result in “significant financial impact” for employers: from misdirection of resources to areas not highly valued by workers, to a loss of ability to retain and attract top talent.
Complicating the matter for management is that different workers value different things depending on their culture, upbringing, stage of life, caring and financial commitments, socioeconomic status, and other factors.
Do not underestimate these 3 priorities
While not all employees want the same thing, the PwC report found three very clear priorities that were consistently desired by workers across all cohorts – ranked in order below:
- Working alongside good co-workers
- Life balance
However, the importance of these three priorities to workers were all significantly underestimated by leaders surveyed for the report.
In fact, any EVP should prioritise these three initiatives before it is refined further for your company, culture, existing workforce and the type of workers you wish to attract.
Other focus areas your EVP should consider include:
- Remuneration and reward: pay, super, profit share schemes and other benefits
- Wellbeing: Life balance, mental health support and lifestyle
- Experience: Culture, team energy, diversity and inclusion
- Ways of Working: Flexibility, autonomy, onboarding
- Career Development: Career pathways, development, learning and leadership
- Brand: Values, social responsibility,
- Workspace Design: Office design, perks, location, hybrid or remote work
Focus on attracting top talent
The report also cautions employers against focusing too much on retaining workers for as long as possible, especially at the expense of initiatives that attract new ones.
This is because younger generations often pursue career or role changes in search of new experiences, even if they like their team and current role.
“Employers will need to plan for their people to stay in a role for two or three years before moving on,” the report states, adding that EVPs should focus on attracting talent and succession planning, without forgoing investment in high performers and articulating clear career pathways to drive staff retention.