The Employee Value Proposition

In today’s highly competitive, global market place, how do companies attract, motivate, and retain highly qualified employees?

The Employee Value Proposition (EVP) identifies drivers of attraction and commitment in the global marketplace. It is a measurement of the balance between what an employee receives from their employer in return for their performance on the job. In other words, it is the “get” versus the “give.”

It we were to express the EVP formula for success as a mathematical formula it might look something like this:

Tangible Rewards (compensation and benefits) + Opportunity (developmental experiences) + Characteristics of the Organization (size, stability and market position) + People (characteristics and quality of staff and managers) = degree of attraction (recruitment) and duration of commitment (retention)

Of course this is a difficult equation to solve, primarily because the variables are measured in different units and there is no readily available conversion formula. Size of the organization is measurable and so is market position. But how do you convert the units to add them together? People are not numbers. What is important is the concepts and understanding their relative importance to your current and prospective employees.

There are seven universal attributes of the EVP. Not all are easy to define or measure. But they all relate to how employees see the value that the company places in them. Additionally, studies have confirmed the importance of these attributes for employees.

Compensation – This is the most easily measurable attribute, what the employee receives in salary, wages, benefits. While clearly a very important component of how an employee measures the value they receive from a company it is not the only measure. Nor is the most important measure. In a 2014 comprehensive study of over 200,000 employees by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), compensation ranked 8th for employee satisfaction. So although pay and benefits are important for employee morale, they are not the sole deciding factor, or even the most important factor in the ability to attract and retain employees.

Continuing Education – The opportunity to expand, grow, and learn. Stagnation and repetition are the antithesis of attracting high quality employees. Learning and career development was the 6th most important factor in the BCG study.

Managerial Quality – Poor management is an obvious detractor to attracting and retaining high quality employees. In the study by Boston Consulting Group, relationships with managers ranked the 4th most important factor in employee satisfaction. More importantly, do managers appreciate their employees work? The single most important factor in determining employee satisfaction, according to BCG, is appreciation for your work. Individuals want to be recognized and appreciated for their efforts.

Collegial – Does anyone really want to work at company where you dislike all of your coworkers or do they want to feel like they are part of team? Employees spend a great deal of time interacting with other employees. More time than they spend with management. It could even be argued that they spend more time than with their friends, spouses or partners. Teamwork and the degree to which employees interact in a positive manner with each other is very important. In the BCG study relationships with colleagues was ranked the 2nd most important factor in employee job satisfaction. Determining how a new employee will fit in to the organization and developing a positive organization climate for employee relationships are something a company cannot overlook.

Organization Stability – Will the job be here tomorrow? For that matter will the company? The company’s financial stability was the 5th most important factor in determining job satisfaction.

Growth Opportunities – High quality employees want to grow as individuals. Not everyone wants growth in responsibility, this could also represent the ability to be involved in different aspects of the organization. This is linked to the importance that employees place on learning and development.

Respectful – Have you ever met anyone who wants to be demeaned and devalued? What is the performance evaluation climate of the organization? Do employees have a voice? Is that voice listened to? This is linked to the values of the company and does the company value its employees. A lack of respect is usually an indicator of a lack of perceived value.

If your company or organization is looking to expand or retain high quality employees, it is important to look at how you are doing with each of the seven Employee Value Factors. Companies cannot just pay individuals a lot of money, treat them poorly, and expect to attract quality employees or for their employees to perform to the maximum of their potential.

Having built thriving Financial Operations multiple times throughout my career, I have 15+ years of award-winning, high profile experience as a Finance and Operational Senior Leader. I am currently looking for a great company in the San Francisco Bay area.