Great Business Ideas: Employee value proposition

Great Small Business Ideas to Start: Employee value proposition

The struggle to attract bright, talented workers is increasingly challenging. Firms must devise a comprehensive, appealing perception of their organizations—and it must be genuine, delivering what it promises, or those bright employees will leave.

The idea

The balance of power has shifted from employers to employees. Daniel Pink, former chief speech writer for Al Gore, attributed this shift to “Karl Marx’s revenge,” with the means of production now in the hands of the workers. The internet has made it easier for potential employees to search for jobs, check expected salary levels, and fi nd out what it is like to work within a particular organization.

While the power of employees has grown, many organizations have lost their appeal to job-seekers. They no longer provide financial stability, with many firms unwilling or unable to offer job security.

In light of these shifting conditions and following research into 90 companies, the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) suggested formulating an employee value proposition (EVP) to attract the best workers. An EVP is the benefits an employee can expect to gain from working with an organization. The CEB found firms that effectively managed EVP could expect to increase their pool of potential workers by 20 percent. Surprisingly, they were also able to decrease the amount they paid to employees—organizations with successful EVPs paid 10 percent less.

With the workplace changing and the number of “free agents” growing, it is increasingly important to develop a strategy for attracting the best. Remember, talented people need organizations less than organizations need talented people.

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In practice

  • Developing a successful EVP is important to organizations wishing to attract younger workers or technologically skilled workers.
  • Emphasize the stimulation and value of the work your organization does, as well as the rewards and opportunities.
  • Provide opportunities for employees to engage in informal training and to advance their skills.
  • Encourage current and former employees to champion your organization. Many people now put more trust in word of mouth than in advertising.
  • Fine-tune your EVP for different sections of the job market.
  • Change key aspects of the EVP for different areas of the world.