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Hello post-pandemic EVP

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It’s reported that only two fifths of businesses are said to be addressing their post-pandemic EVP, which is crazy because COVID has touched every business in every corner of the world. So why isn’t everyone revisiting it? What may have worked in that ideal behaviour profile pre-COVID is not guaranteed to work now.

The very essence of your employee value proposition (EVP) is communicating exactly what you’re offering your people in return for what they’re bringing to the table. The benefits, the learning and development, the career progression — it’s designed to position you as an attractive employer to potential candidates, reaffirms to your team that you understand their needs, further develops an emotional bond with them, and encourages them to stay.

Fast-forward to the present day and that long list of what you’re offering might be wildly out of touch with where your team’s heads are at. The pandemic changed the workforce narrative for good, so it’s good sense to revisit your EVP to suit the ‘new normal’.

There are, of course, many touch points that today's EVP needs to take, but let’s just give you our top three...

The human-centric EVP

The biggest change brought about by the pandemic has been environmental — the loss of the physical office environment. Before COVID-19 (the new BC), offices were universally recognised as a critical element of company culture and talent acquisition. It was all about creating a workplace employees wanted to be in. This is no longer the case.

By focusing on what your workforce wants on a basic human level, you can begin to develop the initial framework for your new EVP. From offering increased flexibility to work when and where they feel most comfortable, to offering more autonomy, helping them to feel understood by allowing them to strengthen their personal and not just work connections, offering clear development plans, reinforcing that their wellbeing is considered and making them feel they’re recognised as a valuable part of your organisation.

Creating or reigniting a healthy and sustainable culture requires a cultural shift that comes from business leaders and flows through an organisation. Two values points that are critical to this are permission-to-play and aspirational values, hold tight, let’s dig into these...

The permission-to-play EVP values

To put it simply, permission-to-play values are the minimum behavioural standards required by your organisation. They’re not to be confused with your core values. They are the character traits your team should naturally possess in order to fit in well together as a unit.

At 9am, some of our permission-to-play values include: creative, confidence, integrity, agile, accountable, genuine, the list goes on. We stand so firmly behind these values that we won’t even consider hiring a candidate if you don’t match them. You could be the most skilled person for that job, but if you don’t share our values, it’s a no from us. Brutal, perhaps — but this kind of stuff matters and can really be the difference that stands you apart as a cohesive team. You have to take it seriously. Revisit yours and take a hard look at your team — are some people just not meeting the mark?

The aspirational EVP values

This is where you should be looking at your post-COVID business narrative, vision, and mission. So it’s something that you might not possess in its entirety now but it’s something that you recognise you need as a behaviour to come into the organisation to enable you to deliver on your vision for the future.

Take a look at what message you want to be sending out to the world now, and the kind of company you’d like to become. What does that team look like? Previously your aspirational values could have been ‘self-motivated’ or ‘dedicated’ but you’ve undergone a significant rejig and now they should be ‘accountable’ and ‘mastery’. Dig deep into what you want to be achieving long-term and how this is reflected in the behaviours of your workforce.

I’m not saying this is an easy task by any stretch — it can be hard to hold the mirror up at your organisation and really get critical. But if you’re intending to best serve your people, who will in turn look after you and move the business forward, it’s surely worth addressing. Let me know if you agree. Find me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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