A major multinational came to us with a very specific requirement- they wanted us to restructure their Employee Value Proposition in India based on inputs from their existing employees based across four Indian cities. It was important to them that they reflect the reality of the workplace experience to potential new hires, thereby setting the same quality standards both for existing and new employees.
Ideally, the employer brand goes much beyond the image an organization projects in advertising campaigns and marketing ventures. It must reflect the truth of an organizations values, vision and opportunities, and what it offers to each of its stakeholders. It is a projection of the organization’s ‘spirit’. Employee Value Proposition (EVP) aims to highlight those attributes of the organization that can help the talent acquisition team attract the right talent whose objectives are in line with those of the company. Does the workplace offer opportunities to learn niche skills? Does it work on a flat structure or a hierarchical one? Does it encourage creativity and open dialogue? Each of these questions drives us to a better understanding of what the employer offers to employee in return for his/her commitement to get employed.
When it comes to EVPs, qualitative analysis always takes the upper hand. The people who work there and the opportunities available to them in terms of personal and professional growth, networking, chances for a posting abroad, etc. were among close to 20 aspects we took into account for evaluation. For us, it was very important that we identify focus groups and hold exhaustive conversations with them- we divided employees into groups based on their tenure, city of posting and business verticals, among others. Using open-ended and projective questions, we made a note of employee perceptions of the existing EVP, belief points and testimonials from current employees and the management.
There is no ideal template for what an employer brand must look like. It is important to take into account the differences the brand may be projecting on the employee side as opposed to the consumer side, and to understand how these differences affect the employee experience. The Employer Brand Wheel is an effective method of quantifying the many attributes and qualities that make up the employee experience, covering everything from leadership and market reputation to rewards and growth opportunities. The wheel helped us in understanding the perspective of each of our focus groups.
- We found that with increasing tenure, employee engagement with the company was significantly going down. We could attribute this to several factors, the major one being that new employees underwent an effective induction programme that helped them understand their employer better, where in tenured ones where still in the shadow of the merger.
- Across business verticals, there was disparity in perception of the employer in terms of reward systems, feedback and understanding of the pay scale and promotion process.
With these insights in mind and using Edgar Schein’s career anchors, we identified the four key anchors for employees to choose to work with this company.
- Managerial Anchor- Is a successful company, an industry leader. It aims to grow in market share and does so by aiding in employee skill development.
- Functional Anchor- Perceived as a result oriented workplace that values niche skills and provides a place for continuous learning.
- Challenge Anchor- High risk- high returns environment, is a spirited company that encourages risk taking.
- Creative Anchor- Is considered a path-breaker in its domain. Has flexible policies and encourages working from home. Post employment, it gives employees the skills required to start their own firm.
The organization gained complete clarity on their realistic Employee Value Proposition and how their global Employer Value Proposition needs to restructured. We also identified the critical career anchors that were instrumental in understanding current employees and using the information to develop a strong proposition for future employees as part of the EVP roll out.