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The necessary tools to embed an effective EVP

Last week, we hosted our bi-annual forum event on the topic of ‘The Unwritten Contract: Why your EVP is not helping you attract and retain staff’, where we were joined by industry experts Ricky De Ruiter, Rachel Myers, and Timo Reinhold who discussed the importance and value of developing a strong EVP in the post-pandemic era. So, what were the key takeaways from this discussion?

What is the unwritten/psychological contract (PC)?

In short, it is:
  • An exchange relationship that sets expectations between the employer and employee
  • Determines behaviours on both sides and whether employees are likely to go the extra mile
  • Less and less of the ‘one size fits all approach’ – businesses must adapt to this and treat every individual as a unique entity
  • The unwritten contract falls on the transactional/relational continuum

New Era Recruitment

Contract replicability:
  • Yes, no longer means yes – more buy in needs to be provided to fully sway a candidate to become an employee
  • The pandemic has caused professional and personal purpose to merge. In order to undo this, we must focus on the non-financial elements of work-life balance
  • Keeping up with the newest trends and expectations is crucial. It means businesses are able to better resonate with their future leaders and talent pools - Millennials and Gen Z
Contract malleability:
  • The younger workforce is less likely to tolerate unfulfilled promises and inequity.
  • Before any contract is signed, employees should know what is expected of them and there should be an open forum for questions and concerns
  • The longer the tenure, the better the investment - employees show higher malleability based on how long they’ve been within a business and have developed an intrinsic investment into the organisation

Creating a fulfilling workplace

  • Adjust time horizons to give clear direction on the employee progression pathway.
  • Positive and constructive feedback – tough on the problem and not the person, this is especially relevant to Gen Z
  • Focus on increased relational aspects of PC: Trust, Flexibility and Autonomy.
  • Hybrid working environment – data shows three days working from home is ideal for current grads and five days for future grads. Risks: limiting learning curve, lower buy in for culture, decreased relational aspect

Building a strong EVP

  • Focus on mission and purpose, and ensuring all employees are clear on these
  • Engaging, proactive leadership is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but a ‘must have’
  • Company culture is the foundation – it’s essential to create an environment where individuals can be there authentic self
  • In 2022, employees are looking beyond monetary gain. Recent data shows individuals are 10x more likely to stay in their job for the relationships they’ve built rather than a pay rise, meaning it is essential for a business to create an environment where these relationships can foster and grow
  • Openness and transparency is key – giving people autonomy has the ability to enable flourishment
  • Embed a seamless process from the outset, beginning with the early recruitment stages, to onboarding, to day-to-day work
  • First impressions will always matter. Much of the contract is determined before they even become an employee
  • Expectations are different and varied, dependent upon background and personal experiences of the individual
  • Meeting expectations is crucial and providing transparent and open communication when these aren’t feasible is a necessity
  • Flexible working can lead to difficulty in maintaining focus. In 2022, this is now the expectation for employees, but the downsides need to be considered from both parties, the employees and employers
  • Solution: remove silos and overcommunicate, always

Key factors in engaging and retaining employees

Continue to invest in existing talent (albeit expensive). This will help reduce attrition through learning programmes and transparent career pathways
  • Make sure you’re rewarding your talent consistently based on their performance and in-line with the external market
  • Flexibility depending on your employee base, using the different elements of the unwritten contract to attract and retain the organisations biggest asset – your talent

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