employee value proposition: more than the offer on the table

Employee Value Proposition

Considering the challenge of an employee value proposition

Here at Pretty Pragmatic we regularly audit, align and design Customer Experiences for our clients.

Along the way, it is always interesting to see where marketing and customer services converge. The common thread is company employees feature throughout the experience in one way or another.

Employees are often a key audience to incorporate in our clients’ campaigns, particularly when targeting them with productivity or empowerment messages.

Some time ago we worked on a campaign based on Business Reimagined, this indicated that 71% of employees were ‘actively disengaged’ in the workplace. Not only was this bad news for existing employees; it, in turn, has a negative impact on businesses with subsequent higher attrition rates and challenges around talent attraction.

The solution was (in a nutshell) to understand the employee pain points via YouGov research and align solutions (in this case via technology) to employees’ challenges and make their lives easier by redressing their work/life balance.

What matters and the facts

Both existing and former employees are a useful source of information when trying to understand what’s good and what’s not about where they work.

With the online review culture spilling into the job market, sites like Glassdoor allow employees (existing and exiting) to rate their employment experiences anonymously and frankly. And controlled exit interviews and employee satisfaction surveys can provide a wealth of information to easily analyse and derive insights from.

This research process should lead to an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) that is based on truth and aspiration, aka the company’s vision. This is what the company is offering potential employees in exchange for their skills, capabilities, and the experience they can contribute to the business.

Prioritising people over profit?

Richard Branson runs Virgin based on employees first, customers second, and shareholders third. And there is clearly something in this for service-based industries in particular – there’s a lot of truth in the saying ‘people buy people’. So surely an Employee Value Proposition should be just as important as propositions for products and services?

Pride over packages?

When we are designing candidate attraction plans, like many acquisition strategies we need to understand what is being offered and who they need to target with these attributes. Understanding who the local competition is, the available labour market, the local infrastructure and transport options, average salaries, and skills available are important to inform the right tactics.

However, when it comes down to differentiating one place to work over and above the other, sometimes it requires more than just hours worked and wages earned. Whether people are involved in the creation, process, or customer service of a company’s product or services, they are an extension of the brand and therefore it is important that they share the company’s values and vision.

Simply put in ‘The War for Talent’, the EVP should be an answer to the question ‘Why would a highly talented person choose to work here?’. The classic ‘What’s in it for me?’. And whilst 57% of people say benefits and perks play a major role when selecting an employer, over 50% of people under 36 say that they would take a pay cut if a company’s values aligned with their own.

A decent proposal?

It is important to remember that a value proposition ‘represents the psychological framework human beings use to make decisions’, as defined by University of Louisville Associate Professor Brad Shuck.  And so behavioural science plays a part in this framing.

Whilst there are similarities between a Customer Value Proposition (CVP) and an Employee Value Proposition (EVP), the commitment levels are different, and more akin to considered purchases such as homes and the selection of educational institutions.

Rodd Wagner, author of Widgets: The 12 New Rules for Managing Your Employees As If They’re Real People, sums up why creating an EVP is no small task, saying ‘Given how much of a person’s waking hours are spent on the job and how much of people’s egos are wrapped up in their professions, that is no small proposition’.

So, it might be right to not only put employees first but also the EVP to ensure attraction and retention of the right people that make the business work to its full potential.

If you’d like to talk to us more about Employee Experience, Employee Value Proposition creation and activation please get in touch.

Social media management

When embarking on a social media strategy, classic planning principles still apply, so having an audience-centric approach will allow you to create the best customer experience.

Setting commercial objectives and relevant measurements in advance will allow you to gauge what success looks like and how that compares with other marketing channels and tactics.

Our ethos is that businesses need to design from purpose through to profit. Therefore, brand and commercial objectives need to be connected via a solid social approach.

Over 90% of marketers state that social media is important to their brand and whether a presence exists, needs to be focussed, re-energised or scaled; our straightforward approach works through from insight to action to ensure maximum effectiveness and consistency.

The Pretty Pragmatic Social System

PP social model

At the core of any sound social approach is a situational analysis which includes foundational research using social media tools. This is essential for assessing the opportunity and determining the best strategy to deliver against business objectives.

Once this is carried out (and it needn’t take long), it then supports:

1. Insights (green section):

Insights form the base of a sound social strategy. Starting with the audience to define personas and behaviour traits, through to category and reviewing competitors, before defining how that transfers into behaviour and trends in social channels.

Relevant reach is key, so care needs to be taken when considering channels and their etiquette for audiences. Whilst Facebook and Twitter top the subscriber volumes, 30% of Millennials state that Instagram is their second social media channel of choice. 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to post content, and sales people frequently state that LinkedIn is best for appointment setting.

2. Framework (yellow section):

Creating a framework that defines the way you engage and why – from tone and behaviour to regularity and topics that deliver the highest impact – is critical for successful interactions. Some of the core components of a comprehensive framework are as follows:

The tone of action can be reflected through a clear social media mission statement where the purpose of interactions in social media (and the respective channels) can be stated.

Communications cadence is required to set the frequency and content ratios.

Editorial calendars should guide topics as well as take into account what’s trending in the industry and within your relevant conversations.

3. Guidance (blue section):

Using public platforms can be daunting for wider teams – what could they suggest and how should they get involved? These elements make it clear and easy to maximise participation and consistency across the business to sustain focus on key business objectives.

Providing messaging examples makes editing and personalising messages easier for teams. These should be built around best practices to maximise effectiveness. For example, tweets containing 110 characters or less receive 17% higher engagement.

Mapped content with clear call to actions (where necessary) helps to feed these content-hungry channels. Buyer journey maps and persona understanding allow more accurate guidance to drive relevant and effective communications.

Leading on from the guidelines; rules of engagement need to be clear in terms of SLAs, crisis management, escalation processes, promotional content, influencer engagement and scheduling posts – all of which need to be well-documented and adhered to.

4. Activation (pink section):

Activation means having the right content created, the right people aligned, and the right channels managed and promoted to deliver success.

Content types for social media vary in term of effectiveness. Again this really depends on the audience and channel. For example, list posts perform well in terms of shares on LinkedIn, gaining 22.45% social media traction. There are also gender nuances with research indicating females are more likely to share content that makes them appear intelligent, compared to men who wanted to appear funny. Frequently content and messaging already exists within the organisation that can be repositioned and reformatted to fuel your social content engine.

Ensuring all the right people are aligned and understand their role in the social system is important for a cohesive, results orientated approach. Bring together brand marketers, service operations, sales teams, executives and PR to ensure everyone understands their role and a consistent approach and presence is in place.

Finally, channel management ensures real-time, daily and ongoing engagement and responsiveness from brands. Posting previews, pre-approved content and ongoing collaboration ensure these channels are on brand and on purpose.