• Alexis Pinchin, Director |
3 min read

As we emerge from the pandemic, many aspects of life may never be quite the same again. As the world starts to open up, organisations are looking to refresh their working model, taking into account employees’ expectations of increased flexibility. 

A compelling employee proposition

There will be considerations around office, remote and/or hybrid working and how important this will be to attract and retain talent. But organisations need to also step back and review a more fundamental and intangible attraction lever: what does your organisation stand for? What do you require from and offer (in return) to your employees in our new working world? How are you going to maintain and indeed strengthen your corporate culture to motivate, engage and inspire? In short, what’s the deal?

Without doubt, it’s a more complex picture than it was. Pre-pandemic, people typically knew what to expect. Now, we face a much more fluid, evolving future as organisations and employees experiment with different models and attraction and retention levers. This brings exciting opportunities for fresh thinking and new approaches – but managing it well is essential.

The market is extremely competitive. Skills shortages are rife. There’s a real war for talent. It is therefore crucial now to focus on your employee value proposition (EVP) before you lose too much ground to competitors. What is it that you’re really offering? Why should an employee come to/stay with you rather than jump ship to a competitor for 20p more an hour? What can you offer that’s unique or different and how does an employee benefit?

Part of this will be your reward and benefits package. But organisations need to think more widely. Is there a clear culture, vision and purpose for the business? Are your employees bought into this and do they understand how they can align their careers and future to those of the organisation. Everyone wants to be part of a winning team and part of an organisation that’s pro-actively supporting change in our lives and the world around us. How are you supporting environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and playing your part in local communities?

There’s wellbeing too. Organisations increasingly wish to protect their people’s physical and mental wellbeing – and staff want to know that their employer cares. Working in a remote or hybrid environment has compounded some physical and mental health issues. This means employers need to listen to their staff to understand what support is required. This might be providing access to essential services, new benefits or guidance and support networks. It could also mean looking at working practices to allow greater flexibility, or simply to ensure meetings are scheduled within core working hours, and offering “camera-free” days to prevent an “always on” culture.

Make it two-way and bring your unique EVP to life

Developing a hybrid working approach and articulating the new “deal” you have with your employees will be an evolving process.

Talk to staff. Make it a two-way dialogue. What are they looking for? What matters to them? What are your expectations of where, when and how they should work?

Focus on what makes your organisation unique then find inspiring ways to articulate “what do we want it to feel like to work here”.

Use digital communication tools and technology to bring your EVP, reward and benefits to life.

If I had to give one guideline, it would be to put the following question front and centre:

“In the post-pandemic era, what do we want it to feel like to work here?”

If you have a clear answer to this, you’re well on the way to creating your new model for the future.

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