A talent strategy that centers on the whole person and provides a more "human deal", is what Garnter, Inc. says is needed to both attract and retain talent.
Employers must redesign their employee value proposition( EVP) to deliver employees a life experience – not just an employee experience – by focusing on the feelings and features that match their needs today, the group said in a recent survey.
Gartner's analysis revealed that while organizations have invested resources to modernize the traditional EVP, employee engagement has remained flat since 2016. The Gartner 2021 EVP Benchmarking Survey of 77 HR leaders in January 2021 revealed only 23% of respondents believe most employees will continue working in their current organization after the pandemic ends. One contributing factor: only 31% of HR leaders believe their current employees are satisfied with their EVP.
“Traditionally, organizations focus on employees as workers when they define their EVP,” said Carolina Valencia, vice president in the Gartner HR practice. “Instead, employers need to see their employees are people first and foremost. Our research shows that 82% of employees say it’s important for their organization to see them as a person, not just an employee, yet only 45% of employees believe their organization actually sees them this way.”
Organizations can strengthen their EVP by delivering on the new human deal that encompasses five attributes: deeper connections, radical flexibility, personal growth, holistic well-being and shared purpose. Employee satisfaction with the EVP increases by 15% when it encompasses the human deal.
To make progress on delivering employees a more human deal, which leads to increased intent to stay, employee wellness and likelihood of recommending the organization to others, leaders should do the following:
Personalize connections while respecting boundaries
To ensure employers are respecting employees’ boundaries while personalizing connections, leaders should integrate inclusion goals into day-to-day work and talent processes to drive accountability and ensure employees feel comfortable bringing their full selves to work; provide benefits directly to employees’ families or communities, and identify information employees are comfortable sharing to improve trust.
Ensure productivity while providing choice
Most organizations typically offer flexibility in when and where work gets done, but leading organizations also offer flexibility in who employees work with, what they work on, and how much they work.
For the best results, HR should partner with managers to establish team flexibility boundaries. Managers can then offer employees flexible choices within these boundaries and encourage teams to co-create flexibility norms for their specific context. Organizations can also ensure flexibility for all by determining which activities, not which roles, can be flexible.
“Radical flexibility fuels performance,” said Dion Love, vice president, advisory, in the Gartner HR practice. “Employers can increase the percentage of high performers by 18 percentage points by offering employees greater choices surrounding their work conditions.”
Advance organizational and individual growth
More than half of employees feel it’s important for their employer to provide opportunities for personal growth. Progressive organizations are providing employees with objective career coaches who help them prioritize their personal goals and explore how to pursue them internally and externally. Leading HR functions are bringing employees into the design of development opportunities to help scale the number of development options and improve their relevance to employees’ personal interests.
Create diverse, yet focused well-being offerings
Gartner’s research reveals nearly half of employees say their work-related stress is higher now than previously in their career. Employers are offering physical (80%), financial (67%), and emotional (87%) well-being benefits, however, few employees are using those offerings.
Managing this gap between the benefits programs offered and the programs requires leaders to take three actions:
- Hold employees accountable for their wellness by helping them identify the well-being offerings that matter most to them, incentivizing them to use available offerings and enabling them to track their wellness progress.
- Leverage leaders and peers to reduce the stigma of well-being offerings by having open and honest conversations about mental well-being to normalize mental health topics and support.
- Coach managers on how to provide effective well-being support.
Take action while representing all perspectives
Fifty-three percent of employees want their organization to take action on issues they care about. Many organizations struggle on how to balance activism with representing all perspectives. leaders should include employee perspectives – across levels, business units, and functions – when determining which societal issues to act on. Leaders should also partner with experts throughout the organization to create a societal issues decision framework that prioritizes how those issues align with the organization’s goals.