Employee’s expectations of their employers have shifted over the years. As technology changes the way we view work in its entirety, people are today confronted with multiple options to choose from, from function-specific, full-time employees to managed service providers, contract workers, gig workers or task-specific individuals in roles that crop up. These are all held in delicate balance by tools that are designed to manage people and tasks digitally, such as Monday, Slack, Trello and a host of others, allowing people – for the most part- to work from anywhere, at any time, to get the job done.
Shifts in the mental framework of our society continue to obscure outdated “roles”, perceptibly shifting the balance of power in favour of the individual and away from the outdated, greedy corporation that exists to serve itself. Companies that survive and thrive into the future understand that they will win by taking a stand within the communities that they serve, by being an active participant in social discourse and by giving back more than they take.
The opening up of the workplace to welcome more minority groups into ranks of leadership also serves to obscure certain outdated mindsets about what is “acceptable” and how things are “supposed to work”. The pressure for increased equality does not stop with colour and gender but extends into the political dynamic between the worker and the company. As people begin to own their power and use it as a force for good, companies can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to leading with purpose and keeping up their end of the bargain when it comes to benefits, culture, career advancement and remuneration.
Employees and consumers have come to demand the same level of social responsibility from companies, who are expected now more than ever to look after their workers and become complicit in their mental wellness, work-family blend and sense of meaning in the world. Companies need to foster an environment where people are comfortable to be themselves, share their knowledge, grow, support each other and make their lives mean something important.
The company now exists more as a network of individuals with different backgrounds, different stories and different needs (and not a singular, uniform workforce). These individual agents exist at the centre of their own universe and bring a plethora of life experience, cultural diversity and knowledge into the organisation. This changes the way we need to think about how benefits are structured, how collaboration happens, how feedback is received and how we communicate with these individuals.
There are a lot of resources about what an EVP is, and there are tons of stats to corroborate why your company should have one, but the main thing for me is about recognising the individual that is contributing to your success as a company every day, with their energy, their ideas, and their hours. Smart companies utilise the driving force of purpose to create cohesion within their dispersed teams and set innovation alight, allowing them to streak ahead of their competition into the realm of the great.
A company’s value proposition to its employees is a promise. A promise that we care about the individual within the collective, and a promise that we will maintain integrity and keep caring, even through the hard times. A promise that we will reward people fairly, support them on their career journey and create a place where they want to be each day.