The Employer Employee Courtship

For a long time, the tenet of Employer – Employee relationship has been that of stability, security, permanency. Till the Company does well financially, the employer is happy and the employee in return was getting the standard compensation, career elevation and was happy being loyal and receiving a long-term achievement award.

Post globalization and with the new age information technology advancement, the stability has given way to rapid changes. Today, the employee and the employer relationship has undergone a sea change.

Discussions with some of the CEOs and MDS have led to the belief that employer has to be pro-active and lead from the front when it comes to employee benefits. Employee, in today’s world has many opportunities and they seek the best.

To ensure that there is a lasting and a beneficial relationship, the employer makes the first move and offers a Good Culture in the Company and offers Benefits which are attractive and pulls the Employee towards the Company. We also call this the `Employee Value Proposition’ (`EVP’)

In return the Employer expects a good `Return of Investment’ by way of output from the Employee.

Let us see how the cultures and benefits that is being offered by an employer becomes a value proposition to attract, retain and helps in increasing the moral of an employee.

We can classify them in Four Performance boxes, which forms an employee cycle in a Company:

Performance Box 1: This talks more about the benefits that are provided by the Company.

HR compliances – Compliances are one of the most basic and important benefit that is provided by every Company. It is not just an aspect of abiding the law but also to ensure that the policies and procedures that are developed are taking care of proactive measures, has ease of operations and is forward looking. For example if there is a technology driven leave application form, employee will not over look applying for leave. It is ease of procedure that will make employee life simple and easy, which gives a positive effect.

Rewards and Recognition – R&R as we call is one of the most important benefit that an employer can introduce. The rewards can be classified into:

a) Performance Awards – Those who perform well in their job is identified in the performance awards. This ensures that the employee’s skills are developed well and the employee is assessed on his knowledge and application of those knowledge in his/ her workspace.

b) Value Awards- Recognizing an employee who imbibes and lives the value mission of the Company through his/ her work is vital for a Company. When an employer observes an employee who is emulating the Company values, they are recognised and rewarded by the employer.

Performance Box 2:
Post Covid has seen a lot of changes in how the Employer and the Employee perceive the value of Company policies, salary and other perks.

Salary system – Employer understands that salary is a key component, and it is an instant gratifier for an employee. The Company ensures that the salary being paid is at market level or better than some of their competitors. Since it is one of the key element of retention/ attraction, Companies places a high value to ensuring that the salaries are competitive. Apart from providing good salary, it is also important to ensure that the salary is distributed on time, without fail.

Perks and HR policies – It is important to design perks i.e benefits which are most beneficial to the employees. Unless the perks are relevant and need of the day, it reduces value. Perks can be monetary and non-monetary. For example if we give transport facility to an expecting mother, it holds high value or privilege leave for a new father, etc.

Policies of the Company must be forward looking and employee friendly. Apart from the policies that are required by law, the Company should create policies that are relevant, competitive, and easy to imbibe.

Incentive schemes – It is important to develop incentive schemes which are attractive, achievable, and linked to performance. Recognising good performers and incentivising the performance is one of the key value proposition for a Company. It helps in motivating the employees to perform better. It is also important to ensure that the employees are provided with right platform to showcase their performance.

Performance Box 3:

Defining vision values – While in conversation with a CEO, we realized that the Company’s vision statement was not well articulated and the employees, along with some of the senior management team were vague on the vision of the Company. We then interviewed employees of the Company and re-articulated the Company Vision statement.

It has now gone down to the junior most employee and when they go out and talk about the Company they talk with Pride about the vision of the Company, because they feel that the vision is linked to the employee’s career aspirations. It is important to define the Company and make every employee understand the same. When the vision of the Company and that of the employees are similar, the relationship thrives longer.

Behaviour training – Apart from the skills that employees possess, it is seen that training on behavioural aspects is critical. Leaders realise that just technical skill is not adequate, employees should also be competent in their communication, client management and other kinds of behavioural aspects to ensure an all rounded professional. Towards this, a lot of emphasis is being given on behavioural trainings.

Culture training – Covid made it necessary for people to work from home. This also enabled to create awareness that work from home is the way of corporate life today. Companies have now started hiring candidates who are far flung and from smaller cities also. But with this the need for ensuring that the employees work with a culturally varied team also became critical. Diversity and Inclusion is the mantra today and to ensure this Companies have given emphasis to provide culture training.

Potential management – Potential assessment and managing the employees career growth is one of the key elements of value proposition. Unless the Company gives career elevation, employees are not satisfied. Towards this, employer ensures that there are potential assessments done through various methods.

Performance Box 4:

Marketing EVP Internally – Developing various value proposition is important but beyond that is the communication of these programs upto the last employee. Employers have to identify various ways through which the value proposition is highlighted and showcased.

Training University – In today’s world where there is a constant change, it is important for the employers to ensure that their people acquire the knowledge and update their knowledge constantly. Towards this, creating a robust training program and ensuring that the employees get trained in the required skills is very important. It helps both ways i.e. to the employer and the employee. Companies place high value in bridging the knowledge gap of their employees.

Succession Program – In todays world, where there is a high employee turnover, senior leaders feel that a strong succession program is very important. Some of the Companies that we have been interacting with have ensured that a strong succession program and cater training program with a succession plan in mind.

Marketing EVP externally – EVP helps in creating a brand value for the Company and marketing the employee value proposition has become one of the key deliverables of the HR team.

Employee on the other hand has a lot of expectations from his employer. Today the choices available are multiple and they want to choose what is best for them in their mind or outlook. Employer is happy and will have a long relationship when he gets the following:
1. Recognition by way of awards, pat on back, etc
2. Salary which is high or cut above in the market
3. Policies of the Company are flexible and out best the competitors
4. Transparency in the policies and performance management system
5. Regular and ontime promotion
6. The Company gives him a Social status through various benefits, which he is able to talk about with his friends and family
7. He is able to fulfil his dreams through his achievement in the Company
8. He is pegged in the right band along with his colleagues of similar education, qualification, and experience.

To ensure that the employer and the employee is talking to each other and are able to fulfil each other’s requirement, it is very important to have a strong communication system. Creating great policies, awards and rewards system, etc. does not help if the communication of the value proposition is highlighted regularly and in a strong and systematic manner. The centre of the universe in a sense is Communication.

To conclude, our interaction with CEOs. Senior leaders have led us to believe that a strong relationship which yields results for the Company and the employee is the Value proposition that we create and ensure that the value proposition is strongly upheld. The leaders have to ensure that the employee needs are also to be kept in priority to ensure a strong and yielding relationship.

Vijaya Sampath is a Partner with HRhelpdesk, a Boutique Human Resource Consulting firm.