It’s January 2022 and we continue to be inundated with news and views postulating what the ‘post-covid’ world of work will look like. Will there be a global ‘great resignation’? Will we or can we continue to work from home? What would a permanent hybrid workforce look like? Will we travel interstate or even overseas to see clients or will Zoom remain the dominant form of communication? And so on and so forth.
All of the questions we are asking are future focussed. But are organisations asking themselves the right questions about the actual here and now?
I understand the need for an incessant, and somewhat wishful, focus on what a ‘post’ covid future will bring – in many ways it gives us a sense of hope that we will soon be past this disease and ‘back to normal’. The reality however, is that we are entering our third year of living and working with covid with zero sense of when we will actually see the backend of the pandemic.
So, what can organisations do right now?
Right now we need to be having more discussions about how we can help our employees today – and a good place to start is to shine a light on our company values.
Company Values versus Employee Value Proposition
A company’s Values are the beliefs, philosophies and principles that drive the business. They guide employee behaviour and influence the way the company interacts with its stakeholders. According to Lucidity, after reviewing hundreds of companies, the top 10 most common company values are:
- Customer Focus
- Celebrate success
A company’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is the value (benefits and rewards) the company offers to employees in exchange for the value they bring to the company. According to research conducted by Gartner the elements that make up a compelling EVP include compensation, work-life balance, stability, location, and respect.
Elevating your EVP to a company Value
Without question, both a company’s values and its EVP are critical underpinnings to creating the right organisational culture – however, why on earth are they contemplated as unique and somewhat mutually exclusive propositions? Why are your company’s values (and mission etc) up front and center and one click away in your ‘About’ page while your EVP is buried three or four clicks in, somewhere under ‘Recruitment’ or ‘Why Work For Us’? And why do your company values not include a reference to your employees – apart from your expectation that they will ‘work together as a team’?
Yes, your customers are important. And yes, your people must work well together with passion and integrity and celebrate wins. Etc. But what about actually acknowledging that you value your staff?
Three years into covid when our employees are exhausted, overwhelmed with uncertainty, trying to work productively from home (often with kids in tow) and are battered and bruised by the constant stream of covid related data – isn’t it time to elevate the importance of our employees to (at least) being amongst our top 10 drivers?
Right now, the question your organisation needs to be asking is not:
As an organisation, what are our values?
As an organisation, what do we most value?
When posed this way, surely the concept of fostering an engaged, healthy, productive and highly valued workforce should be your organisation’s current focus?
I’d like to see this concept added to your list of company Values.
Written by Kate Christie.
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