The last year has significantly changed the relationship between people and their work. Companies have moved from boardroom meetings to virtual meetings with total reliance on digital communication platforms. Under these new parameters, brand culture has been the big victim.

The pandemic has been a decisive test for companies’ values, purpose and value proposition (both internally and externally). A lot has changed for companies in the last year, from where their employees work to the work they do – it’s a new world of work. More than ever, your values, your culture, and your EVP (Employer Value Proposition) matter.

Values are the foundation of culture, guide decision-making, and define what the company stands for. They influence the identity and image that the company emits through its brand and through people. Values are at the very heart of human decision-making.

Every company has its own culture, whether it defines and documents it or not. Let’s not forget that the company and its brand are the result of the people who make it up. The culture It shapes principles that govern the way people in that organization behave and act in their day-to-day relationships both inside and outside the organization. Maintaining a highly engaged and enthusiastic workforce is a critical part of keeping the culture alive and retaining or attracting top talent.

The Employer Value Proposition (EVP) cannot be left out and should consistently reflect what the brand brings to its internal teams. Telecommuting has led many companies to add functional aspects such as training workers to keep up with new digital skills. But this is completely insufficient.

With all this, we should not forget that employees are people, not just workers; that work is an indissoluble part of life, it is not separate from it; and that today we can only add value through feelings.

EVPs have long been built on three principles: defined around employees, designed to provide them with an exceptional experience, and focused on delivering features that fit their needs. Now, in the midst of the age of purpose, a shift is needed from “what we give to employees” to “why we give it to them” and more particularly to “how we are going to give it to them”.

It’s time to take action. Part of the solution is understanding how to deliver a more humane approach centered on the whole person, designed to provide an exceptional living experience, and centered on feelings and characteristics that fit the needs of employees.

Traditionally , an organization’s EVP consists of five main elements:

  • Remuneration – base salary, salary incentives, transparent salary processes…
  • Affiliation – alignment with the organization’s values, its purpose, the quality of the work environment…
  • Content of the work – structure of the work, variety, autonomy, feedback…
  • Career – progression, status, growth and development, training, training…
  • Benefits – work-life balance, working from home, flexible working, time off, vacations, job security…

A first review of the EVP is now necessary to adapt it to the way employees and future employees will judge the organization based on how it has addressed the necessary changes after the pandemic: how they have managed working from home, what safety measures have been put in place or how they have managed possible layoffs. There are 3 Moments of Truth that define the psychological contract between what is given and what is received. The EPV represents the foundation of a new psychological contract between employer and employee that will be essential to ensure recovery.

Secondly, let’s not forget that this is the age of people. Brands really need to mutate towards a “people first” focus. Companies with a purpose at their core are those that truly focus on improving people’s lives and well-being, in its broadest sense. And that’s supposed to be the second revision of the EVP.

As we saw recently, this is a Brand Led Wellness approach, that is, brands oriented to the welfare state, which can be approached from 4 angles: a physical perspective, a mental approach; a social and relational configuration; and also from a perspective of care and contribution to the environment. As far as internal branding is concerned, it means the following:

  • Physical Perspective: Reinforcing attention to employees, focusing on people’s health, promoting active lifestyles and good nutrition, strengthening safety at work…
  • Mental Perspective: Ensure employees feel valued by helping them grow as people, not just professionals. Promoting equality, training…
  • Social Perspective: Provide flexibility in all aspects of work. Help employees feel understood by strengthening their internal and external connections.
  • Sustainability Perspective: Ensure that employees feel involved in the organization by defending its purpose and its derived actions on social and cultural issues.

Today, the list of things that employees are valuing most from their employers includes (but is by no means exhaustive): flexible working opportunities, upskilling opportunities, digital learning, working from home, access to better information technology, improved health and well-being, a culture of trust and support, Feeling safe, workforce diversity, acceptable behaviors, and a set of shared values that apply equally to everyone in the organization.

By meeting these expectations, people perceive the emotional value of employment by feeling more understood, autonomous, cared for, and valued. This is an EPV designed to deliver a better life experience, not just work, that will result in higher employee satisfaction, superior brand engagement, and increased business performance.

Carlos Puig Falcó
CEO of Branward