Key challenges in delivering the EVP of the future

The employee value proposition (EVP) of the future must reflect employees’ evolving needs, which extend far beyond remuneration, as long as their take-home pay meets their day-to-day requirements. 


If you read nothing else, read this…

  • The employee value proposition (EVP) of the future must reflect employees’ evolving needs.
  • Learning and development will be a key feature of future EVPs.
  • Line manager performance is one of the biggest challenges facing HR and benefits professionals.

Less than a quarter of respondents (22%) to the Employee Benefits/Lorica 100 Club research 2014, published in June,think pay is the primary motivator for staff.

Attendees at the Employee Benefits/Lorica 100 Club thinktank debate, held in April, believe employers will be under increasing pressure to give staff more autonomy in their job roles than they will to increase pay, which reflects employees’ growing acceptance of small pay rises or pay freezes. 

Daryl Maitland, senior HR business partner at Cafcass and one of five attendees at the debate, says: “A lot of it is about control: staff having control over their own situation and over their own work. We see zero-hours contracts becoming more prevalent and the number of self-employed staff going up, so there is the opportunity for employers to offer more flexible [work] structures.”

Maitland says bring-your-own-device (BYOD) schemes, which allow staff to use their own mobile devices and laptops for work, would support staff that want more flexible working practices.

Reward and recognition

Ed Airey, UK reward manager at insurer RSA, says autonomy can also be built into employee recognition and reward schemes.

RSA has implemented a bonus scheme that allocates £100 to each of its call-centre staff to use at their discretion when dealing with customers. “Staff love the fact that they get that responsibility and are really proud that they get to send flowers to someone whose husband has died, for example,” says Airey.

He says much of the scheme’s success is down to staff sharing their customer experiences via social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Avoiding a rules-based scheme has also helped, says Airey. “When we first mooted the scheme, everyone was questioning the rules we would put around it, but in the end it was really rules light,” he says. “We found this was better for dealing with the 0.5% [of staff] that broke the rules and used the money to send vouchers to their mum, rather than putting loads of rules in at the outset.”

Learning and development

Attendees at the thinktank debate agreed that learning and development will be another key feature of the EVP of the future, as an increasing number of staff work longer.

Ian Hodson, reward and benefits manager at the University of Lincoln, says: “I think there’s a big market of staff who will reskill and go and do something that their life experience has steered them towards. These staff will go back into education and may want support from employers to do that, so there may be two phases of employee: one who is educated at the start of their career and one who comes through using their life experience. Money isn’t the biggest driver here, but personal satisfaction in terms of doing something they actually want to do.”

Jackie Buttery, head of reward at law firm Eversheds, says employers must tailor their communication strategies to engage each group of staff. “There will be the generations coming into the business and then those towards the end of their development journey,” she says. “The challenge is that we’ve got such broad [working] populations.”

Line managers

Thinktank attendees identified line manager performance as one of the biggest challenges facing HR and benefits professionals in engaging staff with their benefits package and the wider EVP, because line managers are responsible for identifying and supporting their team members’ needs.

RSA’s Airey says: “One of key challenges is lack of consistency around leadership ability. This is certainly a massive focus for us. I could come up with the best recognition scheme in the world, but if it’s not used in the right way by team leaders, then it’s pointless. They are the role models and the real drivers in terms of how their teams behave and talk to their customers.”

But Buttery says success is not just about line manager competence. “The EVP banner is a very wide one,” she says. “It’s not just about leadership, but about what that culture is like within team and with a line manager.

“It’s about employees being given the opportunity to align their working lives with their home lives, as well as about pay and benefits, which engenders engagement. This is a very big jigsaw puzzle and all the pieces need to slot together for it to work.”