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EVP now means a partnership, with flexibility and the opportunity to contribute to a bigger picture

We’ve moved on from the Employee Value Proposition (EVP). Certainly a great working environment, progressive organisation culture, and the right level of remuneration with associated benefits are attractive to highly talented individuals. However, more and more I am seeing both organisations and candidates searching for the ultimate partnership between employer and employee.

Organisations want talent who can deliver, no matter what the situation. At executive level, there’s an expectation of availability (or at least to be contactable) 24/7, no matter what time zone and what time of the year… my New Year’s Eve phone calls are still ringing in my ears! Top performers are keen to have greater flexibility and accountability, including the hours, locations, scope of work and the projects they have the opportunity to work on. Working together embraces all of these ideals and both parties have a critical responsibility to adapt their approach to work in today’s marketplace.

Increasingly our life is more about want-want-want – just ask my teenage kids who want more than I can provide! As a consumer society, we often lose focus on the importance of empathy, compassion and giving. Nevertheless I believe we all want something that we can connect with, whether that be emotional, spiritual, financial or another reason. Going to work every day for a higher purpose is fulfilling. I am literally hearing from candidates the need to work in an environment where “I know I can make a difference”. To facilitate this, you must have an environment that places the bigger picture at the heart of its purpose, right?

Last year Salesforce was awarded the highest honour of #1 Best Place to Work in Australia. It’s worth asking, what do they do differently? The company adopts the Hawaiian spirit of Ohana (meaning ‘family’), which obviously resonates if you’ve ever met someone that works there or read some of their employee testimonials. Along with their 1-1-1 Corporate Philanthropy Model, where 1% of tech staff are allocated to supporting not-for-profit enterprises in Australia, Salesforce has also taken a stand on social issues, including gender equality and marriage equality.

Let’s not forget that understanding the customer is also paramount. We should aspire to achieve great partnerships with our clients, as well as our colleagues and our employer. Observing an organisation who values both the needs of customers and its own people will attract like-minded talent who are also a good cultural fit. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

If you’re a candidate, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there on what your real EVP looks like (I’m hinting it’s probably not a slide in the office). Employers, give and you shall receive in spades.

What’s unique about your value proposition as a candidate or an employer? How has your organisation adapted to these changing dynamics in the world @work?

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Posted in Slade Executive, The world @work

So you think you’re talking to a client about your business, then the meeting takes a U-turn…

Imagine my surprise when on arrival at a prospective client’s offices, I was ushered into their boardroom, presented with a beautifully bound sales proposal and taken through a detailed slideshow about the company’s full suite of services. Their presentation to me was 10x more impressive than our pitch to them, and yet we were the ones supposedly doing the pitch.

This one really left an impression, and believe me, I’ve been to 100s of briefings with clients over the years. Our meeting had started with the usual introductions, quickly progressing to an in-depth discussion about the client’s business, who they market to, the awards they have won and even the cost to use their services. The discussion continued for about one hour.

It was impressive to see how well our potential client marketed her business, which made me think a client meeting should be like this more often, rather than the usual informal meet and greet.

Let’s really get to know one another and define the key aspects of our business relationship. That’s what I think these meetings should be about!

I honestly enjoyed the fact that the client gave me a lot of background information to work with, allowing me further opportunity to uncover what drives her business, its people, how it has become successful, and what its core values mean in practice.

At the end of the meeting I was sold on the marketing company. My job as a recruiter would be so much easier if every client presented its employee value proposition with such passion. I’ve turned that experience around to take a closer look at the way I present to clients. Listening is one of the most valuable skills that I’ve developed as a consultant because, as I’ve discovered, my clients are really presenting to me.

Have you ever had an unusual first meeting with a client or a supplier? What did you learn from the experience?

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Posted in Professional Support, The world @work