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New Benefits Thinking (1 of 4)

On August 3, 2016, in HRExaminer, by John Sumser

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Today, the emerging model for a world-class standard benefits program is one for one: benefits increasingly personalized to the needs and interests of the individual.

Times are changing. In the past, an employer could offer a one-size-fits-all benefits program and satisfy nearly everyone in the workforce. Then came healthcare reform and a workforce stretching across four generations. Today, the emerging model for a world-class standard benefits program is one for one: benefits increasingly personalized to the needs and interests of the individual.

The benefits that make sense for a recently divorced sixty-year-old grandmother are unlikely to engage a recent college graduate, and vice versa. Neither is meaningful to the mid 30s gay couple who recently adopted their second child. We are entering an era in which the diversity of benefits a company offers is an important way to harness the full attraction and retention capabilities of those benefits.

The meaning and utility of benefits is changing. While they can and should be used to attract and retain employees, the reality is not so simple.

Since the idea of the  Employee Value Proposition is growing in importance, it seems logical to incorporate it in the benefits conversation. The benefits a company offers should confirm and amplify its Employee Value Proposition (EVP).

Great HR Departments focus on consistently delivering both messages and realities. The EVP is at the heart of this strategy. According to Edelman,

“The EVP serves to define what the organization would most like to be associated with as an employer and defines the “give and get” of the employment deal (the value that employees are expected to contribute with the value that they can expect in return).”

Even better is this description:

“Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is the jargon commonly used to describe the characteristics and appeal of working for an organization. An EVP describes the mix of characteristics, benefits, and ways of working in an organization. It is the deal struck between an organization and employee in return for their contribution and performance. This ‘People Deal’ characterizes an employer and differentiates it from its competition” (TalentSmoothie)

Describing a fully professional EVP development project is beyond the scope of this note. Suffice it to say that a well crafted EVP and Employment Branding project is an essential part of the communications between company and employee. Since benefits are a critical part of that communication loop, they must be articulated in ways that amplify and focus the EVP.

The EVP itself is a short, text-based statement that gives a framework for the relationship between employer and employee. According to the CEB, a well thought out and executed EVP can:

  • Increase the commitment level of new hires by 20%.
  • Reduce new hire compensation premiums by 50%.
  • Increase the likelihood of employees acting like advocates from 24% to 47%.


 

Read each article in the series

  1. New Benefits Thinking (1 of 4) Read »
  2. Benefits is HRTech (2 of 4) Read »
  3. Essence Of A Benefits Strategy (3 of 4) Read »
  4. The EVP in Retention (How To Use Benefits for Retention) (4 of 4) Read »

 

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