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All sundaes start with a solid foundation (the ice cream), but it’s what goes on top that really sets the sundae apart.
Very much like how compensation and benefits need to be competitive for your labor market — but it’s what you offer beyond that which will make an employee stay… or a job candidate accept an offer.
Your basic sundae always has some degree of syrup or toppings, followed by whipped cream. But the cherry — that’s the real treat.
Part 1: Is it really a sundae without the toppings?
Part 2: It all starts with the ice cream
Part 3: It's all about the hot fudge sauce
Look at the timeline to the right. We’ve gone from an employment contract that relied on loyalty to one where workers are demanding that their employer support their lifestyle, rather than them fitting into a job.
Was it likely we would have ended up there eventually without the pandemic? Sure. But it definitely accelerated the speed at which job seekers and employees decided to take the employment contract into their own hands.
Returning to our sundae metaphor, the new ‘lifestyle contract’ has a lot to do with who you are as an organization. How are you taking care of you employee’s whole life, operating sustainably, and having a positive impact on the world? That’s where employers are winning talent.
Though loyalty in the form of longevity may be a thing of the past, having employees who take pride and have an affinity toward your organization and the work that you do, is the ultimate goal. Having employees who all feel a sense of purpose, both in the roles they perform, but also the role the organization plays in the global eco-system — your sundae is complete.
Whether you call it your employer brand or your employee value proposition (EVP), it’s a lot about critically assessing who you are trying to attract and being honest and vocal about your mission, vision, values and commitments.
Sustainability is a hot topic right now — as it should be. Companies that are not actively searching for ways to operate more sustainably — and communicating (loudly) about their actions — are likely getting passed over as an employer of choice by the best and brightest.
Employees today want to feel like they are contributing to something — the greater good. For some organizations, like charities or healthcare, it’s a relatively easy task to communicate that purpose. But, for other organizations it might take a bit more effort. How does a retail, manufacturing, or telecommunications organization connect with employees to give them a sense of pride in what they do and where they work?
No longer will employees trade the better part of their daylight hours for a paycheck and medical benefits. Even flex-time and remote work are becoming somewhat standard. If everyone is offering the same employee perks, what’s to make them choose you, or choose to stay with you? That’s the cherry on top of the sundae. It should be said, not all employees consider an organization’s commitment to sustainability, for example, equally important. In a 2021 market research survey that Mercer conducted, not only were the importance of elements of the value proposition different by age and gender, but also varied by ethnicity, as displayed below.
Understanding what’s important to your employees, and what will inspire them to connect to your organization with a sense of purpose, is key to reaching that ultimate goal.
You engage your employees with a multi-faceted employee listening strategy. Today you may conduct an annual employee survey, but what leading organizations are doing consists of various touchpoints with employees throughout the year that allow them to be agile in responding to employee needs. Gone are the days of an 18-month timeline for survey design, conducting, assessing and action planning.
Through various tools like digital focus groups, pulse surveys and conjoint analysis not only can you collect frequent feedback from employees and take action, you are also connecting with your employees by engaging them in the conversation. Employees want to know you care about them, their opinions, and their preferences. When you start using their feedback to drive change, you are creating a stronger partnership. Employees will know they have a voice and will take pride in the company you are creating, together.
After all that, when you have your cherry on top, you end up with fulfilled, committed employees who feel pride in being a part of your organization.
Mercer is here to help with industry experts as well as a skilled transformation team. Let us help you identify the next evolution of your employee value proposition.
Looking for more information on how to sweeten the deal for your current and prospective employees?
Contact us via email or by calling 855-286-5302.
Access the articles at the links below.
Part 1: Is it really a sundae without the toppings? In the first part of this Sundae Series we’ll explore how employers are looking at their total rewards strategy to compete on today’s chaotic labor market.
Part 2: It's all about the ice cream. The second part of this Sundae Series focuses on why getting pay right is more important than ever, as you evaluate your total rewards structure.
Part 3: The secret is in the (hot fudge) sauce. The third part of this Sundae Series discusses how companies can focus on their employees’ wellbeing to enhance their employee value proposition.