What’s Your Organization’s Value Proposition?
By Claudia Malone, SPHR and lead instructor for the Human Resources Management certificate program
The talent war has started! Whether it has impacted your organization yet or not, it is time to recognize that the world of recruiting your most important asset – people with the right skills at the right time – has become much more competitive. Yes, there are enough people to fill available jobs, but not enough people with the skills companies need to drive their strategic plan. So your “value proposition,” i.e., what you offer potential employees, has become a major competitive advantage.
So, what is a value proposition?
It is the package of tangibles and intangibles that you offer to current and potential employees. Obviously compensation and benefits are a critical factor, but don’t ignore the value of intangibles when courting people to come work for you. Those intangibles include things like interesting work, training and development, the opportunity to make a difference, flexible work hours/locations, and your company culture. Your company culture, for better or worse, can either attract or repel job candidates.
What is company culture?
Think of it as your organization’s DNA. It determines how things get done, how decisions are made, and how people work together. It includes both written and unwritten “rules of the road.”
Do you know what your company culture is? While some organizations have taken the time to build the culture they want, every organization has a culture whether it’s deliberate or accidental. Your goal should be to intentionally build a culture that will attract, retain and motivate employees.
How do you do that? As I said, you have a company culture whether it’s intentional or accidental. So start by defining what your culture is today. What values do your actions illustrate? We’re talking real values, not necessarily the ones that are printed on posters and hung on the walls of your building. You can get a sense of what employees feel are your real values by the stories they tell about your organization. Check out their postings on social media sites like Glassdoor.com to see what’s being said about your organization.
If your company culture is not everything you want it to be, the good news is that you can change it. The bad news is that changing an organization’s culture is much like trying to turn the Titanic – it’s a big project that takes time and a lot of hard work. And while HR can be an important partner in driving culture change, particularly in communicating with employees, the real leadership must come from the top. Employees need to see that senior management “walks the talk.” If not, you will still have a culture, but it may be one of distrust and paranoia as employees wonder why managers say one thing and do another.
So, prepare yourself for the talent war by ensuring your employment value proposition, including your organizational culture, is attractive to both current employees and job candidates. Otherwise you may find yourself at a significant disadvantage in the escalating war for talent.
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