An ‘Employee Value Proposition’ Mindset Just Might Fix Employee Engagement
The Green Apple Podcast does weekly “Green Apple Slices”, where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments are released each Monday, so don’t miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or Stitcher.
This week, John and Rachel discuss a Forbes article, “An ‘Employee Value Proposition’ Mindset Just Might Fix Employee Engagement” by Rod Wagner.
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John: Good morning, everyone, it’s Monday and that means it’s another episode of Green Apple Slices. Rachel Fisch is here from Deloitte Canada, national…
Rachel: Something or other.
John: Whatever. Do you even work there anymore, I mean, seriously, they just gave you a red Swingline and said, “Here you go.”
Rachel: No, that was TSheets. TSheets gave me the red Swingline.
John: Yes, they certainly did. But yes, from Deloitte Canada, and so I’m excited to have you here so you can talk real world sense into my crazytown. But yeah, we’re going all in with this Forbes article here that you found which I thought was really, really great. “An ‘Employee Value Proposition’ Mindset Just Might Fix Employee Engagement” written by Rod Wagner.
Rachel: And value. It’s a word that’s used a lot now and I’ve heard it in relation to what is the value that you bring to your customers. And I was at a networking workshop where we were talking about small business owners, making sure that they understand what their value proposition is to their clients and things like that. So that’s great, this is the first time that I’ve seen it in the concept of employee engagement so the employee value proposition. So instead of concentrating on just what is the service that you deliver that nobody else can deliver to your clients, this is actually putting that in employee concept, which I thought was really interesting.
John: Yeah, I thought it was great and I really loved it because yeah, it just basically asks companies why would a highly-talented person want to do their best work here and stay. So it’s on you, it’s not on the employee to try to talk their way in, it’s on you to try and be attractive to me to want to come work there.
Rachel: Yeah, so a couple of thoughts, and let’s see if I remember thought two by the time I’m done thought one.
The first one is I had some experience with HR where I was doing a lot of interviews and stuff like that, trying to be the voice of reason — don’t laugh too hard — on the HR if somebody comes interviewing. And a lot of it was like the expectation is that you are there to grill these candidates on why they should be a good fit for you and I think it’s perfectly reasonable for those candidates to discuss with you and to want to ask with the employer that’s trying to hire them “What are you going to give me, what is this environment that I’m coming in to, why would I want to work here?” and not just be that one-way conversation which was really good. And do you think that I can remember thought number two right now?
John: No. But that’s interesting because my relationship experience with HR was very, very different, it was a lot of putting pieces of paper into my folder again and just building up a big file until I’m not there anymore.
But that’s very true, and when you’re talking with customers there is a value proposition for them that’s a clear compelling reason for you to do business with us. Why shouldn’t it be the same?
Rachel: Exactly, between vendor and client as to why you are the best vendor for them and why they would be a great client for you. And I think even that there sometimes is a little bit one-way that you’re trying so hard to prove why you’re the best vendor for them that sometimes you don’t think about “Wait a minute, do I actually want these people as clients?” Maybe you could do a little bit more work there.
But, thought 2, and this is actually going back to an article that we looked at several weeks ago, I believe, where it’s talking about — or maybe I was just talking about it — how it’s really effective when the employee can identify what their values are and that you can identify as a corporation, as a business what your business’ values are so that you can find values that then dovetail and align with each other and that’s where I think you’re going to find the highest engagement. But if that person doesn’t know what their values are, if you haven’t figured out what their company’s values are then you’re going to have a lot of hard time trying to figure out where those elements align.
But I think it kind of goes to what we’re talking about here with this value proposition discussion is making sure that you’re trying to connect to the employee at that level instead of just a skill level. Does that make sense?
John: Yeah, that absolutely does. Because if the person doesn’t know what they stand for and the company or the firm doesn’t know what they stand for and what their values are and it’s not clear and concise and easily explained, then there’s no way for you to get on the same track and no way for you to be working together.
And yeah, I think it’s great that employee value proposition takes kind of like a holistic view of the relationship between people and where you work. It’s interesting because sometimes they ask people, I mean it says here in the article that asking people if they have a best friend at work or things like that. Although there is a book out there called Vital Friends written by Tom Rath and in that he says that he found in his study that 96% of people that have three close friends at work are more satisfied with their lives, which I think is really interesting. So it’s not necessarily like you have to have a best friend at work, it’s just having close friends and the only way to do that is by opening up and sharing a little bit of your hobbies and your passions and thing along those lines.
So yeah, I think it’s great that companies that then can create that culture where that’s part of their value proposition. I think the other thing with that too is the more clear and concise that is then they’re attracting like-minded people that have the same goals and drives and what have you. There is still diversity there and some thought but at least you know you’re all working for the same goal.
Rachel: Yeah, but you’re not going to get that if you haven’t defined it.
John: Yeah, exactly, that’s exactly right.
Rachel: Hey, John?
Rachel: You’re my best friend on this podcast.
John: Everybody’s got jokes, all right. Well this one went off the rails fast. But be sure and check out the Forbes article, “An ‘Employee Value Proposition’ Mindset…” It’s two-pager, so make sure you have a couple of minutes to…
Rachel: That’s a long one.
John: It is a long one. That’s so sad in this day and age when two pages is long.
Rachel: I don’t have time for two pages.
John: So that’s it, there you go. Thanks so much, Rachel, for being with me this week on the Green Apple Slices.