In the industry, we often talk about the ‘strategic importance’ of a role or department, and this often becomes the north star when it comes to talking about a role in the context of a company’s vision and purpose.
“How does this role ensure X delivers on its mission to achieve Y?”
The answers we get can be really powerful. And, for the right audience, it can be a powerful differentiator. It helps the candidate understand why their role is important, and it helps provide a wider context to the work they would be doing.
But what about the candidates that have a load of other priorities than come further up the list than the strategic value of their role. After all, what we are doing by highlighting this question is assuming that our candidate is more interested in what the company wants from them, rather than the other way around. While the mission-based Employer Value Proposition is an effective rallying cry, what does it mean for those who just need to know whether they can do the job, and whether they can earn enough money in the process?
Ask yourself, does you Employer Brand have the flex to be nuanced for those who want a job as well as those who want a career?
It’s part of our thinking behind taking a ‘whole person’ approach to defining the EVP. To steal from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we need to be able to articulate both how the EVP can meet both the basic level of needs (the hygiene factors around salary, reward, and security) as well as the self-actualisation element (big-picture and growth). As with all EVPs, we can dial up and down for different audiences for example, a high-risk high leadership role vs. hourly paid role.
This individual sense of purpose around “I want a career” vs. “I want a job” vs. “I need to make ends meet” forms part of our Purpose, Passion and Mindset model, and is one of our core considerations when we look at when creating EVPs and personas.
But what’s important to bear in mind is that these are not set in stone. Much like how “growth mindset” is not something binary – either something you have or something you lack. An employee’s reason and motivation to work can be impacted by any number of internal and external factors and so by outlining what your organisation offers employees who are in a different frame of mind. I’m sure I’m not the only person who has a ‘resilience scale’. Speaking from personal experience, I know that most of the time I want to be up there at the top of the pyramid, but if I’m really overstretched there isn’t that room for innovation and creativity required to come up with new ideas and truly thrive.
Take something like. . . a global pandemic. With all the additional concerns, responsibilities, and logistical challenges that come with working from home, or being the caregiver for children, family or neighbours, many people will have gone from that “I want to thrive” mentality to an “I’m just getting by’ one. These kinds of situations prompt us to think more deeply about an organisations culture. Rather than just using the expression “how you react now is how you’ll be remembered”, start thinking about the conditions and environment you can influence and how these can help elevate those people back to into the growth mindset place.