The Employee Value Proposition is a logical focus of retention strategies. At Tribe, we counsel clients to include not only the basics benefits, but also what we call Shiny Hooks. These are unusual benefits that capture the imagination and improve the quality of life for employees, such as allowing dogs in the office, offering on-site childcare or providing year-long sabbaticals after so many years of service.
But there’s no substitute for employees being truly engaged in the actual work they do. All the perks in the world can’t equal the power of being excited to get to the office in the morning, eager to dive into work that matters. That’s easy for an organization working to cure cancer or end world hunger, but what about those run-of-the-mill companies just selling an everyday product or service?
That’s where the company vision comes in. Any company can engage employees in their day-to-day work when company leadership communicates a powerful vision and the important roles individual employees play in achieving that vision.
Vision is different from a business goal. Objectives like “being more profitable each quarter than the one before” or “increasing our market share” are useful messages to communicate, but they don’t have the emotional power of a vision.
An inspiring vision is not achievable in one quarter or even one year. It generally involves some human benefit, some way that the company can improve lives.
Let’s say your company manufactures mattresses. Your vision might be to help more people get a good night’s sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation is a major issue for many people, impacting their work productivity, their family relationships, even their enjoyment of daily life. Better sleep improves lives in meaningful ways.
Every person in that mattress company can then play a role in improving lives. The research and development people are coming up with better products, the marketing people are helping more people find the right mattress, the people on the manufacturing line are building better lives one pillow-top after another.
This level of engagement, however, depends on management making two things a priority: developing a clear vision and communicating that vision. Not just once or twice, but through a comprehensive communication program involving multiple channels and long-range sustaining strategies.