Thursday 14 May 2009

Recognition and the Employee Value Proposition (EVP)


I’ve written about employee value propositions (EVPs) a couple of times before, and I mentioned it again, using the same model, in connection with employee recognition during today’s webinar on compensation and benefits during the recession, hosted by Globoforce (recording here):



The interesting thing for me is how and where recognition fits into this model.  The obvious place for it is as part of ‘great rewards’, ie within the compensation and benefits areas.  But then, as Derek Irvine stressed, it’s much more than this, and it focuses on a different kind of benefit (psychic currency) altogether.

To me, it’s not part of any of the areas of the model at all.  My rationale for proposing this is that whereas people may ask and expect certain areas of the EVP model to be offered and provided to them when they join and stay with an organisation, and employers also think of these areas when they’re planning what areas to offer and provide to employees, recognition typically isn’t something that’s included within either thought process.  (I’m referring to the simple, cheap but high impact forms of recognition like saying thank you, rather than the 2 month best salesperson trip to Hawaii – which I think would fall into the compensation & benefits areas.  What you referred to as meeting validation needs vs instrumental recognition, Chris.)

Ie people don’t join or stay with an organisation because ‘they tell me how well I’m doing a lot’.

They might say one reason is that ‘they tell me how I’m doing’ (calibration vs recognition), but even here, I think the benefit is a means to an end, rather than the end itself.  You wouldn’t say with an organisation just because they say ‘well done’ all the time.

The reason people want recognition is that it cements the two sides of the deal around the EVP.  Ie, when they receive recognition, people understand that their contribution is being noticed and valued (the employee to employer side of the deal) and hence this raises expectations that the employer will deliver on its side of the deal too, ie the employee will receive all of the other benefits described within the relevant EVP.

This is why recognition is so important. It’s not a single element of the EVP model, but reinforces each of these different elements by strengthening the deal.

I’m not sure that I’ve expressed this point that clearly, but I’m fairly certain that the point is right.  What do you think?



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