Q&A #2

Here is an interesting interview we had with Anne Heyes, Former Executive Director Human Resources, at The Australian Red Cross Blood Service.


Describe how having an EVP made a difference to employee engagement
at the Blood Service?


It provided an agreed strategic framework within which to integrate all aspects of the employee experience resulting in a coherent people management strategy and activities, programmes and communications.


It provided an anchor for communicating with the workforce so that the linkages between strategic goals, business plans and people management initiatives could be easily translated.


It provided a framework for managers to have structured conversations with employees about the organisation’s explicit offer to them, and most importantly legitimised the conversations about what we could no longer offer.


During a time of major organisational restructuring, it assisted employees to come to their own judgements about whether the fit with the organisation remained relevant for them. Pride in the organisation was unleashed as employees were able to connect with the story in a more conscious way.


Managers were also better able to make the connections for employees about the why and what of organisational decisions and how they related to the type of organisation we wanted to be and our mutual expectations of what this means for employees.


In your view, what are the top three things to focus on when implementing an EVP?


1. Alignment
It is critical to ensure alignment between what you communicate your value proposition to be and the actual experience employees have when joining and remaining with the organisation.  You need to be clear that you are not offering to be all things to all employees and that what you promise which will be based on your strategic goals, your desired customer experience and the type of employee experience that supports these, is actually delivered for the employees you want to attract and retain.


You need to accept that once you have gained clarity about what your value proposition is and have communicated it both internally and externally, then you need to act and deliver on that promise. This may mean some hard decisions need to be made, particularly amongst your leadership and management levels upon whom HR is dependent to deliver the EVP.  If they are not totally aligned with the EVP then they will struggle to create the experience for their team members.  You cannot compromise this as otherwise the EVP becomes just ‘words on walls’ like many organisations’ values statements which just drives cynicism.


The way in which you make such organisational changes speaks volumes about your espoused proposition and so you need to ensure alignment between your EVP and how you execute difficult organisational decisions.


2. Regular review
The EVP cannot be set and forget. It needs review particularly as the organisation’s strategic goals and business plans are reviewed. It is the cornerstone of all people management systems and therefore needs to remain current both to internal and external environmental changes that may require it to be fine-tuned.  For example, with generational change, the expectations of the workforce can shift in subtle ways regarding employee career expectations and your EVP needs to be tested to see if it remains current to emerging market place shifts.


3. Communication
The importance of regular communication to keep making the links for employees and ensure the EVP remains real and not just the words on a wall.


If you’d like to read more about the Blood Service and view their award winning EVP, visit:  http://www.donateblood.com.au/careers