Employee Value Propositions evolve to reduce time to hire and attrition

The war for talent rages on with, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics release 470,900 job vacancies in Australia, which is a staggering 85% increase since November 2020. A recent LinkedIn survey estimates that the average time to hire has also climbed to 40 days in this candidate driven market. In response, many employers are now turning their attention to their employee value proposition (EVP) to help differentiate their brand, reduce time to hire, decrease attrition and increase engagement.

There are a number of post-Covid factors still playing out in the employment market – a return of overseas workers will see some skill shortages fill but the aspirations of future employees may have changed forever and it’s only future focused employers that will attract the best people. 

Employees are increasingly looking for more than just compensation from their employer – the headline number will definitely get their attention but when they are weighing one employer over another, it’s what else that’s on offer that will have the final vote. On the surface this sounds like work life balance but, more holistically, it’s about your EVP.

Your EVP is the balance of rewards and benefits that your business offers its employees in return for performance. Its focus is to attract and retain employees and, in many businesses, has evolved beyond a focus on compensation to include wellness benefits because they attract – discounted gym memberships, access to mediation apps and learning support have been steadily increasing as part of EVPs over the last five years but there is a new pillar to the wellness structure of many companies EVPs – financial wellness.

“Financial wellness as a benefit, or financial wellbeing as we call it in Australia, has taken some time to get the attention of employers because of the general stigma attached to talking about money,” said Rae Davis, Co-Founder of the Financial Wellbeing Company.

“That has definitely changed for a number of reasons – recent economic conditions have brought personal finances to the forefront of everyone’s mind because there is only a small percentage of the population that hasn’t been impacted by post covid prices, rising inflation and the sudden spike in interest rates. But it’s also become a focus for employers because of the cost to their business by ignoring it.” said Davis.

According to recent figures from AMP, that cost is a high one – $66.8bn is the annual cost to Australian businesses because of employee distraction, lost motivation and productivity caused by financial stress. 21% of employees admitted that their productivity has fallen as a result of financial stress, an estimated 12 hours a week lost to ‘presenteeism’ with employees working at lower productivity levels due to the effects of financial stress and 27% of women have reported feeling financially stressed during the working day.

“There have been a lot of ‘a-ha’ moments for employers over the last few years when it comes to financial wellbeing – ignoring low levels of financial capability in your organisation will obviously increase the risk that your employees will endure financial stress which will come with them to work or worse, propel them to look elsewhere for work as they try and solve their situation by chasing higher wages,” said Jane Monica-Jones, also Co-Founder, the Financial Wellbeing Company.

“Financial Wellbeing as part of an EVP is working really hard for employers here and in the UK and US where it has been more widely understood for longer. We’ve developed a demographic specific approach to enable us to help as many segments of the population as possible. We are pretty unique in our approach but we’ve been learning for a long time and we are finding our psychological and behavioural approach to financial Wellbeing is really resonating with both employers but also with their employees. We also have a no shame mantra which is also a culture changer for many companies. 

“It’s been a real revelation to watch how organisations are embracing this change and underpinning their wellness benefits with financial wellbeing. We are mission based and make sure that we encourage employees to include their family and friends on their journey – we have the opportunity to change entire communities if we work together to solve and eradicate financial stress – it just makes good business sense,” said Monica-Jones.

Financial wellbeing is a relatively new concept in Australia, it has evolved over the last 20 years with some of the Banks now even using it as a term in their promotional material but it is often confused with financial hardship.

“Financial Wellbeing is a spectrum of financial health or fitness and every single Australian employee is represented on that spectrum. It doesn’t improve or decrease depending on how much you are paid, conversely it may actually decrease with every pay rise if you don’t have the right behaviours and habits embedded which is where we come in,” said Davis.

“I’ve personally been working with financial wellbeing for over a decade in a number of different ways – digital tools in banking apps, education and fintech innovation but mainly in a straight to consumer capacity until I realised that I was ignoring the single most important catalyst for change – employers.

“Employers are your main financial relationship during your career but they are also the most unlikely place you would go for assistance, until now. As EVPs have evolved beyond bonuses to attract and retain the best people, so has the understanding of providing financial wellbeing programs to help grow and strengthen the financial resilience of your most valuable asset. That’s because as an employee benefit, financial wellbeing brings in tangible business benefits,” said Davis.

If this article resonates with you and you would like further information on Financial Wellbeing as part of your EVP, please reply to this email phil.davis@qconsultinggroup.com.au and we can put you in touch with our Financial Wellbeing partners.

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