Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
I was going through some notes from this year’s Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Talent conference and came across one that was really spot-on and succinct. It was from a session with Lorna Hagen, chief people officer at Guild Education. The comment was that people want three things in their work: pay, purpose, and pathways. Here’s how I interpreted the comment.
PAY is the employee value proposition (EVP). I like to define the EVP as what employees receive in exchange for their work. It’s not just compensation and benefits. The EVP includes things like wellbeing programs, flexible scheduling, student loan repayment programs, and more. Employees want a well-thought-out package. From an organizational perspective, the EVP should align with company culture and the employment brand.
PURPOSE is about performance. Employees want to know that their efforts (i.e., their work) is valuable and contributes to the goals of the organization. This means that HR and the operation need to design work that is relevant. It also means that recruiting, orientation, and onboarding programs should communicate how an employee’s work contributes to outcomes. Purpose is the heart of employee engagement, and we know that engagement has a positive impact on productivity and the bottom-line.
PATHWAYS represent learning and internal mobility. Pathways are the paths an employee can take to turn their career goals into realities. Employees want to know they have a future. They want to know that their performance will lead to rewards and recognition. If an employee wants to move into a more challenging position, they want to know that they’ll be trained for the role and supported by their manager. An article on the SHRM website cited a LinkedIn study that said employees who were promoted have a 70% chance of staying and employees who made a lateral move have a 62% chance. This was versus employees who did not make any kind of move (45%).
What I liked about Hagen’s comment was that the 3P’s – pay, purpose, and pathways – are easy to remember. They’re easy to convey to managers. Organizations could make them part of a management development program. Are you giving employees the 3P’s? The goal being for managers to buy-into the delivering the 3P’s.
In fact, Hagen suggested that the ideal way to get managers to buy into the 3P’s was to do “co-creation”. Instead of HR creating programs and then implementing them, when a program needs to be created, HR partners with the operation to co-create it. This is beneficial because employee programs are being designed with the operation in mind. And it’s helpful to the operation to understand logistics from a policy design and implementation perspective. Everyone can learn. The end result is (hopefully!) a policy that is supported and works for everyone.
Over the months to come, organizations are going to be refining their policies and procedures for a variety of reasons. Maybe to accommodate hybrid and remote work. Possibly to accommodate a changing workforce. Whatever the reason, co-creation could be a good design strategy. And the 3P’s can be a way to guide the conversation. Because creating an experience that employees want is the key to successfully attracting, engaging, and retaining talent.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of Disney Springs, FL21