We have been doing a lot of work lately helping our clients to define their Employee Value Proposition (or EVP), and one thing that I’ve LOVED seeing is how many of our clients are embracing the fact that their company isn’t for everyone. All too often, companies are so focused on “selling” their workplace to prospective employees, that they lose sight of what it truly takes to be successful there.
While well intentioned, placing too much emphasis on all that makes your company a great place to work can have unintended consequences – attracting candidates that aren’t a great fit for your culture and environment, or creating unrealistic expectations about your work environment. This can ultimately lead to higher turnover, disengagement and recruiting challenges in the longer term.
Companies must own the fact that their work can be challenging (after all, it’s called “work” for a reason), and that the pace and intensity may not be for everyone. Think about it – Ivy League universities don’t beg for applicants, and they make it clear that not every student will be successful in their demanding environment. Why should your company be any different?
In this recent Fast Company article, a startup CEO described how being brutally honest about what it’s like to work at his company has helped reduce turnover.
So, as you’re considering your Employee Value Proposition, and how it’s reflected in your recruiting, hiring and ongoing communications, be sure you’re being honest, transparent and willing to share the good, the bad and even the ugly. It’s the best move you can make for the long-term health of your company.