People Matters PM April 2022

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sations have a mission statement, many individuals are seeking or have established a strong sense of purpose. In fact, on my college campuses we have transformed the old “Placement and Career Services Office” into “Career and Life Design Centres,” reflecting the need to help young professionals chart out their personal journey with purpose in mind. The concept of having a meaningful purpose was highlighted during the pandemic as people reflected on their work in light of the fragility of humanity facing a crisis. “What is the point of this job and why am I doing this?” was an often-repeated reflection throughout workforces around the world. When an individual can see and state a clear sense of purpose in what they do, we often see a heightened sense of intrin| April 2022

sic motivation and fulfilment. Considering mission, values, and purpose has become more critical when considering the employee value proposition. The days of only thinking about payscales, job descriptions, and career movement is no longer sufficient. When thinking or re-thinking the employee value proposition, I suggest a modification to the general model that suggests that mission, values, and purpose are necessary. When they are not present or addressed, they can dilute the overall value of the value proposition such that: EVP = (S+R+C)/(M+V+P) Where the employee value proposition (EVP) comprises the combination of salary (S), role (R), and career (C) value divided by the perceived alignment of the firm mission (M), organ-

isation values (V), and role purpose (P). Of course, this is an incomplete and over-simplification to help emphasise the importance of taking a more holistic perspective to the EVP as we consider the future of work. The pandemic had a major impact on our lives and has created a shift in how we think about our relationships with work. It is no surprise therefore that we must re-think the employee value proposition and how we communicate this to our employees and our potential talent. The shift toward more meaning, more impact, and more fulfilment seems clear, which calls for a renewed focus on mission, values, and purpose. As I encounter students graduating this spring, I expect to hear their expressions of excitement in considering their future, not in terms of big salaries, great roles, and glamorous careers, but rather in terms of the anchoring to the mission of their organisation, the values that they uphold, and the purpose that drives them toward future success. I hope that employers are able to shift to the new EVP equation to bring these bright new futures to life. Richard R. Smith, PhD is a Professor at Johns Hopkins University where he also serves as Vice Dean, Education and Partnerships at the Carey Business School