The "great reshuffle" or the "great resignation": whatever you call it, there's been a clear shift in the relationship people have with their employer. In the post-COVID workplace, employees are demanding a human-centric approach, where the whole person is considered.

This has cast a new light on the traditional employee value proposition (EVP). Employees are more than just worker drones. They're emotional beings whose lives beyond the office matter as much as the time they spend behind their desks, and they want to feel valued by an employer that supports the concept of an equitable work–life split.

EVPs used to be based only on features: come and work for us because we have casual Fridays, a great medical aid or a certain amount of parental leave. Such features are important but they soon become commoditized – and then everyone starts offering them.

So, when it came to refreshing the NTT DATA EVP, we knew it could not only be about features but also about connecting on a human level. What do our people really need in this post-pandemic era? How are they now choosing between employer A and employer B?

Making the human connection

Although traditional EVP features remain important – especially to support learning, growth and development – there is a new focus on holistic well-being, whether mental, physical, family-related or financial. That goes far beyond an inspirational poster on the back of the bathroom door; it's about our people's lived experience. They want to feel understood, with deep connections within the organization and opportunities for personal growth.

We focused on this concept of human connection by speaking to our people, one on one and in teams, with plenty of debate. Then we tested our idea for a new EVP and massaged it into what it is today.

We'll track our progress in a number of ways, the biggest being employee feedback at specific moments – for example, by asking people to rate a new training module. But we're also launching a quarterly employee engagement survey to measure how proud our people are to promote NTT DATA as an employer.

Making it real though connected working

Clients value the idea of purpose, and so do employees – they buy into organizations that offer a shared purpose. Working at NTT DATA should feel like what you do matters. It's also about knowing you can be your best self – with a healthy work–life balance supported by our approach to diversity, equity and inclusion – and that you have a career with us, not just a job.

Connected working, our unique approach to hybrid working, is a demonstration of how our EVP comes to life. We base this on two pillars: flexibility and connection.

We want to give our people flexibility so that they can work in a hybrid manner and enjoy a healthy work–life balance – it's about when, how and why we work, not where we work. But we also believe strongly in connections and fostering a sense of belonging, because people work with people. That doesn't mean going to the office just because we said so. It's about going there because there is a reason; we call that purposeful presence.

Every team and their manager will define how they maintain flexibility without losing those connections. Perhaps all team members will be at the office on Tuesdays for stand-up and one-on-one meetings, or they will be there to celebrate the month's birthdays on the first Thursday of the month.

Happy employees mean satisfied clients

We are a services organization even though parts of our business are infrastructure-led, such as data centers and cabling. But for the most part, our clients want to work with our people because they are smart, experienced professionals. That is what sets us apart in the market.

Therefore, we have to attract and retain the best talent. If they are happy, they will be more productive, which creates a better experience for our clients. This is how a strong EVP supports the bottom line, going far beyond office braais on a Friday afternoon to making a real difference in an organization's financial performance.