Offer Value to Attract Loyal Employees

It’s a tight job market out there today. How can your association compete for the most talented and dedicated workers, and keep them long term?

You know what your association’s value is to members, but what is it to employees? You may offer more than you think. By crafting an association employee value proposition, you can attract and retain dedicated staffers. Here’s how.

What is my association’s value to staff? 

Your value is more than a laundry list of everything you provide to your employees, such as pay, benefits, training, and career development opportunities. It also includes the essence of your association—how it is unique and what it stands for. 

This value is part of your association brand and should be marketed to current employees, as well as potential hires, so they have a solid understanding of why they work for your association. 

To identify your association’s employee value, start by asking yourself: Why should someone work here? What is fun and engaging about being here? What things can we change to make it better? If we don’t offer high pay or strong benefits, what else do we have? Start making a list. More importantly, talk to your employees and find out what they think. Make it a fun meeting topic where everyone gives input.

Many Employee Value Propositions Include These Categories


How is the work itself rewarding and fulfilling? One example could be that employees get to see the direct benefit of their efforts in serving members. They can see how the association’s classes help REALTORS® be more successful, for example. Association employees are contributing to the health of their own community by supporting the REALTORS® who serve it. REALTORS® help put people in homes, and that’s something anyone can get behind. Another value of association work is that it may align with and deepen an employee’s skills, knowledge, and career goals. 


What extras, options, or considerations do employees enjoy? This can include anything from performance bonuses to travel, training, and participating in association events and outings.  Also consider what work-life balance opportunities you offer, such as flex time or the ability to bring your pet to the office.


Many companies boast that they are the market leader or the largest company in the area, but since your association is likely the only one in the area, promote the quality of your services, your social responsibility, your commitment to advocacy for homeowners and small businesses, and the fact that you are a part of the world’s largest trade organization. 


What makes your office a happy place? From a desk next to a window to free coffee in the breakroom, don’t underestimate the value of your physical office and the culture of your workplace. In addition, promote the office policies that underpin a good working environment, such as your antiharassment and antidiscrimination policies, and the procedures and commitments that back them up.


Why are you a person someone would want to work for? Promote yourself, your leadership style, and the type of manager you are, again, something anyone can get behind. 

Craft Your Value Statement

Once you’ve identified these value elements, craft a statement defining your entire value to employees. It should be aligned with your strategic plan, mission, and vision. It should be engaging and inspirational. Use it to create a vision for the staff experience of your employees. Many companies post this vision on their website. 

For example: “It’s more than a job, it’s a purpose … the opportunity to improve lives ... multicultural staff passionate about our mission, and a dynamic and exciting place to develop your career.” This employee value proposition statement from the Heartland Alliance, a nonprofit working for social justice, defines their core value and what their ideal employee embodies.

This idea of commitment to the association’s mission is a good place to start when drafting your value proposition statement. 

Once you’ve identified the tangible elements of your value proposition and crafted a statement that conveys it, create a road map for how you will live up to your value proposition for every employee.

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