The importance of a compelling employee value proposition

To build and foster a productive workplace with high levels of employee engagement you need to establish and promote a viable employee value proposition (EVP). An EVP is the unique set of benefits which an employee receives in return for the skills, capabilities and experience they bring to a company. An EVP is about defining the essence of your company – how it is unique and what it values. It represents the core reasons why people are proud and motivated to work there, and will be central in attracting and retaining the best talent.

Here are some tips on how to create a compelling EVP…

Understand perceptions

To develop a strong, realistic EVP, you must first understand what perceptions existing staff and potential employees have about your company brand and culture.

The first step in understanding this can be achieved by reviewing and analysing data – this might include employee engagement, onboarding or exit surveys and recruitment and retention metrics. Analyse all data by key employee populations to identify trends and key themes. Remember to look beyond the top line numbers – explore people’s comments for deeper insights.

When examining data, try to hone in on responses to the following questions:

  • Why do existing employees think the company is unique?
  • What do they value most about working there?
  • Why do they stay?
  • Why do they leave?

Determine your unique selling points

Review your research results and determine what it is that people value the most at your organisation. Use this information to start drafting an EVP, ensuring the following questions are considered:

  • Does it align with your strategic objectives?
  • Does it clearly differentiate your company?
  • Does it paint a realistic picture of what it’s like to work for your company?
  • Will it appeal to different business areas and employee demographics?

Now you want to start testing your EVP with current employees and, if possible, a sample group of external candidates to see if it hits the mark. You may need to tweak your EVP slightly.

Communicate and promote

Once your EVP has been defined, you need to start getting the word out. Communicating the EVP is critical for both existing employees, as well as potential employees. Incorporate the EVP into your induction plans, reward and recognition schemes, internal communications, policies and business plans, so that it is reflected in the way your company conducts its daily operations. Review your EVP annually to ensure that it continues to reflect the changing employee experience. This will be an ongoing effort not a one off – you want to always keep your EVP top of mind for staff and job candidates.

Employee advocacy

You want to tap into a powerful, yet often overlooked advertising method – employee brand ambassadors. To do this, your employees must see consistency in the image you sell externally and in the day-to-day reality of working for your company. You must walk the walk, bring the EVP to life, and keep it alive and thriving. Once employees believe in and support your EVP, they may well start talking about it with their friends and families, as well as online through the likes of social media, forums and blogs – this can be invaluable for your business.

Creating and delivering your company’s EVP takes considerable time and effort to get it right, but will be advantageous in the long run. Remember, an EVP must be unique, relevant and compelling if it is to act as a key driver of talent attraction, engagement and retention.