Employee Value Propositions: What does yours say about your business?

Does your EVP need some TLC?

If you’re sat there wondering ‘What does EVP even mean?’, there’s a good chance you need to update your outlook on talent attraction.

In short, an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) relates to the unique deal between you and your workforce, encompassing the benefits on offer and what’s expected of both parties in return.

Moreover, it represents your raison d'être – your reason for being, your principles, what separates you from the competition, and how you’re viewed as an employer.

While that may sound a little abstract, it pays to think about what motivates your team and how you can instil a sense of pride within them, helping to ensure optimal performance and boosting every stage of the talent lifecycle.

Understanding Your EVP

You may regard your business as a pioneering outfit with a great company culture, but for all your aspirations, the only way to gauge how your employees truly feel is to ask them.  

A good starting point is to survey current staff, asking what they believe makes your business unique, what they appreciate about working for you and why they stay. You may also want to ask where improvements could be made.

Additionally, it’s advisable to investigate what attracts prospective employees to come your way, so take the opportunity to ask for initial impressions when interviewing candidates.

Furthermore, you should make the most of exit interviews by listening to the reasons behind departures. This process is often overlooked with busy HR teams reluctant to devote time to those jumping ship, but much can be learnt from leavers; they’re likely to give more insightful feedback than current or prospective staff, potentially highlighting gaps in your EVP and ultimately helping to refine your retention strategy.

Conducting such analysis will give clarity on how your perceptions as an employer match up to the reality of being an employee, which is the first step in developing a meaningful EVP that breeds loyalty.

If you’re serious about implementing positive change, it’s vital that your leadership team collates all responses and reviews them accordingly. Only then will you gain an accurate picture of how your EVP looks compared to how you’d like it to be, allowing you to take action and create something special.  

Focus on the ‘V’ word

To attract high-potential talent and retain top performers, your EVP needs to emphasise your values and put them in the spotlight.

Why should people feel proud to work for you? How do you take care of your team? What’s exciting about your vision for the future?  

Your initial research should reveal the characteristics that people admire most about your business, and documenting these will give you the foundations upon which to build your EVP.

You can then discuss the elements you’re missing out on and where there’s room for improvement. If, for example, your exit interviews uncover a common theme of burnout and stress, taking steps to introduce wellbeing initiatives will go a long way to addressing the underlying issue. You can then showcase your commitment to this in your EVP messaging.

However, you can’t just paper over the cracks with woolly words; you have to follow through with action, or else you risk alienating your workforce if they feel they’re not getting the deal they signed up for.

The end goal is to establish a handful of key messages that underpin your approach to business and what it’s like to work for you.

These statements should align with your overall objectives, giving staff confidence that you’re a progressive employer and offering outsiders a window into your company culture.

Once you’ve defined the central pillars of your EVP, share them with members of your team and ask whether they accurately reflect why someone would want to work for you. Achieving their approval is crucial, as these are the very people you want to motivate and empower.

Stand out

Differentiating your business from other industry players with clear, inspirational messaging will certainly catch the eye when aligned with consistent branding, PR and marketing, helping you naturally recruit the best talent.

Communicating a strong EVP internally will also influence your staff to become brand ambassadors, living and breathing your values as you move forward together.

So while ‘EVP development’ may sound like corporate jargon, taking time to create a compelling set of values that accurately reflect your worldview will go a long way to engaging all stakeholders, which is why it should form the basis of your overall talent strategy.

The Opus Talent Solutions team are experts in Employer Branding and EVP creation, helping international firms find the right people with innovative campaigns. If you’d like to hear more about our comprehensive range of services, please contact us today.

Witten by Alex Crass

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