In this article we will explain what EVP is, explore why EVP is important for any size of business, (how it is not the same as Employer Branding), share the Employee Feedback model, how you can create one for your business, the value of using an employee survey to develop your EVP and help you think about how you will communicate it once you have it.
EVP stands for Employee Value Proposition. It is a term that has been used since the mid-nineties. Simply put it is what an organisation offers to employees. It goes beyond salary and material benefit and includes community, connection, opportunities for growth and is rooted in the purpose or mission of the organisation, and its values and culture.
Research by Gartner found organisations that effectively deliver on their EVP can reduce annual employee turnover by 69% and increase new hire commitment by nearly 30%. Organisations with a strong EVP also reach 50% deeper into the labour market and reduce the compensation premium.
Arguably EVP is more important today than it has ever been. It is a competitive world in the recruitment space and potential employees are asking more questions about the business, the breadth of the package and the employee experience.
The pandemic turned many certainties on their head, more people are questioning how and why they spend their time, inside and outside of work. The quality of our time, how valued we feel as individuals and how we connect in our environment are more important then ever.
There are many, many models out there for EVP, some more complicated, some simpler but all largely saying the same thing. At Employee Feedback we believe it is important to keep things as simple as possible.
As you will see in our model below we have simplified much of the research and our experience into four key components. These interlock and help you ensure you have covered all the elements you need to consider.
We are also using this as an opportunity to remind you about our old friend Herzberg and his two factor theory. You can see how his concept of hygiene and motivator factors fit well here and provides another useful lens through which to look at your employee offering.
As Douglas Adams famously, and wisely, counselled in his classic A Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy “DON’T PANIC”. This helpful advice is true here too. Even if you haven’t had an EVP before or the one you have is out of date and no longer works for you don’t panic.
You now have a model and an understanding of what it is and why it is important. You will already have many of the building block in place - you pay people, you communicate, you have some policies, you have an identity, a product or service etc.
The EVP is a strategic framework to help you express all of this and more in a compelling, authentic and comprehensive way.
We have broken this down into seven key steps, four to develop and communicate your EVP plus a further three to review and refresh your EVP over the course of your organisation's annual cycle.
Surveys are powerful two-way communication tools to engage your people and find out about their experiences. They can also be used to help you develop or refine your EVP.
There are lots of ways of gathering the data you need but a survey will give you the best, most democratic, comparable data set to really understand what your staff experience and what they want. If crafted well it will help you communicate your priorities and gather ideas as well as the evidence you need to inform your next steps.
If you already have an EVP but feel it needs a refresh and review again a survey can ensure that what you think the EVP is is actually what employees are experiencing and expecting. This can help you be confident that you are firstly communicating effectively about the benefits and culture and two that what you are claiming is true. Any disconnect between what you communicate and claim and what employees experience can undermine your EVP and cause dissatisfaction in the workforce.
Being authentic is critical and if your business is on a journey to where it wants to be in terms of its employee experience be open and honest about that.
For each section of the Employee Feedback EVP Model we have some suggested questions to include to help you gather the information you require.
These questions will help you understand how your employees feel about the benefits they receive and which ones they value. In our experience sometimes employees are not aware of all the benefits available or that they are not used or useful. For example, in my youth I worked in a big supermarket chain, staff were offered a discount on shopping in the store but this wasn’t a benefit realised by most because even with the discount the prices were not affordable and it was cheaper to shop elsewhere.
This is where you can understand your employees' experience of the learning and development opportunities available and understand what else would be valued. This is also about opportunity, variety, challenge. This is helping your employees be their best, reach their potential and be more effective, have greater impact. Use questions to understand what formal and informal systems you have in place, how mobile are staff across the business and how clear is their personal journey to them.
This comes back to the core of your business, the why and the what of what you do. This can help you understand how your values are lived within the workplace, how your mission and vision translates into roles, teams and the culture of the organisation. Here you will find the bedrock of your EVP and how your staff experience working for you and half of the story of how you are different from your competitors.
We all spend a significant part of our waking hours working. Colleagues aren’t your family but the team and community in which we work are really important to us as human beings. We are social animals, we compare, compete and support. A sense of belonging is important to people at every level, it adds purpose to our day and our role. Use questions here to understand about the networks and systems that exist in your workplace, the mentoring / coaching, the exchange of information and the informal learning opportunities that are so important to the development of people and our experience of work.
The focus of this article is on EVP but there can be overlap or confusion with employer brand. This summary should help you separate the two before we turn our attention back to EVP. The simplest way to consider this is that EB is externally facing and EVP is internally facing. EVP is the experience of employees and EB is what businesses say about themselves primarily to attract the best fit and talent to their organisation. Good EB focuses on the desired target group and can support and help build the business brand. It is a vital tactic in a strong strategy to attract the best talent.
Here are some of the key benefits of a strong employer brand:
Overall, investing in employer branding is a smart way to improve your bottom line and build a successful business.
Here are some tips for building a strong employer brand.
What are your company’s values and beliefs? What makes your company unique? How does it stand out against the competition, how can you articulate why a prospective employee should work for you? Once you have a clear understanding of your company culture, you can communicate it to prospective employees through your employer branding initiatives.
Your employer branding should be authentic and reflect your company’s true culture. Don’t try to be something you’re not, because candidates will be able to tell. Ask staff about their experiences and make it easy and clear how they can give feedback, annual or pulse surveys are a good way to check in and gather data but create other channels too like town halls, ideas / suggestion mechanisms (email inbox), listening exercises.
Your employer branding should be consistent across all of your channels, including your website, social media, and job postings. This will help to create a unified message about what it’s like to work for your company. Create communication tool kits to ensure all areas of the business are at least aligned with their communications.
Your employees are your best brand ambassadors. Encourage them to share their positive experiences working at your company on social media and other platforms.
It’s important to track the results of your employer branding efforts so that you can see what’s working and what’s not. You can use metrics such as website traffic, social media engagement, and application rates to measure your success. Run focus groups / surveys with new recruits and more established staff to check in with them to understand their priorities and their experience of EB, does the talk match the walk?
Like anything worth while, doing it well requires time and effort, but it’s an investment that will pay off in the long run. As you can see from this brief summary there is some overlap with EVP which is good news for you in terms of work in and benefit out 😉
Creating an EVP is a lot of work. But this is critically important work, that can influence the future of the business, its growth, its sustainability and its bottom line. When you have gathered all the information you need and you understand your offering and its relationship with your people inside out the trick is to simplify all that understanding into a set of powerful messages and examples that will communicate to your staff how and why they are valued.
Be honest, be transparent, look at what makes your business unique and capture what make you and your people proud to be part of the team. Creating a message house is a tried and tested way of bringing a lot together in a neat manageable way. It can be backed up with proof points, policies and lots more information about your culture so all your employees can access the information and material they need in their roles and also as ambassadors and potential hirers. You can use the structure below to help you create your primary tool to present your EVP or talk to us for support to get it just right for you.
And there you have it, the what, the why, and the how. We hope this guide of Employee Value Proposition has helped provide clarity and a way forward for you and your business. If you want to talk to us further about how we can help you create your own and supercharge your people and your business we are a click away.