Putting the Value in Your Employee Value Proposition

With all the talk on attracting great talent today, one thing is for certain. Your employee value proposition (EVP) should serve as a strategic tool for your organization to appeal to people who will fit best at your company. Your organization’s EVP has the power to communicate “deal or no deal” to current and potential employees. Now, more than ever, organizations are investing in the development of their EVP and actively managing their employer brand.

Perhaps your organization already has an EVP and is seeking to update or evolve it—in search of a “new deal.” Or maybe, you have not made the leap in adopting this simple, but powerful tool—so now is the time for your organization to reconsider your strategy. In either case, here are some things you should consider as you discover just how valuable your EVP can be for your organization.

Value starts at the beginning

Think of an EVP in its most simple terms. Essentially, you are making a promise to your employees. So one of the first things you should consider is the information used to inform, guide and support your EVP. I personally like to call them artifacts. This is usually information that can be observed, known, or learned about what it’s like to work in your organization. Insights can be gathered from a number of different sources, including in-depth interviews, focus groups, surveys and organizational assessment tools. As you look through this information, you may find patterns that reveal what your organization is, what it is not and what it aspires to be. Gathering and evaluating this information can be overwhelming at times, so finding a partner you can trust in EVP research and distillation is essential—particularly when you want your EVP to be objective and authentic.

Making your EVP valuable means you have to be honest about what your organization does and does not do well. For example, if your latest engagement survey results reveal that employees do not view growth opportunities are apparent, your EVP should not highlight career opportunities as a major strength. Instead identify the organizational attributes and values that motivate your employees and reinforce them through examples of the employee experience.

Employees amplify value

The purpose of your EVP should be centered around communicating your organization’s values and employee brand promise. But developing your EVP is just the beginning of managing your culture and understanding your organization’s value in exchange. Perhaps this exploration has revealed areas in your organization where change is needed. Even if this is not the case, your organization is rolling out new ideas and strategies, so you will need your employees to support it. Get your employees involved and encourage them to share their experiences as they align with your organization’s EVP.

For instance, consider a real-life example of the EVP rollout for Waypoint Homes. In helping employees understand how to live out the new employment brand, a playbook guide was designed to facilitate further discussions around the company’s newly designed EVP and what it meant to be a Waypoint Champion. This exercise further cultivated Waypoint Homes’ EVP by capturing stories of employee experiences first hand. The outcomes provided examples to potential employees and reminded existing employees what success looks like at Waypoint Homes. This examples highlights just how critical it is to identify brand ambassadors who can champion the brand and serve as a resource to help employees navigate the culture.

Applying value across your talent initiatives

Your EVP should form the core of your employment branding and recruitment efforts. Integrate your EVP messaging into your recruitment strategies by incorporating it into your career site. If you are an international organization with a global presence, tailor your message to different regions and appropriate social media channels.

EVPs can also be expressed through tools that help candidates determine whether they would make a good fit. Consider the EVP designed for Pep Boys. A fit tool and career microsite were created after identifying the creative EVP elements. Specifically, the fit tool was created to provide an interactive exploration of what it is like to work at Pep Boys and help potential candidates decide for themselves if they would be a good fit. Again, think creatively. Your EVP can be expressed in a variety of ways to help attract the best fit talent for your company.

But don’t stop there. The value of an EVP goes far beyond attracting and recruitment marketing efforts. Your organization’s EVP should be woven into the employee lifecycle of your organization. There should be ongoing dialogue to promote your EVP through the onboarding process, through engagement initiatives and through other developmental opportunities for employees. Consider leadership programs, community events and even customer/client experiences that promote your organization’s values in action.

Finally, consider the value that your EVP can have on actual business results. We frequently find that organizations who have formalized their EVP and manage their organizational culture are achieving greater returns than those who have not. Specifically, your organization’s EVP is an essential tool that can be designed to drive business outcomes. Think about what success means to your organization and what it takes to deliver there. Sometimes this can be measured in terms of customer satisfaction or sales revenue. What about employee loyalty and retention? An EVP can influence and impact metrics like employee loyalty if your current employees share the same values identified by your organization. In addition, productivity and engagement are likely to increase when the values between employees and the organization align. So what are you waiting for? Go discover the true value that your employee value proposition holds for your organization.

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