Strong employer brands all have one thing in common. At their core, is an impressive employee value proposition (EVP).
To explain it in basic terms, an EVP is the foundation on which company culture is built. Not only should it clearly express the important aspects of organisational culture - it also outlines the critical components of a company’s promise related to the experience employees will enjoy.
Authenticity is key. For an EVP to be genuinely successful it should bean accurate expression of what working for the company is really like. When recruitment specialists think of EVPs, they often see it as a tool to help acquire new talent and attract candidates. From this perspective, an EVP that helps candidates recognise the essence of the company’s organisational culture is seen as successful. But what is often under-appreciated in this assessment is the power a quality EVP has on retaining current employees and keeping them actively engaged.
Communication is a two-way street
Ensuring important messages about your company reach your employees is always a positive, but what is also important is your ability to listen to their voice. Truly effective EVPs reflect time spent actively talking with employees about their experience within your company. Even the research process itself, whether via surveys or face-to-face interviews, is a valuable experience that can have a powerful impact because it shows all current employees that your company cares about their thoughts and feelings.
Employee ownership matters
When your EVP highlights real experiences that can be recognised and are authentic, the result is a very real document that showcases a unique view of what it is really like to be part of the workplace – from the bottom up. In that way, it should be seen as a polar opposite to a company mission statement.While mission statements tend to focus on lofty ideals and goals, the EVP, by its very nature, has its roots in reality – a document that reveals company culture through the eyes of company employees, rather than the business owners or management at the top tier.
Drive your employer brand to future success
Done well, an EVP creates a launching pad for all your company’s employer branding and creative content. Because it reinforces exactly what your company stands for, as well as the benefits it aims to deliver in the future, it’s effectively a bible for your employer branding team or agency to have at their fingertips. With the right investment of time and energy in its creation, your EVP will lay the foundation for your employer branding activity.
Four steps for building a powerful EVP
1. Analyse your data
Collection of relevant data about everything from employee engagement to onboarding is one thing.Dissecting the information that data reveals is another. Analysing all the critical revelations by individual employee populations will provide the best results – this way you are better able to identify any key themes and trends.Don’t only focus on the top line numbers. When you take the time to dig deeper, the reality is that truly valuable insights are often found in open comments from employees. It’s here you’ll find context that puts those numbers in better perspective to help you understand what’s really going on.
2. Deep dive across the organisation
The most important step in the development of your EVP should include a range of key stakeholders that reflect the breadth of your company’s team members – that means everyone from senior management and HR to marketing and the type of employees the EVP is targeting.For this step, interviews with relevant parties, as well as strategic focus groups that offer the ability to dive deeper into broad thoughts and feelings are recommended.
3. Develop your EVP messaging
With all this vital research behind you, the crafting of your powerful EVP is the next job. Start with a clear and concise statement that encapsulates the essence of your employee experience and the commitment of the employer brand.
To ensure you have created something that is congruent with your existing company documents, it’s recommended that you check your EVP against your company’s HR strategy. Each document should support the other. If yours don’t work effectively in tandem, it’s a potent reminder to revise both of them together to help your company present a united front in all its employer branding messaging and recruitment comms.
4. Spread the word
With a finely-honed EVP up your sleeve, it makes sense to spread the word strategically too. Be proud of it. Make it an integral part of your recruitment processes and employer brand marketing, from job ads and recruitment comms to promotion on social media and your own company website – actions that highlight the return on investment in its creation.