Employee Value Proposition: why your company needs one
Being an ‘employer of choice’ in Britain has never been more important. Brexit, slow growth and inflation have meant attracting new talent is becoming increasingly difficult.
Being an ‘employer of choice’ in Britain has never been more important. Increased competition and ability to work remotely means attracting the top talent is difficult, but also vital for success.
Employees today have more opportunities. Paired with lowered expectations to stay in a company for any length of time – attracting and retaining employees within your company has become a vital part of business strategy.
This means a strong, well-crafted Employee Value Proposition, (EVP) is essential.
What is an employee value proposition?
To put it simply, an Employee Value Proposition is a set of benefits and rewards a company offers its employees in return for the skills, capabilities and performance they bring to a company.
The EVP is made up of a mix of culture, characteristics and benefits that are presented to employees in return for their contributions.
Why is it important to have an employee value proposition?
Imagine you’re in the process of hiring an employee. While you’re offering that person a job or they’re within the recruitment stage, you need to ask yourself, what elements of your culture would you want to shout about? What sets your company apart from others? What can you offer that competitors can’t? These are things that will ensure you can hire the top talent, but also ensure that you retain loyal engaged employees.
A clearly defined EVP is a way to communicate this offering.
What does a good EVP look like?
1. It contains elements to appeal to different audiences
A good EVP contains different elements so that it’s able to appeal to employees of different ages, gender, cultures and functions.
Everyone is different, so this means that you want to create a broad offering which can appeal to different people with different needs – but also include main pillar elements which uphold the EVP and have a broad appeal.
2. It’s built around factors that will truly engage, attract and retain
To ensure that an EVP generates maximum results, you need to build it around factors that will genuinely engage, attract and retain the talent you want and that will drive you to success. You should also make sure that your EVP is in line with your company’s overall objectives and goals.
Further importantly is a way that you can make it unique to you. Think about what you can offer that no one else can – as this is what will set you apart.
3. Developed from existing employees
There’s no better way to find out what employees want, than by asking your own employees. The most successful EVPs are built from surveying current workforces to find out what they would like to see offered to them, or what they enjoy and would like to maximise from their current offering.
By building it around your people, you can ensure that your EVP is actually useful and motivating to your workforce and potential future employees who are likely to have similar needs and interests.
For your company, think about the following questions when building out your EVP:
- Does it align with your overall company goals and objectives?
- Is your EVP unique to your company?
- Does it show potential employees what it's like to work at your company?
- Does it guide a path for future growth?
- Can you clearly and simply communicate it?
And what are the benefits?
An EVP really tackles three big, meaty issues that any company, little or large, will struggle with:
1. Company culture
An EVP isn’t just a selling point but a statement about your company’s culture. If you are going through a rebranding effort and trying to alter your reputation even in a commercial capacity, nailing down an EVP will act as a blueprint of change to come.
It also helps to create a strong ‘people brand’ which can become one of the main things your company is known for. When you think about companies such as Google or Apple, you think of their great offerings – meaning they have employees queueing up to work for them.
In many ways, an EVP is step 1 in building a progressive and modern workplace as it puts an emphasis on employee engagement. It’s a signal to both candidates and current employees that their happiness is the main consideration for management.
2. Attracting new talent
According to a recent study carried out by Glassdoor, 4 out of 5 workers would prefer access to more benefits and perks than a small salary hike. This is a radical change in the job market and shows that you can’t always buy your way to the top, there are things that people care more about than money. Moreover, hiking up salaries isn’t feasible for most companies anyway.
If you are struggling with attracting the right candidates for roles, chances are there’s something up with your EVP, or you don’t have one. For a candidate to really want to work at a company, they have to be enticed by a vision of what their life will be like there. If they can’t see themselves enjoying life within your organisation, it doesn’t matter how much money you offer, they are likely to decline.
3. Reducing turnover
We all know there is a big problem with loyalty among younger workers in the UK. The average citizen is now likely to go through six different jobs in their life, spelling the end of ‘company loyalty’.
Employers who have grown complacent and fallen behind the times when it comes to company culture are feeling the effects of this more than others. An EVP can help to reduce this problem.
5 things to include in your employee value proposition for success
If you’re starting from scratch, or even if you’re just looking to improve your current EVP here are five aspects that should always be included:
1. A flavour of who you are
Who you are as a company is one of the biggest considerations that will sway a candidate towards working for you. Naturally, if you’re known as a ‘fun’ or ‘exciting’ place to work, people want to work for you. This image attracts people, and means that you can pick from the top talent.
Include information such as what the work social scene looks like, what the vibe in the office is like and what your company culture is based around. Policies like pets in the office or a relaxed dress code can often appeal to people. So if you have fun policies make sure you highlight them to show who you really are.
2. ...and your people
Who makes up your workforce? They're an extension of your company culture, so an EVP should always allude to the office social makeup. You want to demonstrate what type of person is a culture fit. Are they loud, vivacious, personable, or focused and analytical? It might be more holistic than this. Perhaps you're looking for someone who is passionate about your industry, or lives and breathes office culture.
Whatever you're looking for, it’s important to define it, not only for the candidate’s sake but for your own. The worst thing you can do is hire a really qualified applicant, who rubs everyone the wrong way, or who doesn't 'get' the company mission. Even worse is a new hire that feels isolated and alone – this will lead to quick turnover and bad word of mouth damaging your reputation of an employer.
3. The progression route
'Where will the job take me'? This is something that every candidate wants to know in advance. If you’re able to show the scope for growth and development in a role, it’s instantly more appealing.
Career progression has stagnated over the past decade and has become the bugbear of a generation, who are stuck in mediocre positions, with a bleak outlook. So having clear progression paths mapped out in an EVP will create a lot of noise in a stale job market.
4. The daily grind
Despite its importance, the day to day routine is often forgotten about when talking to potential employees – but in fact, this could be one of the things that employees are most interested in and could also greatly affect them.
A short explanation of what an average day would look like is a valuable part of the recruitment process. From an employee perspective, it’s quite a hard thing to visualise how they would feel in the job without that information – but can make a large difference in knowing whether they would be a good fit.
If they have an idea of what’s expected of them, the process of applying will be a lot more streamlined and focus on why they will excel in that particular role.
From an employer's point of view, it will also give you the opportunity to paint a picture of what a good day looks like. It’s a chance to set the bar and lead candidates in with accurate expectations.
5. Your perks
Last and certainly not least: the perks of the job. It’s no exaggeration to say that this can make or break an offer, given that access to company benefits is now a top priority for people entering the job market. Moreover, further down the line company loyalty hinges on having a matured benefits or rewards system in place. Even Sir Terry Leahy, the CEO of Tesco, understood this fundamental link, stating that the “true source of loyalty is to create benefits for people”.
Given that it holds such esteem in the eyes of your employees, your EVP should be a showcase of all the different and desirable company benefits that you have to offer. As general, or as tailored as you like. This includes packages that you might have bought, such as Perkbox but also includes the smaller things, like free coffee in the office, or a monthly lunch-out treat. ‘Added value’ is the most enticing part of an EVP and is also the area you can really differentiate yourself from competitors. Having a cycle to work scheme, or discounts in certain shops is a clear-fire way to demonstrate that you’re putting employee happiness first.
The bigger picture
Ultimately an EVP is a statement of intent. If you’re looking to creating one, don’t start panic buying ping-pong tables. It’s a process that starts with deciding what should be in your EVP. Make it your starting point and then start following through on the ideas you’ve included.