A lot has shifted in our post-pandemic world, and that includes how — and why — we work. Research from Gallup shows that employee engagement has declined since 2021, with organizations that have not invested in culture and employee wellness feeling the brunt of the downswing.
Although there are several contributing factors, it’s clear that businesses interested in retaining or regaining their engagement levels must first understand that today’s employees are looking for something different. Intrinsic motivators, such as work flexibility, career growth opportunities, and physical and mental well-being, are of top concern for today’s workforce. The years following the pandemic have also proven that employees seek to work for organizations that align with their personal and professional values, feel enriched by the work that they do, and want to work for companies that consider benefits packages that go beyond compensation.
Organizations will need to reimagine how they think about their work and their people — or risk losing out on top talent. So how can you, as an employer, meet the new demands of new talent while also trying to retain your current top performers? An employee value proposition is a great way to start. In this blog, we’ll discuss why EVPs matter and show you how to create one that attracts and retains top talent.
An employee value proposition has historically been defined as a “part of an employer’s branding strategy that represents everything of value that the employer has to offer its employees. Items such as pay, benefits and career development are common, but employers also highlight offerings that are currently in demand—like technology, remote work and flexible scheduling.”
Here at Blue Beyond, we take the definition a step further. A strong employee value proposition isn’t just about the offerings – it’s the ecosystem of support, recognition, and values that an employer provides to employees to achieve their highest potential at work and attract the right talent to sustain your organization. It’s a compelling summary of your value and promise to employees, and it represents the value that employees experience and leaders strive to create.
In other words, an EVP should never be viewed as a two-way transaction but as a complex ecosystem that boosts employee engagement and contributes to a Deep Trust and High Expectations™culture. It is the offer you extend to your employees — and the value and experience they can expect at your organization.
When leveraged to their full potential, the benefits of a robust, thoughtful employee value position speak for themselves. According to Gartner, having a strong EVP can lower your turnover by 69%, and organizations with attractive EVPs can reach 50% deeper into the labor market.
A powerfully crafted EVP is a vital piece of your overall organizational strategy and provides a distinct competitive advantage when looking to set yourself apart. It also helps with:
It’s critical when crafting an employee value proposition that it’s unique, relevant, and compelling. Remember, this is your organization’s calling card and should detail the reasons your employees are proud to work there.
Below, we share the steps we recommend you take to create an EVP that resonates with top talent.
For more help crafting your EVP, watch our webinar on building a compelling EVP.
It seems like a no-brainer, but the best place to start is to assess what your company currently is and how it stacks up against the competition. Measure and analyze key attributes such as:
At this point in the process, you will also want to consider the goals and outcomes you want to achieve in order for this project to be considered successful. What needs to change to attract new talent, and how should this align with the future trajectory of the business?
In order to find the essence of your organization, it’s important to understand your existing and prospective employees’ current perceptions about your organization and how that lines up with the value they desire from a place of employment. This takes deep listening to understand the value existing employees see now and the unrealized value they’re searching for. Doing this will help you know not only what to focus on when crafting your EVP, but also what work needs to be done so that employees’ experience in the company is reflective of your employee value proposition.
Potential questions could be:
Now that you’ve assessed and analyzed what you have, what you want to be, and what your employees are experiencing, it’s time to begin defining what pillars or principles your EVP will have that will work together to form the whole experience.
To find the pillars, use the research you’ve previously gathered to answer questions like:
Next comes your narrative and tagline. Your narrative should distill the key values from your pillars into a few sentences that clearly articulate the values that shape your employees’ experiences. A tagline will take this a step further by condensing your key messages into a single phrase.
While your narrative and tagline will not be able to capture the same level of detail as your core messaging pillars, these components of your EVP should still convey the story you want to tell your audience. Even more importantly, it should emotionally resonate with current and prospective employees and strike the right balance between a statement that is too aspirational and not aspirational enough.
Once you’ve identified your competitive advantage and what employee experience you can deliver, the next step is to write a strong employee value proposition statement.
Your EVP should:
Now that your employee value proposition is complete, it’s time to implement and share it. Just like the unique selling points in the EVP, the rollout should be done with creativity and uniqueness to bring it to life for your organization.
The rollout process begins by activating your internal audience. Your first stop should be to preview the EVP with your internal stakeholders, early adopters, and employees who played a role in your initial research. Once you’ve reached alignment, you’re ready to develop a launch strategy, which should include an implementation roadmap, communications to prepare managers, and a user guide for people managers, HR, hiring teams, and anyone else who will leverage your newfound EVP.
Leverage all of the different internal and external communication channels you’re currently using to share the good news. Convey it through all hiring channels, such as your websites, advertising, and the interview process so that prospective talent and your hiring teams can determine if they would make a good addition to your organization. Zoom backgrounds, wall posters, and other high-visibility visuals are another great method to spread the word.
Internally, you can promote your EVP through company blogs, newsletters, company emails, town halls, and internal communication tools. Identify employee value proposition ambassadors within your organization to champion it organically. Get creative with puzzles, quizzes, competitions, etc. to engage at all levels. Test for alignment with all employees to ensure they’re well-versed in the EVP so they can share with coworkers and new hires.
Finally, you can maximize your return on time invested by fully embedding your EVP across the employee experience. Consider how your EVP should weave into your existing employee programs, policies, best practices, handbook, and more. Remember this extends beyond your current employee base and should also integrate into your recruiting and onboarding materials. Careers websites, job portals, employee testimonials, and job descriptions are a good place to start.
Determining the success of your EVP initiative requires thoughtful consideration of how you will measure its implementation, both internally and externally. To start, identify key performance indicators your talent and people teams are already tracking that your EVP should directly affect.
For external KPIs, turn to your recruiting metrics, such as average time to fill roles, offer acceptance rates, number of qualified candidates, and the diversity of applicants. You can tie your internal KPIs to any employee engagement scores or survey results (if available), the frequency of employee referrals, and turnover rates.
EVPs are never one-and-done projects. It’s a living, breathing entity that will change with your organization and employees as you both grow and develop. It is vital to the success of your organization that employee value propositions are continuously evaluated and reevaluated to ensure that they’re working and resonating with current and future employees.
In an increasingly tumultuous work landscape, one thing remains clear: people will continue to look for companies that make their work-life balance meaningful and add value to them. Crafting a compelling employee value proposition is an impactful way to ensure employees and prospects alike have a clear perspective on what your organization has to offer today and the promises it’s making for the future.