- Creating a strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP) should be a core focus for business leaders and owners
- People aren’t as interested in climbing a ’career ladder’, instead opting to move around a ‘career lattice’ that offers a wide breadth of experiences
- Building a strong EVP starts with understanding and listening to your people
Workplaces have been tested over the last three years. From a swift transition to working from home to inflation that’s seen salaries increase rapidly, the war for talent continues as candidates look for companies that provide the trust and flexibility they’ve become accustomed to. Creating a strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP) should be a core focus for business leaders and owners today. A strong EVP fosters a better workplace culture and sets the foundations to retain talent, which is especially important in a tight labour market. This article outlines how to create a strong EVP and why it’s crucial for companies of all sizes, industries and stages of growth.
Why is having a strong EVP important?
The Pitcher Partners Business Radar Report 2022 found that up to 52% of middle-market businesses have seen an increase in staff turnover. Further, 49% of respondents have found it challenging to attract or retain the right people. Businesses, regardless of maturity or industry are experiencing these challenges. So, if you’re experiencing increased turnover or difficulty attracting and retaining talent, you’re not alone. Similarly, if people within your business have shifted focus from climbing the ’career ladder‘ to instead opting to move around a ’career lattice‘ to gain a breadth of experiences, this is common too.
Developing a strong EVP is a crucial part of addressing how people’s approach to work has changed, and the resourcing challenges facing middle-market businesses. As mid-market companies are the perfect size to provide a personal career experience and the learning and development opportunities people need to remain engaged, they are in a good position to differentiate themselves from bigger firms by strengthening their EVPs. A strong EVP will help your business to:
- attract talent at every level
- retain the best employees
- build a reputation for being ‘the’ place to work in the sector
- showcase and strengthen your brand.
Start by engaging with your people
Before you establish or evolve your EVP, you need to engage with your people. Key things that the business needs to understand include:
- why they chose to join the company
- why people enjoy coming to work
- what has changed about their experience with the company since they started
- what could be improved
- what career outcomes people are looking for.
Taking the time to engage with your people to understand the points above will look different for each company, depending on the size of the organisation and its culture. For smaller companies, this is a great opportunity to engage one-on-one with people to understand their career aspirations. It’s also important to create an environment and culture where people can be candid about what’s working and what needs improvement. Anonymous surveys with a combination of multiple choice or rating scale questions and free text answers will provide a good mix of quantitative and qualitative data to work from.
Build the five core elements of a strong EVP
Once you have feedback from your people, the business needs to work collaboratively to build out the five core elements of a strong EVP. These elements are:
- Unique: Customised your EVP to your business.
- Compelling: Think about how the business will stand out from competitors.
- Relevant: Get feedback to ensure your EVP addresses what is valuable to your people.
- Evolve: Your EVP must be fluid and evolve with your business, the market and your people.
- Marketing: Market your EVP internally and externally.
Think about how the business will stand out in the market through its EVP. Will the business update its flexible work policy in response to demand and the transition people have made to hybrid working? You also need to consider how to differentiate the business in the market. Use feedback from your people and scan the market to collaboratively create an EVP that’s compelling to everyone in your organisation.
Continually market and evolve your EVP
A strong EVP is dynamic, evolving with the market and your people. The process of creating or evolving your EVP shouldn’t be a one-off project. Instead, it should establish a process of gathering regular feedback to understand your people and their priorities and aspirations. Further, your EVP will gain more traction if building and evolving it is a collaborative process, and it is marketed effectively. You may consider the following channels to market your EVP:
- Internal: News bulletins, internal screens in communal office areas, on the company’s Intranet, and in team meetings presented by your leaders.
- External: On social media, job advertisements and to potential candidates in the recruitment and selection process.
Don’t make your EVP a guessing game; engage now to remain competitive
Strengthening your company’s EVP provides an excellent opportunity to engage with your people. It will help you understand what is and isn’t currently working for your people and provide the foundations to differentiate the company in the market. The key to differentiation in the market is genuine engagement and collaboration with your people. Building your EVP from this place will provide the roadmap to continually improve and update it as the market changes.