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How to Develop Your Employer Value Proposition – Part 1

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What’s in it for me?

It’s the question at the forefront of most candidates’ minds. Without an Employer Value Proposition (EVP), your business will find it difficult to clearly communicate your answer.

An effective EVP aligns your employees’ entire work experience, from culture, mission and values to total rewards and job role. Done well, it increases employee engagement, attracts and retains top talent and even improves the financial performance of your business.

Every organisation already has the building blocks for their own EVP. The challenge is to decide how to assemble them in the right way. In the first part of this two-part series, we dive a little deeper into:

  • What an EVP is

  • The benefits they offer

  • How to create and market your own version

  • And how to reap the benefits

What is an EVP and Why Does Your Business Need One?

At the risk of sounding like Karl Marx, work is an exchange: employees put in effort to create value for the employer. In return, the employer provides a total reward package.

The EVP defines that deal. Typically, it will include items like:

  • Compensation – market competitive salary that is managed by a compensation system that’s fair and effective

  • Benefits – including holidays, health cover, car, pension, flexibility, family benefits, wellbeing

  • Career – opportunity to develop and progress, training and education, evaluation and feedback

  • Work Environment – recognition, autonomy, work-life balance, challenges, understanding of individual’s role and responsibility

  • Culture – understanding of firms’ goals and plans, supportive colleagues and leaders, collaboration and team spirit, social responsibility and trust

Research from Willis Towers Watson found that the most effective EVPs promote more than the HR programmes provided. They go much further by exploring how they meet their employees’ broader expectations like communicating strategy and providing a collaborative work environment. And in return, they set out the behaviours they expect employees to exhibit to help the organisation succeed.

Willis Towers Watson’s research shows that when organisations use their EVP most effectively they are:

  • five times more likely to report their employees are highly engaged

  • twice as likely to report achieving financial performance significantly above their peers

But what does effective use of your employer EVP entail and how do you achieve it?

How to Define Your EVP

To deliver an powerful EVP you’ll need a strong employer brand strategy and communication plan. You should also consider developing an implementation roadmap that covers these critical steps:

  1. Review your employee engagement survey data to understand what your employees like and are lacking. This could be any part of the employee experience from compensation to culture.

  2. Pull together all the elements of your total reward package and align this information with your organisational values and behaviours.

  3. Communicate your EVP to your employees.

  4. Align your EVP with your external brand. Ensure it reflects what your organisation stands for in the marketplace.

  5. Deliver on your EVP promises. This might mean boosting areas of your EVP where there are gaps, for example, by providing additional training or enabling the organisation to work more collaboratively.

  6. Differentiate your business from your competitors in the labour market. Whatever it is that makes your organisation stand out, ensure this unique selling point is reflected in your EVP.

  7. Articulate your total reward strategy: this must be aligned to wider business and HR strategies.

  8. Use your business strategy and objectives to inform your reward and talent management programmes.

  9. Develop SMART objectives for each talent management and reward programme and align them with your EVP.

  10. Analyse the impact of your EVP by assessing organisational analytics on business performance, workforce demographics and performance data.

Involving senior leaders early in the development of your EVP is a must, as is training, rewarding and holding managers accountable for the delivery of your plan.

By aligning your EVP and your brand you will improve employees’ line of sight between their behaviours and performance, your brand promise and their total reward. Many organisations find that this results in improved customer service, collaboration and creativity.

How to Communicate and Use Your EVP Effectively

Creating an EVP might seem like a lot of work but what you put in will pay off across the entire employee lifecycle. The image below shows how the EVP can be deployed at every employee touchpoint from attracting employees to hiring and exiting the business.

Once your EVP and total rewards programmes are in place and being used, it’s essential to check in with employees to ensure you are delivering on your promises.

Employee research will help you refine your EVP and all its elements. There are many ways to monitor progress including:

  • regular engagement surveys

  • pulse surveys

  • gathering feedback from recent recruits

  • regular analysis of employee productivity and financial performance following the implementation of your EVP

As with all processes, EVP development is an ongoing cycle of continuous improvement that needs ongoing monitoring and tweaking.

Critical Outcomes

An EVP is an increasingly critical tool in the war for talent, particularly as the market hots up and becomes more global.

As an employer, it helps you attract, retain, motivate and engage employees to drive your business to success. For your employees, it shapes their overall view of work, emotional connection and level of discretionary effort.

For both parties, your EVP is a critical aspect in the development of a successful workplace, career and employee experience. By taking this holistic approach to your reward strategy, your business can achieve much stronger results from your people than those that fail to develop a fully effective EVP.

If you enjoyed this blog, read part two where we look at Individual Value Propositions and how they fit beneath your overarching EVP.

To learn more about working with Adam, contact us today by calling 0161 359 3789 or emailing