What's your EVP?
Are your values attracting the right people?
Most people experience unmet expectations in one form or another: a badly tailored shirt bought online because it looked great on the model, or a hotel with an ‘ocean view’ that looks nothing like the brochures. We observe these unmet expectations at work as well: a start-up that boasts a relaxed culture with a ping-pong table, but no work-life balance; a position that offers career growth but leaves you zero project choice. Unsurprisingly, not getting what you signed up for leads to disappointment, and employee disappointment increases turnover and kills morale.
This is where the Employer Value Proposition (EVP) comes in. A clearly defined EVP is the ‘promise’ between employer and employee – what benefits does the employee get when bringing their skills and talent to the table? If organisations mis-sell any aspect of the company to potential employees, it’s likely that they have a misleading brand and unaligned EVP. Without a solid EVP, employees can easily disengage. In fact, a recent Gallup study found 51% of US workers are not engaged – they are psychologically unattached to their company – while working. In fact, 13% of workers are actively disengaged – have miserable work experiences and spread their unhappiness to other employees.¹
Most companies assume offering shinier opportunities in the job posting is sufficient to attract the right candidates and make them stay. What they don’t know is it’s a three-part equation: alignment, offer and delivery.
It's more than just money
An obvious benefit that companies can provide to potential employees is adequate remuneration based on skills. But other benefits that align with employee aspirations are just as important. For example, if a candidate’s first priority is growing in their analyst career, they may be swayed by the salary package for a short time, but if they aren't offered projects where they can exercise their analytical skills, they may just find a lower paying position with a faster-paced training program.
On the other hand, companies that offer an enticing EVP, and deliver on it, will benefit from a boost in business and more engaged employees due to better fit. This is especially important for niche competitive industries where specialised talent is hard to find and retain.
In the long run, happier employees can find satisfaction in elements beyond pay such as positive culture, work relationships, flexibility, and clear career paths. Eventually, they become advocates of the company and attract candidates like themselves, all of whom contribute to a unique culture with similar values. This helps narrow down employee needs and delivers an effective EVP, which could decrease employee turnover by 70% and increase new hire commitment by 30%.² Ultimately, this reduces costs associated with hiring too.
Companies risk lowering growth with a constantly revolving door. This can be ameliorated using a ‘human deal’ approach to creating an EVP centred around the whole person. The human deal comprises five components: deeper connections, radical flexibility, personal growth, holistic well-being, and shared purpose.³ However, it’s up to leadership to implement this effectively.
1. Focus on what employees want
A sustainable and compelling EVP cannot be created from the top-down. Some benefits may not be as important to one employee as they are to the other. Some good ways to remain attuned to employee needs is through monthly reviews of HR complaints, employee feedback forms and pulse survey results. Here leaders won’t have to guess the types of benefits people are looking for.
2. Build genuine relationships
Incorporate “inclusion” goals in all hiring and daily work processes, with a focus on developing trust through meaningful conversations. Championing individual and family benefits for the entire organisation is also a great way to support employees outside of work.
3. Deliver on your values
It isn’t enough to have a shared purpose, taking action matters more. If your company’s brand focuses on, say, sustainable innovation, then its EVP should maintain that sustainability in all benefits promised to employees. This may be done through training programs to sharpen skills, and peer-to-peer coaching so that employees feel invested enough to build strong bonds with each other.
Take it from us
Your employees are your brand’s most important salespeople. Delivering on their needs in line with your company’s goals is the only way to ensure the right message is sent to potential talent, retain current talent, and boost your reputation as an employer. Gauge whether your company values and promises align with your employees’ needs through SHAPE. Our survey assesses 25 dimensions of Corporate Culture for your company and provides scientifically backed guidance on how to attract top-notch employees, retain the best ones, and make your values stand out.
¹Jim Harter, “U.S. Employee Engagement Reverts Back to Pre-Covid-19 Levels,” Gallup.com (Gallup, January 21, 2022), https://www.gallup.com/workplace/321965/employee-engagement-reverts-back-pre-covid-levels.aspx.
²“Strengthen Your Employee Value Propositions (EVP),” Gartner, accessed May 5, 2022, https://www.gartner.com/en/human-resources/insights/employee-engagement-performance/employee-value-proposition.
³Swetha Venkataramani, “Make Way for a More Human-Centric Employee Value Proposition,” Gartner, May 13, 2021, https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/make-way-for-a-more-human-centric-employee-value-proposition.