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Employee Value Proposition: How To Win The War For Talent

Understanding the concept of an employee value proposition (EVP) has always been important, but never more so than now. As employers face a significant shift in the expectations of both current and prospective employees – as well as record-high voluntary attrition rates – developing a strong employee value proposition is essential.

In this guide, we are going to delve into key questions such as:

  • What is an employee value proposition?
  • Why is an employee value proposition important?
  • How do you create an excellent EVP?
  • What types of EVPs matter most to employees?
  • What are some good employee value proposition examples?

With this guide, you can equip your organization with vital information to strengthen your EVP and your workplace.

What is an Employee Value Proposition?

An employee value proposition (EVP) is what an employer has to offer their employees at its most basic level. It comprises the specific features and benefits of being an employee within a given organization.

For employers, an EVP should achieve two core goals:

  • Retain current employees
  • Attract prospective employees

The employee value proposition demonstrates how an organization meets the wants and needs of its employees, thus creating a more attractive workplace than its competitors.

Although EVPs will vary from company to company, they should generally touch on six important components of the employee work experience:

  1. Work (tasks, sense of accomplishment, autonomy, and more.)
  2. People (leadership, collaboration, supervision)
  3. Opportunities (learning, development, advancement)
  4. Quality of life (work-life balance, flexibility, job security)
  5. Company practices (inclusion/diversity, communication, innovation, and others)
  6. Overall rewards (pay, benefits, recognition)

In general, the best employee value propositions will always be those representative of the most important elements to employees. The EVP should encompass the most desirable attributes of a workplace, which may benefit not offered by competitors.

Example of an Employee Value Proposition

Let’s examine an employee value proposition example from a company that we all know very well: McDonald’s. On their Careers webpage, the EVP is communicated in sections that include career flexibility, specific benefits, educational support, and company culture.

At a glance, a prospective employee can get a clear perspective of exactly why a career at McDonald’s might be a good fit:

McDonald’s restaurant jobs are one-of-a-kind – just like you. That’s because everyone has a unique story and different goals that drive them. Wherever you are in your life, you can find a meaningful career at McDonald’s – with a side of whatever it is that makes you happy.

Of course, every employer’s EVP will be unique. The nature of the business itself will play a significant role in shaping the EVP. However, regardless of industry or size, every type of business has a specific value proposition it can make to employees.

Why Your Employee Value Proposition Matters

It’s no secret that attracting – and keeping – key talent is incredibly important to the success of any business. But to do that, an employer must consider what you have to offer your employees?

The relationship between employee and employer should be mutually beneficial, a principle many businesses have neglected to implement. And for some time, it was possible to “get away with” a subpar EVP, but not any longer.

Now, employers are experiencing intense competition in hiring and employee retention. Employees expect more from employers and prioritize their needs to secure a better working experience. Failure to develop an enticing EVP will not only affect your ability to secure excellent new hires but can also lead to a high rate of key talent turnover.

Tips For Creating An Employee Value Proposition

How to Create an Employee Value Proposition

Developing an employee value proposition requires time and effort, but the outcomes are worth it. In addition, your EVP will likely be in a state of constant evolution to remain in tune with the expectations of potential and existing employees.

Perhaps not surprisingly, one of the biggest challenges in the EVP process is the misalignment between what employees want and what employers think they want. Employers may believe they offer an outstanding EVP, but they could easily be missing the mark.

So, how do you know what EVP attributes are most important? The answer may be more obvious than you expect: simply ask.

Developing a workplace culture in which the voice of the employee is not only accepted but valued is a must for a myriad of reasons. Employees should be able to provide feedback and voice concerns in both formal and informal settings and clearly see that their opinions have a real impact on the organization.

When you create open channels for communication with employees, specifically encouraging them to share their perspectives on how to improve the workplace, you can gain a detailed understanding of what they want and need. In turn, this information will help shape an employee value proposition that accurately matches your staff’s interests, desires, and goals.

Some of the tools that can be used to implement this practice include:

  • Pulse surveys: Surveys that are frequently used to quickly gather information about employee attitudes and perceptions, particularly in relation to workplace changes
  • Employee engagement studies: Tailored studies can gauge employee satisfaction, pinpoint issues, and amass feedback for practical improvements.
  • Exit interviews: Interviews of exiting employees that allow employers to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the work environment

EVPs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you have a solid grasp of the ideal approach to developing your EVP let’s break the process down into a series of simple steps. These steps can be used as a guide for your own process, ensuring you thoroughly address key elements of an EVP.

  1. Identify your goals. Is your company aiming to attract more applicants? Increase the quality of prospective talent? Improve key employee retention? In most cases, your priorities will include all of these – but you may find that certain ones require more of your attention than others.
  2. Develop your ideal candidate persona. What is your ideal job candidate or key employee like? Building a detailed picture of the perfect job candidate can help you better understand what they might expect from you.
  3. Understand what your competitors are bringing to the table. What benefits can you offer that your competitors don’t? And at the other end of the spectrum, what does their EVP include that yours does not? Consider how you may be able to enhance your EVP to set your organization apart.
  4. Pinpoint the benefits you already offer. What do your current employees like and appreciate about your organization?
  5. Figure out where your organization is falling short. Are there aspects that are obviously missing from your EVP? Think about the current state of your industry and what employees/candidates are presently valuing the most.
  6. Use all of the information to create your EVP. With everything you’ve learned, move forward with creating an EVP.
  7. Measure your results. Gather feedback and assess the success of your EVP (with data points such as employee retention, new hires, and many others), making adjustments accordingly.

Building an EVP that Suits Your Organization

There is no prescriptive formula for employee engagement and retention, which is why you won’t achieve successful results with a generic employee value proposition. Every organization is unique, including its employees, benefits, and challenges. Therefore, implementing a strategy for gathering and analyzing the relevant data is the best way to craft an EVP that is on target with your organization’s values and employee needs.

Work Institute provides diverse services designed to empower employers, offering flexible options for identifying root issues and well-suited solutions. With a distinct focus on highlighting the voice of the employee – and nurturing both employee and employer engagement – we have helped a variety of organizations reach their goals.

For more information about how we can help you create an effective employee value proposition, contact Work Institute today.

Image Credit Totizz Art & stoatphoto