Hollie Lawrence, senior HR manager at Freeman, and EN30 member looks at why it’s important for employers to have a strong employee value proposition.
We often hear business leaders talk about their value proposition as an organisation – it’s a concept that’s vitally important for the success of any company, because it speaks to who they aspire to be in the marketplace, demonstrates what they can offer their customers and showcases what differentiates them from their competitors.
A business’ value proposition is strategic and future-focused, and it should no doubt be at the heart of any organisation.
What strikes me as particularly interesting is the fact that not all companies place the same emphasis on their employee value proposition (EVP) – a term that is used to describe the combined characteristics and appeal of working for a company.
While the concept has been around for the last 15 years or so, research shows that a significant number of organisations still don’t have a long-term plan for getting the most out of their EVP.
An EVP defines what an employer offers its employees throughout their working experience; in order to motivate them to deliver the performance excellence required to drive success for both employer and employee. It lives in the employee life cycle, and extends from the experiences they have before they join a business to the time they spend there, and after they leave.
The EVP is made up of various elements of the working relationship between employer and employee, including purpose – such as company values and the business’ strategic value proposition, work – such as job interest, performance management and career progression opportunities, total reward – which points to things like salary, holiday, pensions, benefits, award programmes and company policy, and people – an inspired team, effective leadership, diversity and a great culture are all important components to consider.
I think we can all agree it’s essentially our people who make our business’ value proposition a reality – if you don’t have the right talent to drive your organisation’s value proposition forward, then you’ll struggle to create a successful business, which is why an effective, clearly defined EVP is essential. It can help companies to not only attract, but also retain the top talent.
Added to this, a recent global workforce study has found companies with an effective EVP are three times more likely to report that their employees are highly engaged, and are 1.5 times more likely to perform significantly better than their peers from a financial standpoint.
So what makes an effective EVP? It needs to be strategic, future focused and reflective of how you want to be seen as an employer.
Importantly, it also needs to be clearly aligned to your business value proposition and reinforced throughout the employee lifecycle. It must be authentic, and aligned - not just something that is used to market a business and boost its profile – your employees need to live and breathe the EVP. This approach will drive employee engagement and therefore business productivity and profitability.
When it comes to creating EVP, it’s important to first understand your business value proposition and then consider the talent you need to attract, develop and retain. This approach will ensure the EVP supports the goals of the business. How you choose to weight purpose, work, total reward and people will define your EVP and determine the type of talent you wish to attract.
A company’s value proposition and EVP go hand in hand, and both should sit at the core of every organisation. As Freeman looks to become the number one place for talent in the brand experience industry, we are undertaking a project to redefine our EVP. We are putting the focus firmly on attracting, developing and retaining the best talent, which in turn will further drive business success and help us to deliver accelerated results for our clients, ensuring a mutually beneficial partnership long into the future.