EX, EVP, EB – what’s with all the acronyms? Admittedly, we use a lot of acronyms within People and Culture work, and it can be confusing and even slightly irritating when you are unfamiliar with the terms. Don’t fret – by the end of this blog post, my goal is that you can casually drop these into your everyday conversations. More realistically, I’m hoping you walk away with a clear understanding of the business benefits of a well-executed Employee Value Proposition (EVP).
More Than a Fancy Acronym
An EVP is a clear and consistent message about the unique experience you offer talent in exchange for their effort, skills, and performance. When carefully crafted, it will reflect what talent values most about working for you and will offer aspirational insights into what leaders identify will be the most compelling aspects of where the workplace is headed. Since a compelling EVP is backed by the lived experiences of your employees, this means this is more than a marketing exercise. Employers have to get real about the current culture and employee experience (EX) – and the company actions, behaviours, policies, procedures, and practices that support this.
Do All Companies Need an EVP?
Imagine your employer brand (EB) as a garden. Whether you tend to it or not, it exists, and people will have their own ideas of what your garden offers and will share these ideas with others. Every single business today, including yours, has a metaphorical garden. Now think of your EVP as nourishment for your garden. It is understanding what makes your garden thrive and nurturing it so that it blooms and grows. Maintaining your garden is like investing in your people strategy and intentionally cultivating your EVP, which is key to the success of your business. Analogies aside, yes, all companies should be intentional with the design, communications and delivery of an EVP.
Business Benefits of an EVP
The employee value proposition is one of the best tools companies can use to attract, retain, and engage talent. It will also be instrumental in helping to shape your brand and workplace reputation as a top employer. There are many benefits of having a well-executed EVP, and for the purpose of this blog, we will focus on the following 4: Employee Experience, Talent Attraction, Talent Retention, and Employee Advocacy.
Improving Employee Experience (EX)
Culture, being intangible, is tricky to define. Merriam-Webster defines culture as “the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.” It is about how employees feel in the workplace, the sum of their perceptions, and their day-to-day, real-life experiences. Employee experience will impact everything from your company culture to your bottom line. It is important to make sure your workplace practices and processes are designed around the values and expectations of your people – what motivates them, what is important to them, why do they stay – which is insight grounded in your EVP. Why does it matter? Because improving the experience will lead to happier, more productive, and more engaged employees. According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2022 report, businesses with more engaged workplaces have 23% higher profits, higher customer loyalty, as well as lower absenteeism, turnover, and accidents at work. In this same report, Gallup’s data also showed that low engagement alone costs the global economy $7.8 trillion.
It is no secret that we are in a candidate-driven market – and we have been here for a few years now. Today, employees have found their voice and are more empowered to be vocal about their needs and desires, and about what they are looking for in an employer, so it is important for employers to be clear about what they offer to talent. Talent will do their research before applying for a role to see if the company’s goals and values align with their own. According to Workable, 9 out of 10 candidates will apply to a company if the employer brand is actively managed. Having a compelling and well-executed EVP gives you a competitive edge as it allows you to speak to your values and provides an opportunity to highlight your strengths (such as collaborative work environments, career development and/or flexible work arrangements), helping to draw the attention of prospective talent. Taking the extra step to further customize your EVP messaging and tailoring it to specific talent profiles based on attributes that are valued by them, will allow you to better connect with these segments and their unique wants and experiences.
There are a variety of factors that contribute to a lack of commitment to a person’s current job and the organization they work for. According to Deloitte, the absence of flexibility, compensation, company culture, and societal impact are the top reasons people are leaving their jobs. Fortunately, there are also a variety of things that you as an employer can consider to minimize turnover, by focusing on what matters most to employees today, giving them a reason to stay. Gartner published research indicating that “Organizations that effectively deliver on their EVP can decrease annual employee turnover by 69%.” With the war for talent becoming fiercer, and talent retention being a very real challenge, organizations need to be more strategic in defining their EVP, keeping employees at the centre. Integrating your EVP promise in employee processes, communicating how you can deliver on employee motivators, and equipping employees to take advantage of everything you offer will play a vital role in reducing turnover.
Increasing Employee Advocacy
There is tremendous power in properly defining your EVP. When an EVP is grounded on the feedback and insight shared directly from your existing employees, it resonates with the kind of workforce you want to attract and retain, and builds employee trust, support, and advocacy. The key is to have the right influencers at the helm who understand and value your EVP, can amplify your brand message and promise, and can connect with your audience in a meaningful way. These influencers are your current employees, who humanize your brand, and make it personal and trustworthy. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, employee voice is 3-times more credible than the CEO’s when it comes to talking about employee experience and working conditions. Furthermore, companies with a successful employee advocacy program are 58% more likely to attract, and 20% more likely to retain, top talent (LinkedIn).
Building and maintaining an EVP is an ongoing process that requires periodic assessment and refinement to ensure that what a company offers to talent today remains relevant and attractive over time. An effective EVP can help attract, retain, motivate, and engage talent which in turn can lead to improved business and financial performance. According to Gallup, highly engaged teams are more present and productive, and their behaviours result in a 23% increase in profitability. Your EVP is a fundamental element of your people strategy and no matter what stage you are at in the process, this is your sign to invest in what it takes to stand out. Tend to your garden and watch it flourish. And if you have questions or need any support, we’re here to help you.
Director Employer Brand and Culture
Blu Ivy Group
Blu Ivy Group is a global leader in employer branding, organizational culture, and recruitment marketing. We help organizations across the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors build extraordinary employee experiences, magnetic employer brands and high-performance cultures.
From C-Suite to Employer Brand and Talent Acquisition leadership, we partner with our clients to transform their organizations and design the most compelling workplaces of the future.
For inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.