We often see employers fall into the trap of approaching their Employer Brand or Employee Value Proposition (EVP) like a theoretical idea – a static concept that lives in a slide deck, shared with your staff and new candidates, and then never thought of again.
On the contrary, if you want to get the best ROI from your efforts, these ideas need to be lived throughout the entire organization, every single day. Particularly by your managers. Your people managers may or may not have been directly involved in the development of an EVP, but they’re the most critical to implementing it into the employee experience.
Of course, this work is a lot easier said than done. Your company leaders have a lot on their plates and delivering your employer brand experience can often be pushed to the back burner if they don’t fully understand what it is or why it’s valuable. That’s why it’s up to you to set them up for success.
Here are our four top tips for helping your managers convey your Employer Brand and Employee Value Proposition to their teams.
1. Know the EVP inside and out
Your EVP is what makes you unique as an employer and the promise you make to your employees when they choose to work with you. In exchange for their value (skills, experience, personality, etc.), what will they get in return? What value do you offer as an employer? What are the growth opportunities, culture, and benefits? This is your EVP, in a nutshell.
However, to make your EVP more concrete and tangible for your managers, we recommend packaging it with employee stories, examples of aspirational behaviours, and proof points of how you deliver on this end promise. For example, it’s one thing to say you offer growth opportunities, and another to tell a story of an employee who rose up the ranks or made a lateral move to another department. When your managers are well versed on your EVP – both the specific key messages and contextual elements – they can more effectively communicate those values to their direct reports.
2. Get HR training and leadership advice
We get it – these concepts can be a little tricky to wrap your head around at first. This can especially be true for your people managers. Sometimes this work can feel abstract compared to their day-to-day tasks but remember: the employee-employer relationship is an exchange that’s more than simply work for pay. Your employees have their own ambitions and to stay engaged, they need to be reaffirmed that they’re moving forward and that their work is tied to both their personal and the company’s values. Fortunately, this is exactly what connecting to your company’s EVP can do.
If your managers aren’t quite sure about how to deliver the EVP, connect them with your HR team and leaders. They’ll help them properly understand what the EVP means, and the expectations for how it’s supposed to be delivered. Nothing beats practical experience, and they can learn a lot from the conversations that recruiters and other leaders have had with candidates and direct reports. For example, your HR and leadership teams can help prepare managers for the questions they might get from different types of team members.
3. Actions speak louder than words
It’s no secret that today’s top talent needs more communication and encouragement than ever before. Three out of four Gen Z workers say that a boss’ ability to coach is important, with almost one in four saying it’s the most important attribute of a manager. Younger generations are also increasingly skeptical of companies, and in turn, their managers. For example, less than 50 percent of the millennials and Gen Z members recently surveyed believed that companies behaved ethically and were truly committed to helping improve society.
In order to combat this increasing distrust (while also giving your top talent the support and guidance they’re looking for), managers need to back up all of the EVP promises with tangible actions. For example, you could have your managers regularly evaluate how their team members demonstrate the company’s core values and share these insights with leadership during performance reviews.
You should also make sure that your team can provide open and honest feedback as well. For example, if an employee points out how a recent initiative or company move feels misaligned with the EVP, there should be clear channels for the employee to bring this to a manager’s attention and make sure it’s addressed.
4. Make it your own
Don’t forget: your managers may fill a particular role, but they’re also people with unique skill sets and perspectives, so let them put their own spin on your employer brand and value propositions. Their expression of the EB is important for connecting with teams.
Don’t have them simply memorize the corporate key messages. If one of your company values is mutual respect, for instance, let them create their own ways of recognizing team members that feel natural to them. We all gravitate towards authenticity and your people will feel most at ease when your company’s words and actions are aligned. It’s important that your team members see managers believing in the values of the organizations, and acting in a natural way that is aligned to the EVP.
Living your EVP, day in and day out
While we all have jobs to do, your EVP and Employer Brands are important reminders that your people aren’t just cogs in a machine. Working for your company can help them connect with their bigger purpose and core values, while also facilitating professional (and sometimes even personal) growth.
Your EVP is that intangible piece of the employment puzzle. For most employees today, it’s not about the money or the perks – it’s about the experience. That’s why setting your managers up for success when delivering the employer brand experience is so key. The more they can live it, the more your employees will get what they want out of working with you.
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.