The Blu Ivy Group team has reviewed and assessed what worked and what didn’t in 2017 and has gathered all the lessons learned to share with you. We helped a lot of clients with their EVPs, and loved watching them learn, and learning with them. Here are the top five things that came out of 2017:
#1: Develop an Authentic EVP
This is your first step, and your most important one. Your EVP is the essence of the promise your organization is making, it represents your corporate culture and stands for what you’re all about. It’s your bridge between what your employees feel and believe about their workplace, and the engagement, dedication, and passion with which they’ll approach their work, day in and day out. As such, don’t base your EVP solely on the numbers. An EVP that authentically reflects your values and your culture cannot be built exclusively on quantitative data, without taking critical qualitative information into consideration. The most effective EVPs are the ones that reflect what employees actually care about. A true, reflective EVP is based on two elements – the numbers that underlie your business, combined with the qualitative reality of the people you work with, and how they feel about their jobs.
To capture that qualitative information, do find out the top three reasons that your people join, and stay at, your organization. Your EVP should focus on those reasons, and compensation should not be one of them. We know people need and want to get paid – an authentic EVP goes way beyond payroll. It captures people’s stories and testimonials, reflects their past experiences and their future goals. Spend time at this stage, and get the support of a company that knows what they’re doing. Capture employee quotes and anecdotes, record their thoughts and the conversations you have with them, and build in what your people value – it is, after all, an employee value proposition.
Once you have articulated a truly authentic EVP, you can move on to the creative stage, where you can leverage what you have through copy and visuals that are emotionally compelling – distinct from, but still aligned with, your corporate branding.
#2: Activate Your EVP Quickly
The 80/20 rule applies here, too! Do not let perfect be the enemy of good. You could spend the next ten years formulating, and continually reformulating, your EVP. If you’ve spent enough time on #1, above, and have invested the time and effort in listening to your workforce, you’ll have identified an authentic, robust EVP, ready to launch. If you spend too much time rethinking it, refining it, and redoing it, you’ll lose the most valuable momentum you’ve ever created. Instead, do move ahead and develop segmented messaging for your key talent segments, and get the word out! An expert in the EVP field can help you formulate a strategy for launching and communicating, both inside and outside your organization, and, once you’ve launched, they can help you measure what the immediate and long-term impact of your EVP is. If you work with the right vendor, they will help you maximize your ROI on employee branding – the results will be amazing!
#3: Engage All Your Stakeholders… throughout the whole process!
It’s not enough to bring in your stakeholders once your EVP is formulated and you’ve decided on your employer brand. You need to bring in “your people” – everyone who will be touched, or somehow affected, by your EVP, from the get-go, and stay close to them on-going. That means employees from every level and function of your organization – newbies, senior staff members, support workers, executives, and everyone in between. That should include every department in your organization – marketing, communications, public affairs, creative, production, shipping – if you can name them, they should be involved. We recently heard of one case where a multinational finance company interviewed a grand total of seven (yes, only 7!) leaders to develop a global EVP for thousands of people. They would have been better off not to do it at all. The key to an authentic EVP is including people so that they feel engaged in, and responsible for, a value proposition that truly reflects their interests.
#4: Conduct External Research
Know your audience, and know your external environment. We can’t say it enough. And in order to know your audience, talk to your audience – or, better yet, hire an expert to do it in a confidential, neutral, third-party setting. By engaging a professional consultant, you can find out how you are perceived in the larger market, and exactly what that market is doing. Blu Ivy Group will provide a competitive analysis that you can use as a benchmark, and to see where you rank among your competitors. Knowing what the environment looks like will clarify what your immediate next steps should be – that’s a simple and valuable insight.
#5: Have the Right Team in Place
As always, have the right people performing the right functions. In this case, that means your employer branding team should come from every critical segment in your organization – HR, marketing, and communications, with solid cross-functional knowledge that includes the digital, brand, social, culture and employee engagement aspects of your organization. Your team should be passionate about getting the EVP right, and have the ability to influence their respective teams, get the message out, and follow up on continuous refinement of that message. Make sure that your executive team is on side with your efforts, and fully supports you.
The old saying, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well” certainly applies to any organization’s Employee Value Proposition. Put the time, effort, and energy into developing your EVP up front; what you invest in the planning stages will pay off many times over post-implementation. Get support and advice on what will best serve you and your workforce, and make your EVP something that your entire organization will be proud of for a long time to come.
Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to Managing Director Stacy Parker at 647-308-2352 for more employee value proposition examples and how implementing an effective EVP strategy can help you increase employee engagement by up to 40% and attract the candidates you need to become or remain a leader in your industry.