EMPLOYEE Value Proposition

EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE

Creating clear employee value propositions that drive attraction and retention of top talent 

An image of a man in a geometric shape representing the strategy group icon for employee experience, which employee value proposition lies within.

What is an Employee Value Proposition?

An Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is a statement of the way in which an organisation creates value for their existing and future employees. The EVP includes all facets of the value an organisation provides to its employees, including both tangible elements such as remuneration and career development, and intangible elements such as culture and engagement with work.

By declaring what value the organisation will provide to its employees, and how it will do so, the EVP both sets employee expectations and provides management with a clear and accountable action plan to create a positive employee experience in their organisation. A strong and effective EVP will drive clear employee expectations and concrete actions to fulfill those expectations.

An Employee Value Proposition is a key part of an organisation’s overall employee experience strategy, which aims to retain, nurture and attract top talent. 

An icon with the six common value elements of employee value proposition, explaining what an EVP is.
An image of a young woman at an office, looking bored, conveying the negative impact of a bad employee value proposition.

Why Having an Employee Value Proposition is Crucial

Talent is amongst the most significant challenges for businesses in the current economic environment, with substantial headwinds when it comes to attracting and retaining talent due to three key elements:
  • A tight job market with low unemployment that makes hiring more challenging
  • A higher-than-usual employee turnover, in the wake of the growing ‘Great Resignation’ in the US and UK, which experts are predicting to continue to exacerbate labour retention and supply in Australia.
  • Hybrid working gradually becoming the ‘standard expectation’ from employees, creating a disadvantage for organisations without such option in place
Beyond these temporal challenges, many employees are reconsidering their life choices, including where, how and who they work for, and HR departments across Australia continue to be challenged by hiring a new generation of employees, with very different work aspirations and expectations compared to elder generations. The question which all businesses need to answer now is: How can we stand out against an increasingly tough competition to attract and retain the best talent, and sustain our growth trajectory? A clear EVP is the answer to this question: it defines how an organisation will stand out against the competition, and thereby allows the organisation to both sell itself to prospective and current employees, and have a clear action plan of how it will improve its employee experience. Indeed, according to Gartner, a well-crafted EVP can increase the commitment of your new hires by 50%, reduce the compensation premium that your company pays to hires by 50% and can decrease annual employee turnover by about 70%.
A geometric image of a smiling Lady.

What’s the difference?

Why an EVP Cannot be an Exercise in Branding

Employee Value Propositions, poorly implemented, often become exercises in branding and communications, detached from the reality on the ground of the actual value and experience being provided to employees. This disconnect between employee expectations (set by the EVP) and the actual experience of employees working for the organisation can lead to greater disillusionment and worsened employee retention. Analogous to false advertising, which leaves customers who purchase the overhyped products dissatisfied and potentially angry, a ‘false’ EVP will have serious negative impacts on employee morale and productivity. An EVP which does not align with the actual value offered by the organisation is both redundant and counterproductive.

Thus, whilst it is essential that EVP be reflected in the employer brand and promise, this must be reinforced by clear and concrete actions to fulfill the promise, and thereby satisfy the expectations of employees.

Six Common Value Elements of an Employee Value Proposition

A convenient way for the EVP to identify and explain the value which the organisation provides to its employees is to group the value it provides under these six key elements. Within each element, the EVP should explore the unique features, initiatives and circumstances that create value for the employee. This can also be an important internal analytical tool, as organisations scan each element for areas of improvement and new initiatives which can improve their employee experience.

Six common value elements of an EVP are:

An image of a stickman reaching for a star, representing opportunity for career development as an element of a good employee value proposition.
An image of a chair in front of two computer monitors, showing how engagement with work is an element of great employee value proposition.
An image of two sides of a brain, with one side having a love heart on it, representing supporting the wellbeing of employees.
An image of a medal, representing the 'rewards and benefits' element of an employee value proposition.
An image of a set of hands reaching together, conveying the importance of a sense of belonging as an element of value in an employee value proposition
An image of a set of buildings.

 

Career Development

This encompasses the ability of the organisation to provide its employees with advancement and learning opportunities, both formal and informal, that recognise and grow the ability, capacity and leadership skills of employees.

Engagement With Work

This concerns the key influences on how employees engage with their work, including their work environment and systems (tools and technologies), as well as the rewarding or gratifying nature of their work product.

Support for Wellbeing

This includes a culture of wellbeing support, flexibility of work, training staff for safety and support of other employees and other factors of supporting staff wellbeing.

Rewards and Benefits

This comprises the full range of benefits and perks provided to employees, from salary remuneration and bonuses to amenities, awards and incentives such as free gym memberships or discounts on services associated with the organisation.

Sense of Belonging

This involves a strong and inclusive organisational culture, and the methods through which the organisation drives a sense of ownership and value amongst their employees.

Pride in Affiliation and Reputation

This contains all the parts of an organisation which make employees proud and happy to be associated with the organisation, including positive reputation, social impact and alignment between employee and organisational values.

However, the key elements of organisational value will be different in every organisation. It is critical that organisations understand their unique mix of current and prospective employees, and what those employees value and feel engaged by in the organisation. In turn, they should use this information to identify their unique key elements of employee value. If an organisation attempts to apply a cookie-cutter approach to EVP, this can result in misidentifying why employees are attracted to the organisation and can flow through into ineffective attraction and retention of talent. In addition, it can result in significant waste of resources in improving elements of value that are not a priority for employees.

An infographic depicting the six common value elements of an employee value proposition.

Building your EVP

4 Key Steps to Developing a Winning Employee Value Proposition

To create a great Employee Value Proposition that will resonate with your employees, start with your employees. This is the only way to build an EVP that will successfully attract and retain the best talent on the market. A common pitfall is to start with the needs of the business and to focus on what the business wants and expects from its employees.

Rather, the process should be an iterative one, focused on employees and reflecting the real value created for them by the organisation.

Four key steps to craft a successful and effective EVP include: 

An image of a set of different faces, representing the different types of people you may need to design for.

1. Identify Who You Are Designing For

Different groups of employees will have different needs and expectations from work, especially as they evolve in their roles and career. Your value proposition, therefore, needs to be tailored to each group in order to appeal to those specific cohorts.

An image of a group of people gathered around a table, representing the discovery and interview process as part of developing an EVP.

2. Conduct Discovery Research & Interviews

Review your current processes. Conduct interviews with individual and employee groups. Use the insights from this research and interviews to draft a first version of the EVP that you can iteratively tested and refine with employees.

An image of a set of people gathered around and talking representing a employee value proposition co-design workshop.

3. Run Co-Design Workshops to Craft Your EVP

Set up workshops with each cohort to run them through your proposed EVP and see how it works for them. Consider the alignment and the gaps for each group. The aim of these workshops is to design and validate your EVP in close collaboration with employees by making sure it resonates with them.

 

An image of a woman looking out a window in the city with her hands above her head representing delivery of an employee value proposition.

4. Develop Employee Opportunities and Plan to Deliver on your EVP

Having gained valuable insights from discovery research, interviews and co-design workshops, a range of opportunities to deliver and improve the organisation’s EVP will be developed. These opportunities need to be assessed and prioritised in time, with clear accountabilities across the business, to deliver a stronger EVP that will increase attractiveness and employee retention.

An image of a group of people with notebooks and computers around a wooden table, representing our design process on the recent development of an Employee Value Proposition which we assisted in.
An image showing seven hands on top of each other, conveying the importance of working together in developing an EVP.

Employee Value Proposition Example

Employee Value Proposition Case Study: Creating an EVP for a Large NSW Council

We have recently assisted a large council in NSW in developing their unique Employee Value Proposition.

The Challenge

The Council faced significant challenges in retaining and attracting top talent, as well as in growing and utilising that talent. This was set against a backdrop of the Council requiring a growing, talented and agile workforce to provide services to a rapidly growing population.

To solve these significant challenges, the Council needed to identify its unique Employee Value Proposition, and in turn develop an actionable EVP framework which provided clear short and long-term opportunities to improve the EVP of the council.

The Process

The Strategy Group co-designed an Employee Value Proposition through extensive research and a series of workshops and interviews with employees and management. We employed an iterative process, validating the EVP framework through further workshops with employees, where we ensured that the EVP framework accurately reflected the reality of the business, and the needs and wants of employees.

Through this process, we identified and refined the key elements of value that the Council provided to its employees. Critically, we put the employees in the centre and built the EVP around their wants and needs, rather than just those of management, conducting a gap analysis to identify the difference between the importance that employees placed on each element and their satisfaction with the value provided by the element.

We emphasised that an effective Employee Value Proposition demands action, analysing the insights from interviews, workshops and research to create clear and effective opportunities for the council to implement to improve each key element of employee value in both the short-term and the long-term.

The Outcome

The Council emerged with a robust EVP Framework and a clearly-defined path ahead with the opportunities to be able to attract and retain employees whilst offering an enriching experience that exceeds their expectations and makes them feel special.

Why The Strategy Group

should be your strategy partner

We will work with you to design and support implementation of a strategy for your business unit, for your entire organisation, or for any segment of your organisation where a fresh approach will add value.

We will use a combination of globally-recognised leading-edge processes, coupled with our proprietary validated toolbox to develop a bespoke, customised strategy, which we can assist you in implementing, that will deliver tangible impact and value to your organisation, employees and customers.

We have been designing and implementing strategy solutions since 2003 and we have the expertise and the experience not only to deliver, but to overdeliver.

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