Does your organization have a compelling employee value proposition (EVP)? Separate from your employer brand, which is essentially your organization’s reputation as an employer, your employee value proposition refers to the unique set of benefits employees receive in return for bringing their skills, capabilities and experience to your company.

An effective EVP answers the question, ‘Why would qualified talent want to join our company, perform at their best and stay with us?’ The EVP is owned by the HR department and embodies the total employee experience. It is the people policies, processes and programs that demonstrate a commitment to employees’ well-being and development. The right EVP will help attract, engage, empower, retain and motivate employees toward peak performance and encourage brand advocacy. Below, we’ve highlighted examples of organizations with strong employee value propositions, along with steps you can take to improve your company’s EVP.

engage top talent with an impactful EVP

Today’s job seekers complete extensive research when considering where they want to work. They look for job experiences that align with their personal values and needs. Job seekers believe they should be able to bring their true selves to work and not have a professional persona that is different than their personal persona. They want fulfilling work, growth opportunities, a commitment to personal wellness, recognition, rewards and assurance that employers care about them. Through your employee value proposition, you can communicate how your organization will meet these expectations – helping you stand out from competing employers to attract qualified talent.

Organizations that deliver value to employees are more likely to attract and retain individuals who are smart, passionate, creative and looking to make an impact on the world. Some organizations might highlight the unique benefits offered to employees on their careers page, during the interview process or in an employee handbook but fall short when it comes to fully providing these benefits. A Gartner report, ‘Impact of Employee Value Proposition in Employee Retention,’ found that organizations that effectively deliver on their EVP can decrease annual employee turnover by nearly 70% and increase new hire commitment by almost 30%.

learn from the examples of top employers

As an organization’s top asset, employees play a significant role in a company’s growth and success. The world’s top employers recognize this and have put significant effort into building strong employee value propositions. Here are just a few examples of top employers with EVPs  that stand out.

Chevron is an established organization that has been around for well over a century and it understands the importance of adapting its employee value proposition to excite today’s job seekers and employees. Chevron’s EVP has a strong focus on their commitment to diversity, family and parenting, which includes a ‘Welcome Back’ program for women re-entering the workforce, childcare coverage and job sharing. It also regularly highlights success stories of female employees in a typically male-dominated industry. Chevron appeals to job applicants not only through standard benefits but also through showcasing its values and culture.

Another example of an organization with a strong employee value proposition is Airbnb. Tying to its roots as a travel company, Airbnb developed the slogan ‘Belong Anywhere.’ To help employees feel as though they belong throughout their time at the company, Airbnb established an employee experience group. This group focuses on safety, security, global citizenship, diversity, total employee rewards, talent development and anything else that might be considered part of the employee experience.

Airbnb’s commitment to employees continues even after they leave the company. In May, Airbnb had to make the difficult decision to lay off 25% of its workforce due to the impact of the global pandemic. To address this decision with transparency and compassion, Airbnb co-founder and CEO, Brian Chesky, wrote an open letter in which he addressed how Airbnb planned to assist impacted employees. In addition to offering employees severance and healthcare benefits, the letter highlighted several ways that Airbnb offered departing employees job support, including four months of outplacement services – helping ease the transition as they find the next company where they’ll feel a sense of belonging.

related content: how leaders can communicate with transparency during crisis.

define your unique EVP elements

Now that you’ve seen a few examples of companies with strong employee value propositions, you can consider the value you’re currently delivering to employees and how you might improve. According to Gartner, a strong employee value proposition should include the following five attributes:

  • Compensation: This includes an employee’s salary, bonuses, healthcare coverage, retirement plan contributions and related benefits. It also might include smaller benefits, such as free meals, discounted phone plans and internet or equipment reimbursement for remote employees.
  • Work-life balance: In addition to paid time off and holidays, some organizations offer work-life balance attributes such as flexible hours, remote work options and paid parental leave, to name a few. Showing a commitment to work-life balance through your EVP can be achieved through benefits and perks related to employee wellness such as childcare benefits for working parents, discounted gym memberships and access to mental health resources.
  • Stability: Today’s employees not only value stability in their current roles, but also opportunities for continued learning and growth. Your organization can support employee expectations related to stability by offering on-the-job learning, career development resources and reimbursements for outside learning and certifications. You can also create a culture in which employees are encouraged to pursue new opportunities internally – including roles, stretch assignments and gig work – so employees can continue to grow in their careers at your organization, rather than seeking opportunities elsewhere. In addition to supporting stability for current employees, you can also show employees impacted by layoffs that you’re committed to helping them get back on their feet by offering outplacement and related career transition benefits.
  • Location: Given the increase in remote work and flexible working opportunities, location doesn’t necessarily refer to a physical office or workspace. Rather, it encompasses the entire work environment, such as a positive work setting and culture and access to the tools and technology needed to succeed.
  • Respect: Employees increasingly want to work for organizations whose values align with their own. From an employee perspective, the respect attribute of your EVP refers to such aspects as positive relationships, support and teamwork. Employees also want this respect to extend beyond the organization, with a commitment and opportunities to give back to the community – such as paid time off for volunteering or charitable donation matching.

collect feedback from employees

Developing a strong employee value proposition is an ongoing process and starts with defining the traits of the ideal target employee based on their experience, personality, skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviors needed to drive the company toward its strategic vision. An employer may have multiple target employee segments such as technical and digital talent, non-creative talent, entry-level talent and more. Understanding the type of work experience that would appeal to each of the segments and identifying what they value and what makes them feel happy, engaged and motivated to perform at their best is a key part of the development process.

In addition to doing your own research, you can consider talking to current and past employees about the value you’re currently delivering and how you might improve. This feedback can be collected in several ways, including focus groups, one-on-one feedback sessions, exit interviews and anonymous surveys. Exit interviews can help your organization understand why top performers leave the company and what their work experience was lacking. Once you receive feedback – whether from current or exiting employees – identify action steps you can take to strengthen your overall employee value proposition.

As you develop or improve your employee value proposition, it’s also important to collect input and have buy-in from your organization’s senior leadership team. Involving your leadership team can help ensure your EVP aligns with your company’s culture, mission and business goals – which can better position your organization to deliver on what’s promised through your EVP. It also can also enable you to more effectively map out the budget and resources to support the various attributes of your EVP. For example, if you’re considering offering remote work opportunities, you will likely need support from your chief technology officer to provide employees with the software or equipment they need to work from home. Or if your organization is expanding wellness benefits, you’ll need an approved budget from your finance team.

seek out partners to enhance your EVP

Building and maintaining a strong EVP requires a time commitment and thoughtful approach. The good news for HR leaders today is that employee benefits, career development and other aspects of a successful EVP don’t all have to be managed internally. The marketplace is full of vendors with engaging solutions to reduce the burden on HR teams.

If you’re looking to improve your EVP and the employee experience, you can tap into employee engagement survey vendors such as Peakon, CultureAmp and TINYpulse, which handle much of the administrative steps of the survey process and arm you with actionable data to drive improvements. Employee perk platforms including LifeMart, Vantage Circle and Espresa centralize discount programs and wellness and related benefits so employees can have the flexibility to select what works best for them.

To help employees continually learn on the job, it’s important to have a strategic skilling strategy that aligns employees’ skills and passions with evolving business needs. A recent study from Gartner, ‘EVP During Disruption,’ highlighted that learning and development has been one of the most discussed EVP topics since the global pandemic outbreak. According to the report, ‘Employees expect their leadership teams to clarify how to reset or rebuild their business models for this new reality and reassure them they have employees’ safety and development in mind when making business decisions.’ To meet these expectations, you can enlist the help of an employee skilling solution such as Randstad RiseSmart Skilling. Rather than simply providing employees with a long list of courses to choose from, an effective skilling solution combines technology such as access to online courses and job market data with personal guidance from a career coach, a career concierge and a certified learning advisor to help employee develop a strategic skilling roadmap and stay on track. This helps support the ‘stability’ attribute of your EVP by empowering employees to learn new skills and grow in their careers.

related content: 5 myths about upskilling and reskilling.

Enabling your employees and creating a healthful workforce with a supportive environment and community can be accomplished in a multitude of ways. For a successful EVP, it’s important to figure out what is valued by your target employee segments, put together a unique package, gain approval and support from your leadership team and make your EVP known to both prospective applicants and current employees.

deanna brkovich.

career and executive coach

18 December 2020

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