Designing your employee value proposition

25 August 2020 Tenaka

There is only one situation in which your company does not need an employee value proposition (EVP): when you don’t have any employees. People make up the heart and soul of your business. They also make up its culture, brand and presence in the market, and can influence your customer experience in ways you cannot control. In this, the age of information, unhappy employees are more than happy to share their outrage at poor employment practices.

At Tenaka, we believe that most companies genuinely do want their employees to be happy, feel valued, and be productive. That’s why we’ve put together a few tips on how to design a great EVP.

But first – what exactly is an employee value proposition?

Quite simply, it’s a formal proposition that covers what the company offers to employees in order to attract and retain the best talent. This can include everything from remuneration to company culture and values. In general, however, you can categorise the elements of an effective EVP as:

  • Compensation – includes salaries, wages, bonuses, incentives and any other formalised financial means of rewarding the employee directly for work done
  • Benefits – these can include financial or other benefits, including medical aid, bonus time off, awards or prizes
  • Environment – whether you are working on site or remotely, the work environment is important to happy employees. It can include the office location, style of building, furnishings – even those ping pong tables you bought when it seemed like a good idea
  • Culture – company culture is about interpersonal communications across all levels of the business, how well employees treat each other, and how they are treated by senior management
  • Career – every person has a goal for their career and they will seek out employers that provide the right environment for them to achieve that


How to design your EVP

Step one – research

Find out what other companies in your industry are doing to attract and retain great talent. Both potential applicants and your current employees looking for a new job will be finding out this same information, so it’s the perfect place to start. Also look at what some companies outside your industry are doing. Plenty of big firms have come up with innovative ways to maintain happy staff.

Step two – employee engagement

Talk to your humans! It’s the best way to find out what your company could be doing to offer a great EVP. Trust us, your employees have given this a lot of thought and will most likely be delighted at the opportunity to be heard.

Step three – evaluate your findings

Just because your direct competitor offers free lunch in the office, doesn’t mean you should necessarily do the same. Knowing what they do is more of a tool to help you figure out what will work best for your company. By spending time with both this information and the feedback from your staff, you will begin to understand what makes for a good EVP.

Step four – outline and propose the EVP elements

Once you have established what could work for your company, it’s time to outline your proposal. Don’t treat this as the final document, however. Engage with all levels of employees to get their feedback and fine-tune your proposition.

Step five – talk about it

Once you have your EVP nailed down, it’s time to make sure that not only your current workforce, but also future employees know about it. You don’t need to invest in an enormous ad campaign, but do engage about it. Encourage employees to talk about it as well – effectively, make it part of your brand.

A final word

Just because you’ve pinned down a great EVP, doesn’t mean it is now carved in stone. Things can change in the blink of an eye – 2020 has certainly proved that! It pays to be flexible and adaptable, including with your EVP. Re-evaluate it regularly, especially when there are drastic circumstantial changes. Maintain engagement with employees so that you’re able to adjust when something stops working well. And most importantly, don’t forget that, in the end, this is really about keeping your humans happy and productive.

Tenaka is passionate about employee engagement and positive employee experiences. Let us help you evaluate where your EVP can be improved. After all, it’s about making the lives of your employees better, isn’t it?

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