How to design an employee value proposition

29 September 2020 Tenaka

Gone are the days where salary is the primary way companies attract talent. In today’s world, employee satisfaction has become considerably more important, especially when employees no longer fear the stigma of job-hopping. In fact, moving from job to job is fast becoming one of the best ways to grow in your career – and employers should take note.

What is an Employee Value Proposition?

According to the ManpowerGroup’s 2020 What Workers Want survey, employees are after more than just a good salary. While the results vary slightly between generations, they still tell an interesting story. For Millenials and Gen-X, who make up the bulk of the active workforce, flexible hours, challenging work and the opportunity to develop their skills are among the most important factors when choosing, and remaining at, a job.

While your company may offer all these things, potential employees don’t necessarily know this. Communicating the value that a candidate could derive from the job is therefore important to attracting and retaining talent. This is where an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is useful – it clearly lays out what current and future employees can expect to gain from the job, besides their salary.

Why is it important to have an EVP?

You may as well ask why it is important to see a potential employee’s CV. You, as the employer, want to know exactly what you can expect, at least in terms of experience and ability. The employee, on the other hand, would like to know what they can expect, besides just money. By having a formal EVP, you can quickly and easily show the candidate, and they can also use it as a reference point when choosing who to work for.

But it isn’t just for future workers; an EVP can be just as useful for your current employees. This way, they can gain a clear picture of their situation, and evaluate it. They may be unaware of some of the benefits offered, for example, and believe they need to change jobs to get something they already have access to. This is why, when developing your EVP, it is crucial that you do it through employee engagement.

How to create an EVP by listening

One of the biggest mistakes we see is when a company tries to develop an EVP without employee input. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily taking shortcuts – they might do tonnes of research… but is it relevant?

Take the ManpowerGroup survey we mentioned. This survey covered multiple countries and industries, and shows an average result. The Millennials in your company might have a much stronger focus on working with a great team; your Gen-X people might all want clear career advancement prospects. It’s important to know what your humans value.

It’s also good to know what you are doing right – the things you might not even realise add value to your workplace. You may have a really great management team, or company culture, or something as simple as extended parental leave, that could make your EVP stand out.

And, of course, you need to know what you are doing wrong, so that you can fix it. The thing about developing an EVP is, it shouldn’t just highlight your good points; it should also be an opportunity to eliminate or change the negative points

How to hear what your employees want

There are various ways you can engage your employees to develop your EVP. Let’s take a look at three methods and tools you can use.

Employee surveys – as we’ve mentioned in this article (, employee surveys can be an incredibly helpful tool to gather information. The best part is that there are already plenty of survey templates you can use, with or without customising. This is an ideal solution for corporate companies with hundreds or thousands of workers, although it is still great for smaller businesses. The only real downside of this is that you only get answers to specific questions.

One-on-one interviews – depending on the size and distribution of your company, sitting down with each worker and having a frank and open discussion can be incredibly useful. Unlike surveys, having a conversation can lead down avenues you never thought of exploring. The main downside of this method is that it is time-consuming and can be challenging to plan.

Engage a professional service – by hiring a specialist company to help you develop the EVP, you can effectively let it happen while you get on with work. A company like this will usually conduct a hybrid investigation, including survey-type questions and one-on-one interviews. They will then develop the EVP for you based on the data gathered, and present it to you for input and approval.

Whichever method you use to design an EVP, remember this – an EVP isn’t cast in stone. What we value as humans can evolve and change over time, which means an EVP needs to be flexible enough to allow for that. To keep your EVP relevant for the long term, we recommend refreshing it periodically to ensure you are still keeping your workers happy.

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