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How do you build a strong Employee Value Proposition?

Creating Your EVP

Step 1: Gather Diverse Perspectives

You want to hear from lots of people. Some of that may already be captured in previous listening or surveys , it may just need to be reinterpreted

But you’ll also want to do some fresh listening, and engage with a spectrum of employees: new hires, old-hands, top performers, influencers, and even critics. Understand the views of leadership, middle-management and shopfloor.

And, if you commit to listening to a diversity of thoughts, you must listen respectfully, and with your mind wide open. You’ll hear things that don’t chime with your experience or expectations. But what that person tells you is their lived reality, and it as an important – potentially vital – perspective on the authentic experience of working in their organisation.


Step 2: Get the Overview

You want to discover, the combination of attributes that make your organisation distinctive and attractive.

First take an overview, and look at:

·         Positive aspects of the workplace: what's good about working here - why do people come, stay and commit?

Some EVPs stop here, you should carry on and look at:

·         Organisational distinctiveness: what, where, how, why do you do something that is different to others?

·         Alignment with the mission: what is everyone working towards, and how and when is that felt?

·         Areas for improvement: not just what is good, also what is not so good? What will be worked on, what will always be a compromise?

·         Cultural dynamics and actual behaviours: who do you do things, how do people behave, how do the most respected people show themselves?

·         What’s harder to know or explain: what do people not realise until they start? What questions do people always ask from the outside?

This gives you a great overview of how to present your organisation as part of your EVP.


Step 3: Add the Detail

People that want to work for you need to know the detail. Zoom in.

They will make their own decision on reward; the pay, benefits and total package. Most often that’s a rational decision – only when the whole package is exceptional, or when all else is in balance does this play a decisive factor.

But they can be influenced and swayed on other topics that have a more emotional resonance.

And people will always want to know about:

·         Professional development:Can I grow here? Can I be trained? Can I be promoted or otherwise increase my earning potential? Can I have new experiences? Can I have variety? Can I expect challenge?

·         Flexibility:What are the expectations on me to be where and when? If I need to be in one location, is there flexibility on timings? If I need to work shifts, how much can I influence them, how much can I fix them in advance?

·         Inclusion:Is there a genuine culture of allowing people to be themselves? Does everyone have the same voice? Is the organisation always looking for new experiences? Is everyone afforded the same levels of respect – and how is that demonstrated?

·         And there will be other priorities that have emerged in your initial research, dive into those.

Don’t accept first-level, glib answers. If people feel it’s a supportive community – why? How does that show itself, how do people behave to do that, what examples do you have, and how do they leave people feeling?

This gives depth to your breadth; it starts to become a fully realised picture.


Step 4: Look Outside

It's important when creating and EVP not to become too internally focussed. It can easily become an exercise in navel-gazing.

You’ll also want to see where you sit versus the competition, and in the eyes of those you’d like to attract.

Investigate competitors' EVP narratives, what are they saying about themselves and how?Get feedback from new starters, recruiters, even an external pool of your target market, for the perceptions of those outside the organisation.

Look at your target audiences, by roles or demographics, how can you best appeal to their motivation and needs?

Use what you find to enhance the difference and relevance of your offer.


Step 5: Find Authenticity

You need to go beyond the cliché to find the authentic.

Distilling an authentic EVP requires moving beyond platitudes and first-level ideas and into nuance. There is a reason that I place “Distinctive” at the top of the features for an EVP.

You can’t accept all answers at face value – you need to probe the reason why. Why are you like a family? How does that manifest? How is that different to other employers? What does that mean as an employee, as a person? Then, there’s the chance to elevate, combine (or sideline) themes.

Part of the difficulty is you’re challenging what people say, maybe to their face, maybe when they haven’t thought too hard about their expressed view. It takes a light and human touch to work through, and help people express how they really feel, what is really different here.


Step 6: Use Intuition

You can have all of the robust insight in the world, but you will still need a feel for what you are handling.

It's never as complete a picture as you would like. You will need to make a best fit to the reality.

At times, you will need to use your own intuition - to identify the things that will make the biggest difference to the attractiveness of the message, the distinctiveness of the claim.

At times, you will need to run with the themes that were less frequently expressed, but more powerfully or personally. Or those small things that came up a lot, and can be reasonably combined into something more powerful.

It's adding the emotional to the rational; it's giving you something stronger to work with.


Step 7: Test

Our final stage for creating an EVP ... because there’s no such thing as a perfect research process.

There is rarely the time or budget you'd really like. You rely on a lot of people, and all of those people have got other priorities too

A testing phase is always prudent. Take your conclusions back to your stakeholders and your audience - ideally external as well as internal.

Ask them: Does this feel right? How does this sound? Is there anything missing? Does this have credibility? Is there anything other connections we can make? Is there anything we should talk about differently?

And, above all, does this feel like I’m uniquely talking about you?


Crafting your EVP is essential for attracting top talent. You can define what sets your organisation apart and why individuals should join your team. You can do that by crafting a compelling EVP that accurately reflects every aspect of working with you.

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