An employee value proposition (EVP) is a concept that encompasses everything your business has to offer its employees. It’s an integral part of your employer branding, and it’s what sets you apart from the competition. That’s why creating a strong EVP is one of the most effective ways of attracting and retaining top talent while improving employee engagement.
In this guide, we'll go over what an EVP is, why it's important, and other frequently asked questions.
Employee Value Proposition (EVP) Meaning
Employee value proposition is a term that represents all the rewards and benefits each employee receives in exchange for their work. In other words, it’s what an employer offers current and prospective employees, such as competitive wages, employee benefits, attractive culture, and other perks.
Above all, EVPs are unique to every company and help candidates make key decisions on where to work.
Here are a few examples of what might make up an employee value proposition:
- Salary and compensation philosophy
- Paid time off (annual leave, sick leave, parental leave, etc.)
- Health insurance
- Retirement/pension contributions
- Company culture
- Physical work environment
- Flexible working hours
- Work-from-anywhere policy
- Strong company values and mission
- Workplace awards and credentials
- Career development opportunities
We’ll discuss the key elements of an EVP in more detail below.
What's the Difference Between EVP and Employer Brand?
While EVPs and employer branding work symbiotically, they are not the same thing. An EVP refers to the value employees receive as part of a company and the value they contribute.
On the other hand, an employer brand is a company’s external reputation, specifically how the company is perceived as an employer. A sound employer branding strategy will tout your EVPs to attract outside talent, while the EVPs themselves serve to improve existing employees' lives. In other words, your EVPs define who you are through your employees, while employer branding conveys those values to the outside talent market.
Who Creates the EVP at a Company?
Leadership and HR teams are usually responsible for creating the policies and initiatives that drive a company’s EVP. But the EVP itself really goes down to what the employees think and feel about working for the company. It’s the value they get out of being part of the team. That’s why it’s important that the leaders responsible for “creating” the EVP are aligned with what their employees (and potential employees) consider to be valuable.
Why Is an Employee Value Proposition Important?
An EVP is important because it can benefit several elements directly tied to your business's success. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Boosting the quality and type of talent you attract and acquire.
- Improving how your business is perceived externally.
- Increasing employee retention rates.
- Strengthening employee engagement and productivity.
- and more
What Are the Key Elements of an EVP & How Can You Enhance Them?
While the details of most EVPs are unique to a company or industry, there are some elements of attractive EVPs that share common ground:
One of the most important aspects of attracting top talent is through compensation. But this doesn't always mean high salaries. It could also include bonus incentives, high commission percentages, or any other creative benefit that compensates quality work. For a global team, it’s particularly important to consider salary benchmarking so your compensation is fair across countries.
Attractive employee benefits usually include the basics such as health insurance, life insurance, and some form of retirement planning assistance (e.g., 401k). But to go above and beyond with your EVP, consider offering more creative perks. Silicon Valley tech companies, for instance, have been blazing this trail for years by offering pet care stipends, extra money for travel, incentives for continued learning opportunities, extended leave, and more.
Some companies also implement in-office benefits such as catered meals, massages, dry cleaning services, and much more. Meanwhile, for remote employees, we’ve seen a rise in other benefits such as work-from-anywhere policies, home office stipends, mental health support, and more.
It may not be feasible for every company to implement such extensive perks, but the point isn't that you need these things; it's that benefits focused on making employees' lives easier or more enjoyable through better work-life balance go a long way in creating a strong EVP.
Take some time to think about what your average employee would want or enjoy in a workspace and feel free to get creative! Surveying your current employees to ask what they’d like to see would be a great place to start.
Finally, remember that benefits are an important tool to guide and shape your culture, as well as to appeal to the types of candidates you want to hire. For example, if you want to hire a diverse team and build an inclusive culture, ensure your policies, such as parental leave, reflect and faciliate that.
Workplace culture is the sum of everyone’s actions. It’s how people feel about their work and employer. It influences how employees collaborate, understand and meet goals, trust the organization, and more.
To create a positive company culture that attracts the best talent, it's important to understand how your employees feel, as well as how your business is perceived externally, and then take steps to either change or affirm it.
Here are a few key questions to kickstart some brainstorming:
- What’s your eNPS score (i.e., how engaged are employees?)?
- How do leadership attitudes help or hinder on-the-ground progress?
- What is your employee turnover rate?
- Have you been the subject of negative press recently?
- What are some common criticisms your company receives after exit interviews?
Nobody wants to be stuck in a dead-end job. If employees and candidates know there are opportunities for internal mobility, whether upwards or horizontally, they are less likely to quit.
Here are a few ways to enhance your EVP by focusing on career progression:
- Provide continued learning opportunities
- Create a career development framework
- Have regular career conversations
- Pay for industry-related certification courses
- Introduce paid sabbaticals for extended study opportunities
- Implement a sponsorship and/or mentorship program
- Train managers on coaching and development
Physical Work Environment
Where your employees work is also a crucial part of your EVP. If they work in an office, what’s the environment like? Is it physically an attractive place to work? For example, you might provide private meeting rooms, the latest tech, and ergonomic workspaces. If employees are working remotely, what does this entail? Do you provide them with a high-quality home office setup? Perhaps you might offer access to co-working spaces if they want a change of scenery. These factors are just as important as culture when it comes to your EVP.
How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Employee Value Proposition
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to evaluating the efficacy of your EVP, but there are some simple indicators you can pay close attention to.
What better way to get direct employee feedback than a survey asking for it? When creating an employee satisfaction survey, ensure that all respondents know they will remain anonymous. The last thing you need is to make strategic decisions based on inaccurate data. Instead, ask how they feel about company culture, what benefits you could offer that would make a better workplace experience, whether they are paid fairly, how they feel about their career path, etc.
Surveys can act as pulse checks on how certain initiatives are received too. So if you want to focus on well-being, for example, make sure to tailor survey questions towards well-being and look out for trends.
You can also gauge the overall perception of your business by looking for commonalities between exit interviews and checking in on employer review sites such as Glassdoor. Don't dismiss every criticism as a disgruntled employee — use these tools to your advantage and keep an open mind. If you're receiving the same criticisms repeatedly, you may be hindering yourself as an employer.
If your employee turnover rates are higher than the industry average, it may be time to reevaluate your EVP and invest in better benefits or a stronger culture. High employee turnover not only increases recruitment and training costs, but it's also indicative of deeper issues that exist within the company. Such issues can cause interruptions in daily operations and repel high-quality talent from applying in the first place.
By utilizing free tools such as Google Analytics, you can see your overall website traffic and break it down by page. Analyzing the average time users spend on a "careers" page and whether they make a conversion, for instance, can give insight into whether or not you're writing enticing job postings or if your employer branding strategy needs adjusting.
You should also ensure open positions are being posted on social media and pay attention to how much engagement each one gets. Publish your job postings on both industry-specific and broader job sites.
Measuring KPIs for brand visibility is a great way to monitor whether your branding strategy is working and, therefore, how you can make improvements to your EVP.