How to Create an Employee Value Proposition in 5 Steps

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 12, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Companies develop their own culture and values to distinguish themselves from the competition. They base these on their vision and mission and what they believe they can best offer the people who help their business achieve success. Understanding how organizations create value for their employees may give you an advantage in knowing what to look for in a company or in creating an organization's value proposition. In this article, we define an employee value proposition (EVP), list steps for creating one, and provide tips for improving a company's EVP.

What is an employee value proposition?

An employee value proposition, or EVP, is the core of any business' employer brand. Many consider it an employer's pledge to their current and future employees to show how they value their staff. EVPs are an effective way to communicate to team members what they can expect from the organization. They can also be useful for attracting and retaining employees.

Companies may not necessarily provide uniform propositions to their employees. This is because each one's details are unique for every employee. The EVP's basis is what the organization feels it can compensate a job candidate depending on their capabilities, skills, experience, and the position's demands. The employer often presents these propositions to prospective employees during the hiring process.

Related: How to Learn More about a Company's Culture

5 steps for creating a company's EVP

EVPs are an integral part of any organization. Creating these is a complex process, and the results aren't always permanent. A company may change its EVP to keep it current and relevant to its workforce's needs. When defining EVPs, organizations often ensure that they reflect their brand and culture while still being flexible enough to adapt to new circumstances. Here are five steps you can follow when defining an EVP:

1. Understand employee perception

Before drafting a proposition, it's important that you first understand the current perception of employees about the company so you can create a fair, attractive, and realistic valuation. An effective way to do this is by sourcing the data directly from relevant individuals, such as the current organization's members and focus groups. You may also gather feedback from previous applicants or employees. Some of the questions you may ask to gain valuable insight include:

  • Why do employees stay with the organization?

  • Why might they decide to leave and seek other employment?

  • What motivates individuals to consistently perform at their best?

  • What attracts individuals to apply for a job in the company?

  • How is the organization unique from the competition?

  • What do current team members like most about their employment situation?

After collecting the data, you can compare these against the organization's current EVP. To do this, it may be a good idea to check if the current proposition still provides value to employees. If it's not current and doesn't match their views, it's time to start drafting a new one or see where you can make improvements.

Related: How to Craft a Proposition of Value (With Definition)

2. Determine the key points for the EVP

The data you collect from your target demographic provides the best insight into what an attractive and feasible EVP requires. Carefully assess your information and consider it against what the organization can offer or match. Having key elements in your proposition can give you a solid foundation on which to build and is important to getting the best talent. Here are some basic consideration points when defining your key elements:

  • A company culture that's conducive to growth and success

  • Opportunities for growth with qualification parameters

  • Employment benefits, including allowable time off

  • Salary ranges based on position and qualifications

  • A conscious effort to provide an ideal and supportive working environment

  • A schedule for employee bonuses and incentives

It's important to remember that EVPs may not be uniform among all applicants. Other factors may result in an organization offering more to a candidate. These may include the position they're applying for and the breadth of their education and experience. An employer may choose to highlight or change a point in the EVP to encourage a candidate to accept their offer.

Related: Defining Team's Roles and Responsibilities

3. Create the EVP draft

After making the assessments, defining key points, and knowing what the organization can offer and deliver to its employees, you can draft the EVP. When doing this, it's important to choose the right words because these set the tone and influence the potential employee's perception of the company. Ensure that the EVP is clear, encouraging, and different from the usual EVPs other businesses offer.

It may be a good idea to write more than one draft and compare them to see which one sounds best and highlights attractive points to employees. Ensure the EVP also aligns with the company's values and reflects the actual workplace culture. You can do a test delivery of the chosen EVP draft on a focus group to get feedback on how effective it is or if adjustments are necessary.

Related: 20 Strategies for Employee Retention in the Workplace

4. Finalize the EVP for use and distribution

Following the testing of the draft, you can make any adjustments and finalize the EVP. After the company's leadership approves the final version, it's ready for distribution through the proper channels. Besides a detailed internal copy that hiring officers use for new applications, the organization can advertise a summarized copy or publish it on selected platforms, such as the company's website, social media, and job sites. It can also use this during job fairs and other marketing campaign events.

Related: How to Develop Strategies for Growth (Including Examples)

5. Review and assess results

While results may not necessarily be immediate, they're possible. Observing the response to the EVP and any changes made in the draft is important. If the reception is positive, the organization can continue to use it and build on it to attract more talent. If not, there's an opportunity to modify and improve it to get better results in the future. This is also a good time to consider whether to expand its use beyond the primary target group.

Tips for improving an EVP

When an organization sees its EVP bringing in new applications, it often becomes complacent, but this isn't the case when it sees an upward trend in resignations. It's important for companies to be aware that an increase in business attrition rates is a sign that their EVP may not be working as they intend. While EVPs are for attracting new applicants, they're also tools for encouraging retention, especially among top-skilled employees. Here are several tips that may help boost the employer's brand and reduce the risk of losing valuable members of the team:

Commend good work

You can set up a recognition program that recognizes employees for doing an excellent job. The basis for exemplary performance may be reaching and exceeding metrics depending on their job. If the company can't give gifts to employees, it may provide awards or certificates. These let employees know that the organization appreciates their efforts, which may encourage them to continue striving for excellence. You can do this monthly or quarterly for small achievements or annually if the organization feels it's best to celebrate on a large scale.

Another idea is to send appreciation messages or small tokens to all the staff regardless of performance. Employees who know their value to the organization tend to feel more satisfied with their job and are more likely to stay. The point of these gifts is to be a small reminder that the organization realizes the employees' work, which may make them feel like a valued part of the team.

Related: When to Send a Thank-You Team Message (With 16 Examples)

Give periodic rewards

Some organizations continue to commit to their EVP even when it doesn't offer meaningful bonuses or salary increases. This often results in the employees' earning potential stagnating over time, which may affect motivation. When employees know that their value to the company appreciates the longer they stay, they're less likely to seek other opportunities.

The organization can give employees a salary increase after an annual appraisal on the basis of their performance or length of service. It can also reward team members with bonuses, especially if their job description requires sales or involves achieving specific metrics. The company can also give rewards when employees reach career milestones, after completing a project, or at the end of the year in the form of an annual bonus.

Related: 12 Different Types of Bonuses (Definition and How They Work)

Organize non-work events for employees

Working on a set of scheduled tasks can be demanding for employees. They're likely to appreciate a quick break from their routine every so often. There are many events that aren't work-related that the organization can arrange. You can organize social gatherings, host a company picnic, or send employees on a team-building trip once a quarter. These maintain team morale and create a stronger camaraderie among employees.

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