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How to Create a Winning Employee Value Proposition

A group of employees sitting at a large desk with their computer open and talking to one another.

According to Cengage, eighty-one percent of the people who quit their jobs during the Great Resignation say they have no regrets about leaving their previous positions. For employers, this number should be a wake-up call that we need to do a better job of giving employees reasons to stay. Those reasons are defined by your employee value proposition. 

A strong employee value proposition helps attract new talent and retain existing workers while giving meaning to employees’ work beyond a paycheck. Find out the components of an effective employee value proposition and how to craft one that makes a compelling argument in favor of being employed by your organization. 

What is an Employee Value Proposition?

An employee value proposition, or EVP, is a statement that encapsulates what’s in it for employees who work for your company. It includes tangible factors, like compensation and benefits, and intangible ones, like company culture and brand values.  

An EVP describes how you’re different from other companies and uses employees’ own motivations to create incentives for them to continue working for you. 

EVP Versus Employer Brand

As you begin to explore the idea of an employee value proposition, you might think that it sounds a lot like an employer brand, which is the set of factors that defines a company in the eyes of prospective employees. And you’d be correct; the two are similar concepts. 

While employee value proposition and employer brand both contribute to building a strong, highly skilled workforce, they’re distinct from one another. 

Whereas your employer brand is public-facing, your employee value proposition is primarily an internal concept. Employer brand focuses on the company and what makes it unique, while EVP is centered on employees and what inspires them to want to work there. 

Both employer brand and employee value proposition should be constructed with the other in mind to complement one another and work toward the same goals. 

Importance of a Strong EVP

Strengthen talent acquisition and retention 

You want to create a strong EVP to help you attract and retain great employees. Hiring skilled workers continues to be challenging, especially in fields like tech and healthcare. Your EVP gives candidates clear motivations to join your team and helps remind existing employees of their ‘why’ for staying.

Increase employee engagement

EVP incorporates your mission and values, which give meaning to employees’ activities and help make the company a place they’re proud to work. EVP also summarizes how you invest in your employees, like providing professional development opportunities. 

These things keep workers engaged with their jobs, promoting greater employee satisfaction. They’re also a net positive for the company, which reaps the benefits of an increasingly skilled and productive workforce.

Related: Ways to Invest in Employee Development

Contribute to organizational goals

When your EVP aligns with company and department goals, it ensures that everyone is working toward the same purpose. This overarching strategy keeps everyone on the same page, which is more effective than when leaders make decisions without considering their effect on employee engagement.  

4 Components of Employee Value Proposition 

In addition to gauging the satisfaction of people who quit during the Great Resignation, the survey we referenced earlier revealed some compelling insights about why those workers ultimately decided to leave their jobs. 

While the first wave of workers to resign did so mostly to pursue better pay and more flexibility, the later resigners left because they felt out of alignment with their company’s values or failed to see a path forward for them within the organization. 

This tells us that if we want to create a compelling case to retain employees, we need to consider the material and immaterial aspects that are important to them. Here are four main categories to consider when crafting your EVP. 

1. Pay and benefits

These are tangible aspects of your EVP–things you can put a dollar figure on or otherwise quantify. This category includes offering competitive salaries, health insurance, employer-sponsored retirement, and on-the-job benefits like scheduling flexibility. 

Employees can immediately feel the impact of these offerings because they affect them on a day-to-day basis. Thus, these are some of the primary EVP elements candidates consider when deciding where to work.

Related: Hiring and Salary Guide

2. Employee opportunities

The second tangible aspect of EVP is opportunity. This includes things like continuing education programs, mentoring, networking opportunities, and the company’s approach to internal promotions. Simply put, does the employer take steps to help employees advance in their careers? 

These are long-term elements of EVP that employees are more likely to recognize once they’ve been with the company for some time. 

3. Company culture

Culture is an intangible factor that describes the essence of being part of your workforce. It includes your approach to work, like communication and leadership styles. It also encapsulates the types of relationships between employees and between employees and managers. 

Positive work culture is important in attracting talent in the short term, but it’s also a major factor in whether employees stay for the long term.

4. Meaning and purpose

The final intangible factor is your mission and purpose. We touched on this earlier; the deeper reason drives employees to show up to work beyond just collecting a paycheck. This can include things like a meaningful company mission, a strong set of admirable values, or a distinguished reputation. 

How to Develop Your Own EVP

Define what makes you unique

How is working for you different from working for your competitors? You probably already have a solid idea, but you can gain valuable insights and key descriptive phrases by asking your employees directly. 

EVP Example: 

“At Aspire Lifestyles, we believe in fostering success from within. By offering constant on-the-job support, paired with career guidance and rewarding benefits, we make dreams come true for our people. We empower you to bring your best to our world of global opportunities.” -Aspire Lifestyles

Make it aspirational, yet realistic

Your EVP should capture the type of company you want to be, but it also needs to reflect what it’s like to work there. If there are milestones you haven’t achieved just yet, incorporate what you’re doing to work toward them. 

EVP Example: 

“We see the value that diversity brings to Featurespace and truly believe that everyone’s voice is equal. However, we know there’s more to do. As we grow in 2023 and beyond, our focus is on attracting more diverse talent across all departments.” -Featurespace

Align it with organizational goals

Flowery language is nice but it lacks purpose if it doesn’t correlate with what the business is trying to achieve. Review your EVP to ensure it’s contributing to–rather than detracting from or simply existing alongside–your goals as a company. 

EVP Example: 

“We promise an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals who are laser-focused on quality, and clinical and customer service excellence.” -Devereaux

Keep it simple

Don’t try to be all things to all people. This is where organizations fail, because it’s impossible. Instead, focus on the areas where you can shine. Less is more. 

EVP Example: 

“Do work that matters. Come as you are. Thrive with us. Learn for a lifetime. Make your mark.” -KPMG

Gather feedback

Before publicizing your EVP far and wide, share it among a trusted group of company leaders and employees to ensure it resonates. Ask for and incorporate their feedback into the final version. 

Incorporate it into all aspects of the business

Your EVP should be top of mind when creating company materials and building programs. Work it into your recruitment collateral, new hire onboarding, and in regular employee communications. 

Consider making your EVP easy to find by giving it a dedicated page on your website, either in your Careers or About Us section. This can be a useful feature to build brand awareness and convince interested applicants to apply to join your team.

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the President of 4 Corner Resources, the staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. 4 Corner is a member of the American Staffing Association and TechServe Alliance, and the top-rated staffing company in Central Florida. Recent awards and recognition include being named to Forbes’ Best Recruiting Firms in America, The Seminole 100, and The Golden 100. Pete also founded zengig, to offer comprehensive career advice, tools, and resources for students and professionals. He hosts two podcasts, Hire Calling and Finding Career Zen, and is blazing new trails in recruitment marketing with the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Connect with Pete on LinkedIn