Creating a winning employee value proposition (EVP) is essential if you want to attract top talent and retain your best people. A great EVP not only communicates your employee benefits, but also tells your company’s story, captures your unique company culture, and unites your people around your organization’s greater purpose.
Communicating your EVP effectively—in prospective employee interviews, new hire orientations, and even employee onboarding—can make a huge difference in how employees perceive your company.
So how do you create a strong EVP? Let’s dive in!
What is an Employee Value Proposition?
In short, an Employee Value Proposition (or EVP, as it’s more commonly called) is what a company offers their employees in exchange for their hard work. When an employee considers coming to work for a company, the company's EVP will help them decide if the organization is the right fit for them.
Typically, an EVP will include details about your employee benefits (like healthcare, 401k offerings, etc.), parental leave policies, remote work policies, as well as other perks designed to entice prospective employees to join the company. But there’s also less quantifiable factors to consider, such as work environment, company culture, corporate values, and other considerations that influence job candidates as well.
When creating your EVP, it's important to keep in mind that today's employees expect more from their employers. In particular, younger employees, like millennial and Gen-Z workers, seek a workplace environment where they feel valued and appreciated, and one where they can bring their true selves to work.
In order to be effective, your EVP needs to be more than a laundry list of employee benefits. It also needs to tell your organization’s story.
Why is a strong EVP important?
Your company’s EVP can make or break your recruitment efforts. According to Gartner, up to 65% of employees have declined a job opportunity due to an unattractive EVP. Furthermore, organizations that execute on their EVP effectively can reduce employee turnover by nearly 70% and boost new hire commitment by almost 30%.
A strong EVP isn’t just critical for attracting top talent—it can be a valuable employee retention tool as well. With The Great Resignation still going strong, keeping employees engaged and connected to your organization’s purpose is critical. An EVP isn’t just a powerful aspect of employer branding. It also helps motivate current employees to stay.
Find out how Cooleaf can help you deliver a strong EVP
What does a compelling EVP look like?
So what makes a great EVP? According to HR research and advisory firm McLean & Company, an effective EVP provides a holistic view of the organization’s strengths and offerings grouped into four key elements:
In order to craft your company’s EVP, you’ll need to start with a clear understanding of how your organization stacks up in each of these areas. More on this below.
How to Create a Winning Employee Value Proposition
Step 1: Unlock your organization’s story
When it comes to EVP, you need to think like a storyteller. That means evaluating every aspect of your employee experience and turning that into a compelling story.
A great place to start is with your company’s core values. Set aside time to dive deeper into your company’s purpose, vision, and values, either by interviewing your CEO or by re-examining company core messaging.
Then, incorporate this into your EVP. Here's a great example from Sony’s EVP: “Calling all dreamers. Here's a rare thing: the chance to really connect with your creativity. But it takes bright minds. And brave hearts. The time is now.” This is closely tied to Sony’s purpose to “fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology.”
If you use a recognition platform to promote your core values, you can also use it to identify common themes and messages within stories of team wins and celebrations. By learning which behaviors are most valued within your company, you’ll have a better sense of how your team works together to succeed.
When crafting your EVP story, it’s also important to hear directly from existing employees. We recommend sending employee surveys and conducting internal focus groups to gain a deeper understanding of what drew your current employees to your company, what they love most about working there, and why they stay.
Remember that creating an effective EVP isn’t just your HR team's responsibility! HR professionals, team leaders, and other company leaders must come together to create a EVP that accurately communicates what day-to-day life is like within your organization.
Step 2: Examine your current employee benefits
Next, it’s time to analyze your existing employee experience and employee benefits. You can do this by honing in on these four key elements of an effective EVP.
Rewards: Outside of compensation, how are you recognizing and rewarding top performers? What tactics are you using to make employees feel appreciated for their work?
Environment: Does your team have a positive work environment? How do you engage and encourage diverse talent? Do you offer flexible work options or remote work?
Examples of top employee benefits related to Environment: Remote team culture, company retreats, flextime opportunities, health & wellness programs, free lunches, team events
Opportunity: What are you doing to help develop the great talent within your organization? How often are employees promoted from within? What learning opportunities are available to employees? Is mentoring employees a part of your workplace culture?
Examples of top employee benefits related to Opportunity: Learning opportunities, leadership training, tuition reimbursement, regular performance reviews
Organization: How are you measuring your company culture (eNPS, employee surveys, etc.)? What type of efforts is your organization making to live out its purpose and support its community?
Since your EVP encompasses many aspects of your workplace, this process might take some time. But examining each of these areas closely will give you a greater understanding of your existing EVP—and highlight areas where you might need to improve your employee experience.
Step 3: Write your EVP statement (...and then refine it!)
After spending some time evaluating your organization’s culture, story, and existing benefits, it’s time to start drafting an EVP statement. Think of this as a short mission statement that summarizes your EVP.
We recommend looking to other companies to find some of the best employee value proposition examples. To help get you started, here a few examples of Cooleaf customers with great EVP statements on their careers pages:
- Synovus Bank highlights a purpose-oriented workplace where “relationships matter,” “community matters,” and “you matter.”
- Salesloft appeals directly to a high-achieving workforce: “You’re smart, talented, and driven. You could work anywhere you want. You choose Salesloft because you want to become the best version of yourself.”
- Bluelinx unifies their EVP with their mission to "create an environment where all employees can excel, grow, and perform to their highest potential, providing value and service to our customers.” They also link to their Philanthropy page where they highlight their team’s corporate social responsibility efforts.
Once you’ve written a few ideas for your EVP statement, workshop them within your team. It's critical to get feedback from current employees to ensure that your EVP aligns with your culture. If necessary, you might need to rework your EVP several times before you settle on a final draft that accurately reflects your organization's benefits and your workplace environment.
Step 4: Bring your EVP to life
Once you’ve put in the effort to creating your EVP message, it needs to be actively communicated. Posting your EVP statement on your career site is a great place to start, but you shouldn’t stop there. Instead, explore creative ways to bring your EVP to life and celebrate what makes your organization a great place to work. For example, you might consider highlighting your EVP in a short video, which could be shared with new employees during new hire onboarding.
Or, consider adding your EVP into less expected places, like company pitch decks, on your company’s Glassdoor profile, or on your company’s LinkedIn profile. Encourage team members to share more about working at your company on social media, whether by posting their favorite team photos on their LinkedIns or posting new job listings. By consistently reinforcing your EVP internally and externally, you’ll promote your company culture and cultivate a sense of pride for your employer brand.
Finally, keep your Employee Value Proposition top of mind by reinforcing your company’s core values and purpose. If you use an employee engagement platform like Cooleaf, you can incorporate your purpose, mission, and values into your engagement strategy through recognition, communications, and activities.
It’s important to remember that your EVP should be a living, breathing part of your employee experience—not something you create once and then forget about.
Bonus Tip: Continuously improve your EVP!
What an ideal EVP looks like is continuously continuously changing. Just a few years ago, flextime and remote work were not popular employee benefits—but now, they’ve become much more common.
By re-examining what employees want today, you'll find more ways to attract talent tomorrow. If you want to your business to succeed, you’ll need to re-evaluate your Employee Value Proposition often, and constantly strive to make your EVP even better.
If you put in the time and effort to create a strong EVP, your business is sure to benefit. When your employees feel excited to be a part of your company, they’ll be happier, more motivated, and more engaged—and that’s a win-win for everyone.