How to develop your Brand’s EVP and why it matters.

Creating your EVP, brand EVP

Attracting and retaining the best talent is one of the biggest challenges for many organisations.

Brands large and small are increasingly realising the critical significance of investing in their EVP (Employee Value Proposition) and the direct impact this has on overall business performance.

Ensuring you have an EVP that is compelling, authentic, and distinctive is imperative. Unfortunately, most companies are still just paying lip service with what they call their EVP.

Generic claims such as “our people are our greatest asset” or “we value our people” are meaningless and not good enough.

What is an EVP?

An EVP is how you sum up your compelling differentiation for your people. It should encompass everything that makes your company attractive to current and potential employees. It goes beyond just salary and benefits, delving into the company culture, work environment, career development opportunities, and the overall employee experience.

An EVP serves as the unique set of offerings, benefits, and values that your brand promises to deliver to its employees in return for their skills, experience, and commitment.

Essentially, it’s the answer to the question: “Why should top talent choose to work for (and stay loyal to) your company over your competitors?”

Who Needs an EVP?

Every company, regardless of size or industry, can benefit from a well-defined EVP. Whether you’re a start-up striving to attract top talent in a competitive market or an established corporation looking to retain or grow your workforce in the face of emerging challenges, an EVP is essential. It serves as the cornerstone of your employer brand, influencing recruitment, engagement, and retention strategies.

At Truly Deeply, much of our work on creating and reshaping brands is not just about the external but also the internal brand. Ensuring we develop a potent EVP is now core to many of the discussions we are having with brand owners and managers.

We are currently developing EVPs for both for-profit and non-profit organisations across a variety of sectors including health, aged care, legal, community services and agriculture.

The Benefits of a Strong EVP

A strong EVP yields numerous benefits for both employers and employees. For employers, it enhances their ability to attract high-calibre candidates, reduces turnover rates, boosts employee engagement and productivity, and ultimately drives business performance. On the other hand, employees are drawn to companies with compelling EVPs as they seek fulfillment, growth opportunities, and a sense of purpose in their work.

Brands lauded as the best places to work such as Google, Virgin, Apple, or Atlassian all have one thing in common. They all have powerful yet distinctive EVPs that they use to drive and maintain their reputation as an employer of choice. While these are large brands offering exceptional benefits, they didn’t get there overnight. They’ve spent years honing their EVP.

While your business may not be able to offer a futuristic campus environment for employees, the principles and rewards for creating an EVP are very similar. Your EVP needs to stand out from competitors but it is relative to your industry and audience.

Gartner research shows that organisations that effectively deliver on their EVP can decrease annual employee turnover by just under 70% and increase new hire commitment by nearly 30%.

Creating your EVP

Crafting an EVP involves a deep understanding of your company’s values, culture, and aspirations. Start by conducting thorough research to identify what sets your organisation apart and what motivates your employees. If you already have a strong brand strategy, this should provide a great foundation for this.

Engage with key stakeholders, including current employees, to gather insights into their experiences and expectations. Once you have a clear understanding, articulate your EVP concisely and authentically so it resonates with your target audience.

EVP trends and insights to consider

In today’s dynamic business landscape, several trends and insights are shaping the evolution of EVPs. Ever since COVID, there has been an increasing emphasis on flexibility and work-life balance, driven by the rise of remote and hybrid work arrangements. Companies are also focusing on fostering a sense of belonging and inclusion, recognising the importance of diversity and equity in the workplace. Additionally, the integration of technology, such as AI and data analytics, is enabling companies to personalise EVP offerings and enhance the overall employee experience.

Ensuring your EVP is compelling and appealing

Align your EVP with your company’s mission, vision, and core values, highlighting what makes your organisation a unique and desirable place to work. Leverage storytelling techniques to convey your EVP memorably and engagingly, showcasing real-life examples of employees who have benefited from it.

Making sure your EVP is authentic, relevant, and differentiated is the tricky bit. When we review just about any sector, it’s amazing how every brand is saying the same things. Most companies seem to forget that candidates research several companies in the same sector when considering who to work for.

It’s essential to benchmark your EVP against the market. You need to research and understand what your competitor’s EVPs are. Your EVP needs to not only appeal to what employees want and need but also stand out and be memorable from competitors.

Much of the work we have been doing with our clients is to sharpen their EVP and articulate it in a powerful and practical framework. At the heart of your EVP should be a compelling, distinctive, and authentic theme. This should express why the brand is a unique place to work and advocate for and provide a strong thread that brings the entire EVP together.

Your EVP needs to call out three or four pillars that address the key areas that appeal to employee needs and align with the brand’s strengths. Potent messaging then articulates key benefits, highlighting the most important value to employees under each pillar. Finally, the support captures all the proof points or justification for the messaging and each of the pillars (such as programmes, awards, polices, procedures, statistics, stories etc).

Make sure you stress test your EVP with key stakeholders and team members and use the insights to further refine it. This is also a good opportunity to start to broaden the engagement across your business, especially if you have a large team in very different roles, across multiple sites or territories.

Once your EVP is finalised, develop an action plan to engage your current employees first, then create a campaign strategy, and update all internal and external communications.

Measuring the impact of your EVP

Measuring the effectiveness of your EVP requires a multifaceted approach. Utilise both qualitative and quantitative metrics, such as employee surveys, retention rates, recruitment success, and employee satisfaction scores, to gauge the impact of your EVP on various aspects of the employee lifecycle.

Additionally, track key performance indicators linked to business outcomes, such as revenue growth and customer satisfaction, to assess the indirect effects of a strong EVP.

Support to develop or strengthen your EVP

Developing a compelling EVP is no longer a choice but a strategic imperative if you want to attract, engage, and retain top talent. By investing in your EVP, you can differentiate in the marketplace, build a strong employer brand, and ultimately drive a stronger and more successful business and brand.

Regardless of where you are on your EVP journey, if you want some help, support, or tips, I’d be happy to chat. Contact me here.

In the coming weeks, we look forward to sharing some of the EVP brand work we’ve been doing. Keep following Truly Deeply for updates!

Michael Hughes

Michael is Managing Partner and Strategy Director at Truly Deeply. His deep expertise is building stakeholder alignment, unlocking insights, and defining the strategic power of your brand to create a differentiated, compelling, and authentic brand proposition that will engage all your audiences and drive your business growth. Michael has extensive experience working with leading Australian and International organisations across just about every sector.

Images; Pexels, Warakirri Cropping, and Healthscope.

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