Leaders, your EVP (employee value proposition) is NOT these 5 things:
- Your benefits, no matter how cool they are
- A regurg or reframe of your mission, vision, or values
- An appendage to your GTM strategy
- The visibility or popularity of your leaders
- Your statements on diversity, equity, or similar positions that are important but are not your EVP
Your EVP is what it feels like to work for you, what makes you special, what someone will get from working for you, the intangibles that would make top talent choose you over someone else in your space if everything listed above was the same.
Last week I responded to a post that stated that Internal Communications, not HR, should be responsible for the EVP.
I completely disagree. On two counts.
First, the ownership of the execution of the EVP–how it’s developed, where it’s used, when it’s refreshed–should be jointly owned by Internal Comms, External Comms, and HR.
The articulation of the EVP, what it actually IS, should come from your employees. A broad swath of them.
One of the most rewarding experiences in my career was when, as the head of HR, I co-led the development of the EVP with my peer who led Communications.
It would have been easy for us to sit in a room and write what we felt was our EVP, which likely would have been a variation on those 5 bullets above.
We also could have just done a survey and said “What’s great about working here?” That would have been a waste of time, as the answers would have been along the lines of “free snacks.”
Instead, we went to the employees with a framework based on Appreciative Inquiry designed to pull the threads about what REALLY made it a great place to work.
The results were incredible. With that framework and the employees’ participation, we developed an incredible EVP. It was unique. It was meaningful.
It wasn’t any of the things an EVP is not. And most importantly, it truly felt like home.
My colleague and I couldn’t have done it by ourselves. We never would have developed an EVP that absolutely hit the mark.
As we sit here in a weird talent market where all the news is of layoffs but companies still can’t find top talent, it’s incredibly important for you to get clear on what makes you special as an employer. Why should someone choose you over somewhere else, everything else being equal? What will they get from working for you that they wouldn’t get elsewhere?
Don’t sit in your office and come up with it yourself. Go ask your people who are there. And do it in a structured way to get meaningful responses.
One last piece of advice: Engage the skeptics. They’re skeptics because they care.
PS–Need help? Give me a shout. I love doing this work and would love to help you bring your EVP to life.