Companies are struggling with employee retention, morale and hiring. The year-over-year turnover rate will be 50% to 75% higher than usual as “The Great Resignation” continues, predicts Gartner Distinguished VP Brian Kropp. Gartner also reports that the time to fill a role has increased by 18% since before the pandemic, and about half of people who get a job offer are considering at least two other offers at the same time. Meanwhile, bad bosses and a cutthroat work culture can take a steep toll on employees’ mental and physical health according to an October 2022 report by the U.S. Surgeon General, CBS News reports.
How can employers win new employees, engender loyalty and boost morale? They need to know who they are and help people understand their identity. They need an Employer Value Proposition (EVP).
An EVP helps define your talent brand. The same way that a company establishes its brand to sell products and services, it must also sell itself as an employer and set itself apart from competitors. Employees want to have purpose, feel valued, and understand the benefits that working for a company offers. An EVP delivers employee expectations and employer promises to show the company is committed to mutual success. It’s a win-win scenario, essentially, for both employee and employer.
Much of this is a human resources function, but believe it or not, where many companies fail is by not seeing that there are two additional critical facets to this undertaking from both a design and communications standpoint. How do you impactfully articulate your values and beliefs to your current and potential employees? Undertaking an EVP process makes the connections between your organization’s values and beliefs, so it can encourage the behaviors that let your team excel. It helps define your culture, set clear expectations and commitments, and align every member of your team to a common way of thinking and behaving.
Having a strong team that understands the power of and excels in communication and design can help create an EVP for your organization, guiding the process in an inclusive way that encourages buy-in and results in a clear roadmap to successful execution.
Some of the elements of an EVP include:
- Rewards and Recognition: Every company knows (or should know) that employees want recognition for what they bring to the organization and feel a sense of belonging. Thet want to be recognized for their hard work, teamwork, attitude, dedication and contributions to the organization. You may have a rewards and recognition program, but how much are you talking about it? What’s the messaging around it? How are you portraying it through design? This is a message that needs to be heard loudly and clearly by not only everyone in your organization, but outside your organization, too.
- Career Paths, Learning and Development: Does your organization have a roadmap ready to go when people walk in the door, so that they know how they can advance their career within your organization? Professionals crave training and learning. Many companies offer one-off professional developments when they arise, but a consistent, well-planned program with mentorship, 360-degree feedback and targeted development programs that continually offers opportunities to expand your team’s knowledge makes employees feel valued and excited to grow with you.
- Leadership Opportunities: When employees feel like they own and lead a project or initiative, it reinforces their sense of purpose. While managers head a team of individuals, a leader can come from anywhere in your organization—influencing, motivating and enabling others. It’s incumbent on an organization to give people those opportunities to lead—you may be surprised about the people in your organization who can be leaders when given the chance.
- Talent Brand: This is what attracts outside employees to your brand. If you don’t feel like your brand is attractive, it’s probably not. How do you elevate that brand to reflect who you actually are as an organization? This must demonstrate how you value your employees and your sense of purpose. Having a cohesive look and feel to your external facing content with consistent, strong messaging that amplifies your core personas is critical to establishing this brand.
- Culture: A strong culture is built upon the foundation of how well your employees are treated. Everything above is what creates your culture. How is that being lived out? Do you have actual beliefs—not only how you want people to be, but the beliefs you adhere to? Culture is what makes people want to stay with your company. When it’s not there, that’s when you have high attrition rates.
All this requires buy-in from the C-Suite and company stakeholders, and many times companies are too close to the work and just are unable to allocate internal resources to this important work—thus nothing is ever executed. When a company recognizes that it wants to work on these components, experts like Inspire Agency can provide the objective, external perspective to guide an EVP process and then help execute on it. We champion it by surveying employees to get honest, direct feedback, working alongside employees and leaders to create internal communication campaigns around culture, and focusing your vision to strengthen that culture—all in a steady drum beat that solidifies your brand and cultural identity.