How do you determine your organization’s “act human” EVP?

In article #1, we already indicated the importance of an employer branding strategy; now let’s look at how to develop it correctly. An important role within your employer branding strategy, perhaps the most important, is the Employee Value Proposition, or EVP. As the basis of positioning your organization as an attractive employer, the EVP brings together what you offer your employees and what makes you unique in doing so. So no strong employer brand without an EVP. That is why we would like to explain what an EVP is, how it is structured and how you can define it for your organization.

Find the sweet spot between the three CRUCIAL DIMENSIONS

Your EVP is unique to your company, and aligned with various dimensions of your organization. Therefore, the first step in defining your EVP is to identify, understand and ultimately bring together three crucial perspectives:

  • Corporate brand perspective: What is our brand’s positioning & value proposition to the outside world?
  • Employee perspective: Who are our (potential) employees? What are their motivations? What are they looking for in relation to our organization?
  • Employer brand perspective: What is our identity and DNA on the inside? How do we describe and experience our internal culture? What are the values that guide our organization?

In other words, defining your EVP is not just an isolated exercise, but arises from your corporate brand, and subsequently your employer brand. In addition, it aims to provide a fundamental answer to what drives your employees on a daily basis. By finding the sweet spot of these three dimensions, you can achieve a strong and sustainable EVP.

How to do that? You can start by taking a closer look to the three dimensions from a critical inside-out view: gather all existing information, inputs and insights based on internal knowledge and documentation, and make a sharp analysis of them. But after that – and this is an exercise that is always relevant from an “act human” approach – it’s time to talk to and especially listen to your main stakeholder, your employees. Engage with your people, and hear what their interpretation, perception, experience towards your organization is. Important in doing so, is to consider them as ‘people’ and not merely ’employees’ – after all, you are shaping your EVP for and building a relationship with people, not employees.

Summarizing 3 perspectives in the layers of your evp pyramid

Once you’ve found the sweet spot between your corporate brand, employee and employer brand perspective, you can shape your EVP more concretely. That means defining the various layers of your EVP. There are three levels you can define in a well-founded and multifaceted way to make clear what you are looking for as an organization and how employees can get meaning and satisfaction from their jobs. You can visualize this EVP structure as a pyramid.

Three layers

We build the EVP as follows:

  • Compensation and working conditions, or in other words, the basic conditions for working for the organization such as fair pay and remuneration, working and rest time, etc.
  • Career prospects and work environment, which on the one hand includes the opportunities for professional growth and development (training opportunities, coaching and mentoring etc.), on the other hand points to the work environment and especially the opportunities, recognition, autonomy… the employee receives.
  • Existence, being the work and organizational culture, the interaction and dynamics with others, the general atmosphere, the purpose of the organization – often captured by the mission and vision as well as values – to which you contribute as an employee…

Satisfiers vs. dissatisfiers

Within the three layers, we distinguish between satisfiers and dissatisfiers.

  • Satisfiers are the factors which directly and actively contribute to the satisfaction and commitment of employees towards their employer. These make, as it were, a positive difference.
  • The dissatisfiers, also called hygiene factors, on the other hand, are elements that are taken for granted by your employees and only noticed when they are not present. In other words, these make a negative difference, contribute to frustration or dissatisfaction. So a strong EVP invests in both.

Holistic view

By defining all three layers, you offer your current and future employees a holistic value proposition. In doing so, you also take into account the different needs of employees, ranging from factual conditions (such as compensation) to finding an emotional connection. Again, listening to your employees and fundamentally understanding what drives (but also frustrates) them is the key here: once you have insight into that, you can use the layers of your EVP to find a comprehensive and appropriate response. Hence: act human.


Get started on your evp

So in order to arrive at your EVP, the first step is to map the three key perspectives. By bringing together the corporate brand, employee and employer brand perspectives, you can attain a valuable and consistent value proposition for your employees. With that input in your possession, it’s then a matter of filling in the layers of the pyramid.

Throughout the entire process of determining your EVP, the following always applies: act human. Gain insights into what your employees are looking for in their relationship with your employer brand, and how you can make the difference by providing a meaningful response.

Next step after defining your EVP, is to put it into words and… communicate it. How do you come up with a compelling EVP message and which channels do you bring when to your potential and current employees? Read more here: From strategy to communication: From strategy to communication: how to translate your EVP into a comprehensive message.