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Giving CPR to your employee value proposition

By Jill Havely and Guy Groleau | August 22, 2023

As companies compete for talent in an ever-changing world, breathing life into your employee value proposition (EVP) is vital. Let it wither and more than your EVP will suffer.

Companies often say their people are at the heart of their operations. Yet many of today’s employees may not be as motivated as they could be. Several buzzwords on social media – great resignation, quiet quitting, great rebalancing – suggest that today’s talent market is primarily employee-driven.

The impact has been felt worldwide as companies struggle to deal with critical business challenges like retaining top employees, attracting new talent and engaging current hires in a changing work environment. The risk to your business is high too. Our global research shows that two in three employers are losing business value because their employee experience is not as good as it should be.

Organizations are reassessing and realigning their post-pandemic relationship with employees. And they are improving their employer brands and positioning themselves to achieve maximum business value. WTW’s 2023 Dynamics of Work survey results show many companies are currently redesigning their employee experience to promote the transition to the new work culture. This includes closely examining the engine that drives your employee experience: your EVP.

Does your EVP meet the needs and expectations of your workforce?

An EVP is a clear articulation of the value exchange between a company and its workforce. Every organization needs one. Consider it your North Star – a guidepost of your shared expectations and attributes. Not having one puts you at greater risk as a company.

In its prime, your EVP can be a tremendous force in driving high-performing employee experiences and achieving better people and business outcomes. Unfortunately, organizations often spend considerable effort defining their EVP but little time integrating it within their business. And unless it is fully embedded throughout your employee experience, your EVP quickly starts to atrophy. EVP should not stand for “efforts vanish, poof”.

Your EVP needs to be both well-defined and well-embedded. If your EVP seems to be fading away, it’s not too late to regain its strength and ignite a powerful and compelling experience for your employees. Here are some ways to reactivate your EVP and keep it relevant and impactful amid today’s business challenges.

  1. 01

    Connect with the four Ps

    To what extent is your EVP integrated throughout all your touchpoints – people, programs, policies and processes? Is it part of your operational governance? Your EVP needs to be far-reaching within your organization and touch on all these areas to be truly effective. Consider it your compass in ensuring you are staying current and creating a consistent employee experience for better business results.

  2. 02

    Create shared accountability

    How often have you heard someone at work say, “Oh that falls under another team; we’re not responsible for that”? Although human resources and communications teams play a key role in enabling the EVP, accountability for the EVP sits across the entire organization – at all levels and throughout all teams and departments. The EVP lives in every experience and is deeply embedded in the fabric of an organization’s culture and day-to-day interactions with peers, managers and business partners. Senior leadership plays a crucial role in setting the direction, clarifying expectations and showing the link between the EVP and business success.

  3. 03

    Check in with employees

    As with any relationship, the last thing you want to do is take it for granted. People and their needs evolve – and we’ve never seen this more clearly than during the pandemic when priorities shifted drastically, highlighting new ways of working and the prioritization of wellbeing and hybrid work. Gauging the continued relevance of your EVP and fine-tuning it as needed is critical to its survival. This does not necessarily mean wholesale changes; sometimes it is a question of dialing up or down some components of your EVP.

    Also keep in mind that changing attitudes and needs might not be apparent on the surface. Listen to the needs and concerns of employees across different segments of your workforce.

  4. 04

    Track your EVP

    One of the universal truths in business is that what gets measured, gets done. As a business, set yourself targets, track your EVP efforts and make it a standing item on leadership agendas as part of your cultural and business priorities. You can set yourself apart from the pack by also sharing progress (and setbacks) with employees.

    One organization built the EVP into its annual report, highlighting it as a business imperative to drive financial performance. Another created an EVP dashboard, measuring it against a multiyear plan and value drivers that are high-performing employee experience differentiators: inspiration, trust, growth and drive.

  5. 05

    Tell your story

    Keeping your EVP fresh and strong is more than integrating, assessing and fine-tuning. It is also about creating and constantly sharing an authentic, people-centric narrative about the many facets of your EVP, not just about hybrid work arrangements. Don’t be shy about your EVP – weave it into your storytelling, whether it's business outcomes, environment, social, governance (ESG), diversity, equity and inclusion, people priorities or more. Promote it to attract, inspire and engage talent throughout the year and keep the dialogue going.

Shattering common EVP myths

Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths around EVPs. Keep these in mind when refreshing your EVP or developing it for the first time:

Once launched, the EVP lives organically. Not true. The employee experience occurs organically as it is the sum of all the touchpoints and moments that matter between employees and their employers. Your EVP, on the other hand, is done with intent and is actively managed. When you take intentional steps to focus on the employee experience, you achieve better people and business outcomes.

EVP is merely a brand exercise. Actually, your EVP is more than a poster. It is a strategic business tool that, when properly integrated, helps deliver on your objectives and contribute to enhancing the employee experience.

EVP is just another project. In reality, your EVP is not a stand-alone project. It needs to be embedded as part of a broader, interconnected framework that includes your purpose, business strategy, employee life cycle, brand, culture and values – all working in concert.

EVP is easy to understand. If only that were true. Not everyone understands the full scope and potential of your EVP. Help your leaders and people managers understand, believe and align with your EVP so they can authentically speak to it with their teams and potential recruits. The more your leaders are well-versed and drive inspiration through it, the stronger your company will be.

Your EVP survival kit

There are many actions you can take to design and maintain a healthy EVP. They include a proper EVP governance charter and framework with clear goals and accountabilities, a sustainable activation plan, a dedicated listening strategy, a storytelling and content marketing strategy to share the EVP through the eyes and actions of your employees, a quick, EVP health checklist, a periodic dashboard and people report, and much more.

Creating an employee value proposition is not a tick-the-box exercise. When properly nurtured and cared for, your EVP can become a powerful and vibrant tool in getting – and staying – ahead in the race for talent.


Managing Director
Head of Global Community Excellence, Employee Experience
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Senior Director, Employee Experience
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