The story you tell your employees is crucial. No matter what the subject is—from benefits and wellness to recruiting and onboarding—telling the story of why you’re doing what you’re doing is important.
Leveraging your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) can help tell (and sell) that story in a way that’s engaging and impactful.
Your EVP should be at the core of every story you tell because it’s part of your company culture—and as more and more millennials enter the workforce, culture is becoming more important than ever. Employees want to know the WHY behind what you’re communicating, and your values will help explain that.
When thinking about your internal brand and what it says about your company, the EVP is a fundamental piece of that puzzle. According to Forbes, your EVP should answer one key question: “Why would the people we need want to join, do their best work here, and stay?” Once you’ve answered this, it should feel present in aspect of communication you send to employees.
Another way to look at it is: What do you give to your employees, and what do you expect in return? Edelman, a global public relations agency, says it like this:
The EVP serves to define what the organization would most like to be associated with as an employer and defines the “give and get” of the employment deal (the value that employees are expected to contribute with the value they can expect in return). EVPs have become closely related to the concept of employer branding with the EVP being used to define the underlying “offer” on which an organization’s employer brand is based.
Unfortunately, many companies today are not cognizant of how much more meaningful their employer brand can be when the EVP is weaved into the story. A common example of this happens in benefits communication. Like many companies, you may have contracts with vendors (i.e., medical plans, 401(K), disability, life insurance, etc.) who include communication pieces they can send to your employees on your company’s behalf. It may be easy and simple to do it that way, but the end result is that your EVP will get watered down (and may not even be present at all), hence making the communication fall flat and feel “salesy.” Instead, invest in working with professional communicators who know and understand your EVP and can help you use that to engage your employees and make them feel valued by your company.
Alliance Data is a great example that exemplifies how EVP can be prominent and help tell the story. Their EVP is all about their “DNA.” The pillars that define their DNA are called out in many of their communication pieces and help inform the direction that each piece should take in regard to content and design. Here are some benefits of this approach:
- Employees are reminded of the company’s values and how it relates to their personal employee story.
- Each piece looks and feels similar, creating a consistent tone throughout communication campaigns.
- Employees feel valued because the communication is coming directly from their company, not an outside vendor.
As you begin to define and craft your EVP, everyone needs to be on board. SHRM quotes James Foley, a global senior vice president of employer brand at Randstad Sourceright.
Most often, the [employer brand] should be led by the CEO and throughout all levels of the company. Still, making sure all parties, from HR to marketing and communications, understand their roles is essential to an effective employee brand strategy. Taking time to invest in internal and external stakeholder feedback will help to define the [employer value proposition] and make sure it stands out.
So whether you’re HR, Marketing, Accounting or anything in-between, it’s important that you understand your EVP and take the time to invest in communication that reflects it.
As time goes on and companies continue to change and grow to meet the demands of the modern workforce, it’s important to remember your EVP and how it stays true through the test of time. Never lose sight of it, and always remember to bring it to forefront of any story you tell.