Seven steps to creating a strong Employee Value Proposition for your NFP


In our last post, we revealed why an Employee Value Proposition, or EVP, should be a vital component in shaping your organisation’s HR policies.

In case you missed it, an EVP is the unique characteristics and benefits your organisation provides to staff in exchange for their skills, time and expertise.

Every organisation already has an EVP in some form – even if it’s not written down. But is yours strong, deliberate and well communicated?

A well-thought-through EVP can help your organisation drive engagement, inform recruitment messages and communications, and highlight strategic HR priorities.

Ready to start developing your organisation’s EVP? Here’s how to do it:

1. Identify the broad questions

To guide the initial discussion, start with broad questions like:

  • What’s our purpose?
  • What are our organisational values?
  • What’s our organisational culture like?
  • What sort workforce do we have? And who will we need for the future?
  • Who are our current staff and what matters to them?
  • With whom do we compete for talent?

These answers should give you a clearer picture of your organisation’s employer brand and competitive environment.

2. Assemble data

Bring together all the data you can on your existing workforce ­– for example, recruitment and retention metrics, staff feedback, culture surveys, exit interviews and employee surveys.

Identify key themes and trends in the data, paying particular attention to any direct feedback from staff – this can give much deeper understanding than just the numbers.

This data should start to give you an idea of where the gaps are between intent and reality. For example, if senior leaders want the organisation to be one that values innovation, but staff say it’s difficult to introduce new ideas, then you know you’ve got some work to do! So what needs to change?

3. Dig deeper using interviews or focus groups

The most important step in developing a strong EVP is understanding what current staff at your organisation believe constitutes a great place to work.

Use interviews and focus groups with staff and key stakeholders to delve deeper into the themes uncovered in the data-gathering stage. Senior management, HR and marketing staff should get to have their say.

There will undoubtedly be some debate and different ideas amongst these three groups about the questions identified in steps one and two.

4. Develop the EVP

Using the insights and information gathered in all the previous steps, craft your EVP as a simple overarching statement. It will become the essence of your employee experience and employer brand commitment.

Though you or your HR team might lead the development of an EVP, creating a cross-functional team can yield the best results. For example, you might involve marketing and communications staff at this stage for their expertise in customer experience and external brand alignment, bringing a wider spectrum of experience to the process.

A large proportion of the EVP must already be true. Where parts of it are aspirational, you should develop a clear plan for how to bridge the gap between the two – or risk breeding frustration from new employees and cynicism from existing ones.

Developing a plan for organisational change is a key part of developing an EVP that drives your organisation further towards its goals.

Your NFP’s EVP should include detail on at least these areas:

  • Impact: What difference does the organisation (and potentially different roles within the organisation) make?
  • Remuneration and reward: What pay, salary packaging, incentives and holidays can employees expect?
  • Career development: What potential is there for employment security, advancement, training and personal growth is there for different roles?
  • Work environment: What sort of workspace, hours, time flexibility, autonomy, variety and work challenges can employees expect?
  • Culture: What sort of values, daily practices, colleagues, non-work activities and recognition for good work can staff expect?
  • Change and innovation: How does your organisation (and different roles within it) change and evolve? How much input can staff expect to have in this, and in what way?

5. Test the waters

To ensure all segments of existing and potential staff find your EVP attractive, testing is crucial. This process will also highlight any elements of the EVP that need to be changed to appeal to different groups, and should therefore be undertaken with both current staff and external candidates.

Testing could take the form of surveys, focus groups and by soliciting feedback from new staff, with pertinent feedback incorporated into the final EVP.

6. Deliver your message

Now it’s time to implement the EVP across the entire employee experience: the recruitment process, onboarding, career development and the exit stage.

The EVP should be packaged in a way that appeals to the intended audience – that is, your current and potential staff. This is your chance to really show what’s special about your organisation, not to get bogged down in formal language.

The message and intent of your EVP should be delivered through job ads, onboarding materials, employee handbooks, performance development processes and remuneration discussions.

7. Monitor, measure and refine

Organisations change over time – sometimes faster than you realise.

Actively monitor your EVP after implementation to ensure it continues to reflect your organisation. Don’t be afraid to refine the message and the way it’s being conveyed if required.

An easy way to monitor your new EVP is to include questions about it in regular employee surveys, staff feedback sessions or performance reviews and exit interviews.

Having a strong and concise EVP can a powerful weapon in the war for the best staff, particularly if you’ve been struggling to find appropriate candidates to fill roles in your NFP. And with the right approach, it can be an easily achievable goal for any organisation.

Do you think your organisation would benefit from an Employee Value Proposition? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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