Does your CEO see your EVP as a strategic asset that helps to win the war on talent? Do your employees think your EVP embodies why they joined and why they stay? If you answered “no” to either of those questions, it means your EVP isn’t optimized for success. It might make for a well-designed poster or LinkedIn campaign, but it isn’t a living, breathing document that will help your organization thrive.
When your employees read your EVP, they should think it sounds authentic and true; when prospects read it, they should envision themselves working for you; and when your Executive team reads it, they should see a clear strategic direction for the future of your company.
We help our clients create EVPs by aligning strategy, purpose, vision, and internal culture. This not only gives them the ability to attract the right people, but it ensures they are able to look inward to maintain the right levels of engagement and retention — critical aspects of growth. That’s why, as we discussed in our previous article, focusing on your employer brand should be at the top of every executive’s list.
Here’s how to define your own authentic EVP that prepares your organization for the future of work:
1. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE? Articulate your strategic imperative and define what success looks like.
Start by returning to your core priorities. Whether your immediate reason for developing an EVP is to inform recruitment messages, engage a new type of talent, or motivate your current workforce, you must build it around your goals. So, what are your HR priorities, and what is your business strategy? However you define success, this is about ensuring that your EVP can take on a wider, strategic role in driving your ambitions. Ultimately, it should reflect who you are now and what you’re hoping to achieve in the next 2-3 years.
2. HOW DO YOUR PEOPLE SEE YOU? Consult with a diverse range of colleagues and be unbiased about what you want to uncover.
You must include your people in defining your EVP, or it won’t connect to reality. Take a holistic approach to your “culture pulse check.” Yes, this is about consulting with everyone, but it’s also about asking the right questions. So, you’ll understand not only what employees love about working with you, but what can be improved. Gauge their overall experience, level of motivation, and satisfaction, as well as their advocacy, engagement, and intention to stay. Give people real opportunities to say what’s good and what’s bad, from their perspective. At all times, make sure you’re not just casting the net wide, but that you’re actively engaging with your diversity networks to capture everyone’s view.
3. WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE? Consider your entire organizational ecosystem.
By now, you’ve captured an accurate snapshot of your colleagues’ experiences. From communication effectiveness and leadership role modeling to processes and systems. You understand your organization’s specific attraction, engagement, and retention drivers. So, what are the strengths and weaknesses? What do you want to take forward, and what do you want to leave behind in the coming years? The insight you’ve gained will help define your EVP and set your future direction. It will help you to delineate, identify, and define your priorities and desired outcomes around attraction, engagement, and retention.
4. HOW CAN YOU MAKE IT A REALITY? Shaping a more authentic experience across your employee lifecycle.
Now you’re ready to unveil your new EVP, it’s time to look at how to bring it to life. By evaluating the employee journey, you’ll spot the opportunities to push and pull organizational and culture levers. What do you need to continue doing or what changes will make it truly authentic? Simply adding your EVP rally cry and visual logo to an email signature is not enough; it might take a new engagement strategy or a process to really embed it. Identify your champions and work collaboratively to make your new EVP impactful, from your leadership team to your most junior colleagues. This is your chance to act on everything you’ve learned and keep your promise to current and future employees.
5. HOW CAN YOU KEEP IT AUTHENTIC? Continue to balance aspiration with reality.
Remember that the work is ongoing. As an articulation of both the current and aspired employee experience, your EVP is in constant motion. That’s why it’s important to keep understanding why people chose to work there, and what the key benefits and differentiators are, through their eyes. Be honest about what your organization values and what it wants to achieve in the near future. As your company evolves over time, your EVP will also change. You must work hard to keep it authentic and relevant to all of your colleagues.