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EVP2/2: Five steps to create a compelling and effective EVP

In the first instalment of our EVP insights series, we outlined why it’s so important to have an EVP, particularly in the current market. Part two offers key insights into how to create a compelling and authentic EVP to drive business success.

When you understand how important an EVP is, creating one is an exciting prospect. We have five key steps to do just that, but before we share them, here are a few things you need to lock in first.

Know the problem and identify the opportunity.

It’s critical to be crystal clear on why your organisation needs an EVP. What role will it serve? What challenges will it help overcome? What will be the benefits?

Ensure leadership is aligned.

Make sure your leadership team is invested in doing this correctly and for the long term. Things will change, and they may have to make changes within their division to ensure the EVP is implemented. No buy-in, no success.

Understand why people stay, join or leave.

There are myriad reasons people stay, join and leave a organisation – but you need to be very clear on why your staff decide to stay or leave. Is it about the money? (It rarely is.) And a common one – do they feel the company has clarity around its ambition, knows its purpose, and lives its values?

Know what competitors are offering.

The fact is another company can only poach your people if they are offered something they are not getting from you – and it’s rarely about money.

Now, it’s time to develop your EVP.

Five steps to develop an effective EVP

Step One: Research

Take a deep dive into what is currently being done by your company’s people and culture/HR team across all aspects of their remit. Research and analysis should include:

  1. Qualitative research with current staff, prospective staff, and where possible, former staff. This should include one-on-one, in-depth interviews as well as group discussions if appropriate. It’s essential to conduct this type of research using careful consideration and sensitivity in order to ensure the right mix of participants, discussion guides and quality analysis. This research will highlight existing perceptions (and realities) for current and potential talent.
  2. Quantitative research is used to explore potential territories, triggers, offers and messaging, as well as test proof points for acquisition and retention. This research will test current work practices, policies, and approaches.
  3. Desk research should include a competitive analysis of your market and any others that overlap when it comes to recruiting and retention. What are the trends within your specific sector or employee area? Review other influences such as market trends (macro and micro), the business’ positioning or reputation, its purpose and stated values etc. Even geographical or social trends within certain sectors can make a big difference.

Step Two: Develop

If there’s one thing to focus on while developing your EVP statement, it’s engaging the right people at the right time across the organisation. While data will identify trends, insights and solutions, only hands-on participation and input from colleagues and internal stakeholders will create ownership, authenticity and ultimately success.

Step Three: Test the EVP

A vital stage in building anything new is rigorous testing. When it comes to an EVP, cross-checking against the organisation’s purpose, values, beliefs and behaviours is essential. Test how it sits against the current experience, business practices and processes, and identify gaps and opportunities to further hone the statement and proof points, and close the gaps.

Step Four: Launch

Implementing an EVP is not about putting posters on office walls. A new EVP must be deeply embedded within the organisation so that processes and systems support it; the leadership team enables discussions; and staff are aligned. (Not only are they your staff, they’re also your best recruiters.) 

It’s important that everyone from the top down understands the process of building the EVP and that they are the primary beneficiaries. Interesting and useful manager information packs are also a great tool.

Step Five: Embed the EVP

Embedding the new EVP is the final stage and, without taking the time and energy to embed the EVP across the organisation, everyone’s hard work will be for nought.

For example, look at all aspects of hiring, briefing recruiters, the interview process, on-boarding, letters of offer, reviews and recognition. What is your policy on sustainability, flexibility, diversity, parental and care leave, education support?

Step Six: Review and measure the success and ROI of the EVP

OK, yes, we said five-step process, but it’s not a set and forget process. It’s important that you review your EVP regularly to ensure your offer is still compelling, your proof points are being delivered effectively, your communication is still appropriate, and that your tone of voice is correct.

Remember, your competitors will be working hard to attract the best talent, and a well-developed and implemented EVP can ensure your employees are connected, engaged and actively helping you recruit potential staff.

For over 16 years Brand Council has provided brand purpose consultancy to a wide range of clients, from not-for-profits through to multi-national brands. Explore our work in greater detail, see how we can help, and get in touch with our brand strategy specialists and discuss how to better engage with employees and develop a compelling EVP.