In over 17 years of providing HR Outsourcing (PEO) services to some of the most progressive businesses in Africa, we have yet to come across a remarkably successful organisation that did not have people as its core source of competitive advantage. Not one!
If you consider that your products or services are the vital basis for your organisation’s success, think again. Behind every successful product or service lies the workmanship of highly talented people.
And highly talented people respond only to organisations that value them, organisations that offer them something unique— an exceptional employee value proposition (EVP).
What Makes an EVP Exceptional?
At Workforce Africa, when we work with organisations to help them define and articulate a unique EVP, we use the CIC framework to highlight the components that employees value:
Deep-Dive into the Employee Value Proposition Framework
Career consists of job satisfaction and stability, a chance to rise within the organisation, learning and development opportunities, coaching & mentoring, evaluation and feedback mechanisms, and contribution to the work process. All of these add up to make a job rewarding and exciting.
Infrastructure refers to the frameworks, processes, and resources the organisation provides to ensure the employee has a healthy work-life balance and can perform effectively and efficiently. This can further be subdivided into three categories:
- Compensation: value, timeliness, and fairness of remuneration. Packages such as salary, bonuses, and promotion.
- Benefits: a wide range of non-financial bonuses, including paid time off (holidays, vacation and sick days), family support, life and health insurance, retirement support, tuition and disability benefits.
- Work environment: this includes organisational attributes, reputation for quality, clarity of roles and responsibilities, work autonomy, employee recognition system and work tools.
Culture describes the norms, behaviours, ideals, and social responsibilities of the organisation. It is represented by trust, teamwork and support between employees, their colleagues and the management team.
When effectively adopted, implemented, and entrenched into the organisation, these EVP components— most of which come at no additional costs— will significantly influence and add value to your strategy for attracting and retaining the best talent.
So, if your organisation is on the verge of building or revamping its employee value proposition, congratulations! You’ve embarked on a journey with the potential to take your business to unprecedented heights. We built the EVP series to support you on this journey.
This article will walk you through the foundational steps required to build a competitive employee value proposition that your organisation can sustain and continue to improve upon.
First things first
When it comes to EVPs, the first thing that you need to understand is that it is not just another nice-sounding terminology in the HR dictionary.
An employee value proposition is an organisation’s solemn promise to its employees (existing and potential). A promise to reward and provide certain benefits in exchange for their expertise, time, commitment, and high performance.
Companies that violate their EVPs damage their reputations and lose out in the end. Therefore, as you start this journey to building or refreshing your EVP, do it with the mindset that whatever promise you communicate through your EVP is one you must uphold at all costs.
Hence, it is prudent to build your Employee Value Proposition from an existing area of strength(s).
The Foundation of a Competitive EVP
When designing your EVP, please understand that there are no perfect models because every organisation is unique.
Your organisation may make the same products or provide the same services as your competitors, but it is unique in its way. And being unique means that it has its areas of strengths and weaknesses.
As a matter of fact, the EVPs of many organisations fail because they were adopted from a template sourced online.
While it is okay to be inspired by the EVPs of successful organisations, it is counterproductive to blindly copy their model without consideration for the peculiarities of your organisation and industry.
Therefore, as an HR professional, in defining a unique employee value proposition for your organisation, you must determine the elements essential for winning the battle for talent in your organisational context, and you must leverage your company’s core strengths.
4 Key Considerations for Crafting an Exceptional EVP
1. Make sure your EVP is ownable
To do this, your organisation must be comfortable with not appealing to everyone. Your size, budget, industry, geographic and cultural differences should greatly influence your EVP.
For instance, most small and medium-sized companies differentiate by focusing their EVP on providing challenging and stimulating work in a flexible environment.
In contrast, larger organisations can afford to offer widely diverse career growth opportunities as the value proposition.
2. Take a shot at being distinct
With hundreds of seemingly similar businesses in your industry to choose from, your EVP ought to be different to your competitors in offer and tone.
Think about this from the point of view of branding. Your EVP should form a solid basis for your brand differentiation.
3. Your EVP must be relevant and appealing
Always remember that the things that make up a compelling EVP for most people include: compensation, work-life balance, stability, location, and respect.
Therefore, if you craft your EVP with the intent of providing an ecosystem of support and recognition to enable your employees to achieve their highest potential at work, what you create will be relevant and appealing to top talent.
4. Your EVP must have personality
Crafting a catchy tag-line with high sounding words should not be how you choose to communicate your EVP.
Always remember that humanity, and not intellectualism is what wins the hearts of people. You are speaking to people, so your offer needs to be expressed in a people-friendly way.
Professionalism is still essential but do your best to avoid jargon-heavy lines that paint a picture of a pompous and impersonal organisational culture.
5 Fundamental Steps to Creating a Compelling Employee Value Proposition
In organisations where we have been engaged to help develop their Employee Value Proposition, we typically deploy our 5D Implementation model.
Workforce Africa 5D Implementation framework
To provide an in-depth description of how this model works in practice, the following four articles under this EVP Series will be exclusively devoted to breaking down the steps to crafting a compelling EVP – how to Diagnose, Design & Develop, Deliver and Drive your employee value proposition.
You can access the articles here:
- How to Diagnose an Existing Employee Value Proposition [With Case Study]
- How to Design & Develop an Employee Value Proposition that Works [With Case Study]
- How to Deliver Your Employee Value Proposition to Attract & Retain Top Performers [With Case Study]
- How to Weave Your Employee Value Proposition into Your Organisation’s DNA [With Case Study]
Your EVP is everything. It is what brings top talents into your organisation and what keeps them in. However, always bear in mind that there isn’t enough talent to satisfy demand.
Therefore, it is worth the effort to get your EVP right. Our EVP series provides you with a trustworthy roadmap to build and entrench your EVP.
If you would like us to take the task of building a compelling EVP off your hands, please send us an email at Workforce Africa.