In the quest to attract top talent, many companies are looking critically at their employee value proposition (EVP). A crucial component of the talent strategy, an EVP communicates a company’s identity to both candidates and current employees. But it’s often misconstrued as an “HR project” that’s targeted only at increasing applications.

The truth is, an EVP is much more than a recruitment and talent acquisition project. It’s an enterprise-wide initiative that can solve some of the biggest challenges companies face today, from increased operational constraints to expanded customer expectations.

A strategic foundation
While HR often drives the initiative in partnership with employer brand and marketing, shaping your EVP is an effort that deserves support throughout the business.

Your EVP is the strategic foundation for an on-brand, amplified experience that extends across the entire talent lifecycle. It enables you to reach a wider, previously untapped audience to connect with top talent. More importantly, it can boost pride and engagement across your existing workforce, fostering a culture that enhances both individual and business success.

What some companies overlook is how an EVP moves the needle on more than just HR metrics. Companies with the most effective employee value propositions experience:

  • Increased employee advocacy
  • Reduced turnover and elevated employee commitment
  • Greater creativity and innovation
  • Improved performance and profit

The common denominator driving these results? Alignment between the company’s promise and the candidate and employee lived experience.

How to bring your EVP to life
The potential an EVP holds to inspire your existing workforce is the key to bringing your promise to life.

HealthFirst, a multi-hospital and outpatient healthcare services provider headquartered in Florida, partnered with Cielo to envision and activate a new EVP. This journey began with a people-first approach, yielding three valuable lessons on how to move an EVP from expectation to lived experience:

1. Create committed leaders
“Creating your EVP and moving culture is not like a project plan. It’s more like a social movement,” said Mary Jane Brecklin, Vice President of HR Operations for HealthFirst.

That’s why bringing the right people along on the EVP journey is so important. From the C-Suite to HR business partners, everyone plays a role in fulfilling the vision. Internal and external stakeholders will help shape your EVP, and may include:

    • An executive sponsor (from any discipline) who communicates the project at the highest levels of the organization and serves as the ultimate decision-maker.
    • An external partner who brings expertise and an objective point of view, driving the initiative in collaboration with leadership.
    • Members of human resources and talent acquisition who seek/provide feedback and insights on challenges and opportunities.
    • Representatives from communications and marketing who make recommendations to ensure the EVP is aligned with the corporate brand and tone of voice.

2. Feature authentic stories
Making vision a reality requires storytelling. Stories inspire a connection with your message, helping people not only absorb information but also feel emotion.

Developing authentic content and leading with transparent messaging is the most effective way to ensure your story shines. Uncover what matters most to candidates and employees. Is it your mission and purpose? Your efforts to foster inclusivity? Your stance on sustainability? Weave those themes into multiple touchpoints, from social media to onboarding to ongoing all-hands meetings.

3. Design an intentional roadmap
As you plan for EVP implementation, be intentional about activating externally and internally.

One way to think about activation is to articulate your expectations for short-term impact versus long-term change. Short-term impact occurs because of mostly external efforts – ads that garner more impressions, a revamped careers site that attracts more visitors. Long-term change comes from mostly internal efforts – reimagined key performance indicators that shift the organization’s focus; new feedback cycles that accelerate employee growth and development.

An always-improving reality
To move any metrics, your EVP must be realistic, authentic, and differentiating. It must permeate across the company, becoming part of the organizational fabric.

But that doesn’t mean it must be rooted in your company’s current reality. Your EVP can – and should – be aspirational. Use it to articulate your vision for the future, including the barriers you strive to break and the growth you aim to achieve.

“Look at fulfilling your employee value proposition as an evolution, and constantly nourish your culture to support it,” Brecklin said.