Talent attraction and retention. Is your EVP doing its job?

February 9th 2022 Talent EVP Employee Communications
Chris Andrew
By Chris Andrew
Strategy Director

The war for talent is intensifying. There’s a decline in the working age population. Employees – battered by the events of the last two years - are questioning their life and career priorities. What McKinsey has dubbed ‘The Great Attrition or The Great Attraction’ is upon us. With resignations rife, today’s employment market has been described as the ‘toughest for 20 years’. 

Recent research from Reward Gateway found that 42% of employees are either looking to move, or plan to do so in the next 12 months. Against that backdrop, how do organisations ensure they gain – and keep - the top talent they need to succeed? 

That’s the topic of our recent webinar, featuring Caburn Hope’s Strategy Director Chris Andrew and Candace Pulford, VP of Global Talent at the industrial software giant, AVEVA. They’re discussing a tool that plays a vital role in expressing the purpose and humanity of your organisation – aspects that are more important than ever when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. The way we can all start turning the attrition into attraction. The tool in question? A strong and effective Employee Value Proposition (EVP).

To watch the webinar in full, please click here. Otherwise, read on to discover: 

  • What an EVP is 
  • Why EVPs matter
  • Best practice tips

What an EVP is

An Employee Value Proposition is a succinct summary of everything that sets your workplace apart and makes it the best destination for the people you want to attract. It expresses your business identity – your purpose, what you value, why you value it – to offer a clear and compelling picture of who you are. An employee value proposition describes why people should want to work at your organisation rather than anywhere else. Importantly, this is a mutual decision – it’s about what a company expects from its people but also what those people expect in return.

Externally, that clarity alerts and attracts talent to your brand. Internally it communicates a clear picture of: 

Your culture

The purpose and values that drive your work, the impact they make, and the rewards employees get from working for you. 

Why employees can take pride in working for your organisation. 

Why your EVP matters

“What retains people is changing,” says AVEVA’s Candace Pulford. “We’re getting lots of feedback that culture is even more important now. In recruitment, the questions we’re being asked are around our wellbeing policies, diversity and inclusion, flexible working.”

These questions aren’t about the work that you do. They’re about the way that you work and the way that you support your employees: aspects of your organisation that are captured by your EVP. 

So, your EVP functions as a voice and a vehicle for your values. That matters because:

If people are attracted to your values, purpose, culture and what you genuinely stand for, they will want to work for your brand. 

And

If your employees are proud to work for you, they will be the biggest champions of your brand. Building loyalty. Strengthening wellbeing. Driving productivity.

What best practice looks like 

The keys to a strong EVP are consistency and authenticity. Your EVP should be a genuine statement of who you are and what you believe in. 

It can also include aspirational statements, as long as there is a genuine desire to evolve and embrace change. These reflect the aspects of your culture that you are working towards. As Candace says of AVEVA’s EVP, “We have an 80/ 20 split. The 20% is what we aspire to achieve. The 80% is what our employees actually see.”

This approach ensures that the purpose and the values communicated by your EVP really resonate. They’re grounded in - and aligned with - the work and culture of the organisation. So: 

How do you achieve that authenticity? 

Listen to your people. What do they see in your culture as it stands today? How do they express your purpose and your values? What do they want to see in the future? Include your employees in the process. Look to them to help shape the plan and solutions. Research suggests that executives aren’t listening to their people nearly enough. Don’t be one of these executives.

Ensure you have leadership buy-in. Modelling of purpose, values and culture needs to come from the top to be authentic. So, communicate the absolute necessity of an effective EVP and sell it to leadership as you would do to an external consumer - be inspiring, creative, and bold.  

Understand the absolutely critical role of communication in building and sustaining the connection between your people and your business. Your EVP must be pitched in a way that resonates with employees. And that messaging has to be deployed, and redeployed to become embedded as the way in which your company frames who it is, and what it does, across the board. It’s not enough to have an EVP. You need to use your EVP on an ongoing basis throughout your communications. 

How do you optimise your EVP? 

Measure its impact. From the outset, be clear about what you want your EVP to achieve and build in measurements to guide your activity. 

Take an inside out approach. Integrate your EVP across your internal communications, rather than simply using it for external talent attraction. This enhances the consistency and authenticity of the messaging. 

Utilise the right communication channels. It’s key to understand your audience and know where they’re accessing information. 

Take a marketing-led approach. Use creativity to build an emotional connection with your EVP. 

Showcase your people to bring your EVP to life. How do their experiences reflect the truth of your messaging? 

Attracting and retaining talent is an ongoing challenge. But alongside reward, recognition, career progression and opportunities, a strong EVP is a vital component for success. Find out more. Watch the full webinar, today.

‘If you lead a large team or a company, remember this: the Great Attrition is real, will continue, and may get worse before it gets better. Yet this unique moment also represents a big opportunity.’

To capture it, take a step back, listen, learn, and make your people strategy the driver to reimagine the workplace. It’s about aligning your mindset, your purpose, your policies, and your values – and communicating them in a way that drives employee engagement. By understanding why your employees are leaving and by acting authentically, you may just be able to turn the Great Attrition into the Great Attraction.