Employee Value Proposition Examples: How to Win the War for Talent
By Brett Wells, PhD - September 16, 2021
Understanding your employee value proposition (EVP) was already critical before the COVID-19 pandemic upended life around the world, and tight labor markets in 2019 increased competition for top talent. Now, having a solid EVP is more important than ever, due to the highest voluntary attrition rates of the past 20 years and a significant shift in employee expectations prompted by the pandemic.
What is an EVP? In simplest terms, the employee value proposition is the collection of features and benefits used by an employer to market its organization to prospective (and even current) employees. In practice, it should accurately reflect the reality of what employees experience working in the organization. Just as the unique value proposition (UVP) or unique selling proposition (USP) focuses on how a product or service satisfies customer needs and wants better than other solutions, EVP focuses on how the organization meets employee needs and desires better than its competitors.
EVP differs from employer brand in that it is internally focused. The employer brand is externally directed and shared with customers. It is focused on product or service quality and market position, but rarely organizational culture. It is just one aspect of the EVP, as EVP goes far beyond company brand or reputation.
In this article, we’ll look at a few of the best employee value proposition examples and sample employee value proposition statements. We’ll also review what the latest research shows about what matters most to employees now – and how to determine what should be included in your company’s EVP to win the post-pandemic war for talent.
What matters most to your employees? Our free People Analytics Playbook will help you ask the right questions so you can craft an attractive EVP.
Best Employee Value Proposition Examples
The best examples of the employee value proposition represent the most valuable attributes that an employer provides to its employees, which may be unique advantages over the competition. These align closely to the elements of the employee experience that are most important to employees:
- Relationship with manager and co-workers
- Autonomy in performing work
- Physical workspace
- Pay and benefits
- Opportunities for development and advancement
- Feeling of accomplishment/contribution to the organization’s success
- Trust in leaders and their vision for the organization’s future
- Culture of the organization
Aligning your organization’s EVP to these elements is now more important than ever. In 2020, three out of every five employees changed jobs or managers, while two out of every five learned a new skill to change their career path. A quarter of employees intend to leave their current employer within the next year. With so much flux in the labor market, it’s critical to evaluate your organization’s EVP from the perspective of the talent you hope to attract, engage, and retain. How do employees perceive the value of working in your organization? If your organization had an EVP prior to the pandemic, is it still attractive to prospective employees? Many organizations need an EVP tuneup to accommodate what the research says is most important to employees now; we’ll look at those findings in the following section.
As for examples of the employee value proposition that align with the elements of the experience outlined above, Google and McDonald’s touch on many of the elements of the experience that matter most to employees:
Google: “How we care for Googlers”
Google emphasizes six key elements in how it cares for its employees:
Not every company can be Google, of course. The nature of the business will shape the EVP. McDonald’s is a very different kind of business but also markets a good EVP statement example:
McDonald’s: “Why McDonald’s?”
“Working at a McDonald’s restaurant gives you an opportunity to build a successful future while offering a number of perks and the flexibility to meet your goals. Both McDonald’s and its franchisees each offer their employees a variety of development opportunities ranging from world class training programs to high school completion courses and higher education tuition assistance.”
In addition to the EVP statement, examples of the benefits the company provides to employees are included on the EVP webpage. Aside from support for education, some of the other perks offered to employees are flexible scheduling, healthcare benefits, and employee rewards. The EVP webpage also highlights the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
These employee value proposition examples demonstrate that every type of business has a value proposition to make to employees.
New Research Shows What Makes an EVP Attractive Now
While aligning EVPs with the important elements of the work experience should always be the goal, recent research conducted by Perceptyx clarifies what appeals most to employees in the current moment.
In the study, we asked more than 1,000 employees to rate 29 EVP attributes in order of importance, and to rank their current employers’ performance on each attribute. These were the top five EVP attributes that were most important to most respondents:
- Health benefits
- Retirement benefits
- Work-life balance
- Pay for performance
While attributes like compensation, health benefits, and development opportunities remain important to employees, survey responses revealed a shift in what employees most value now. The five attributes rated both most important to employees and most favorably (in terms of their current employer’s performance) were:
- Company stability
- Manager quality
- Team quality
- Social responsibility
Several of these attributes are probably artifacts of the pandemic; stability has likely become more important to employees in industries like retail and hospitality, which were heavily impacted. Half of manufacturing employees surveyed had learned new skills or were on the path to gaining new skills, with most of them gravitating toward tech-heavy roles. These workers are acquiring IT skills to enable a pivot into a more stable career.
Work-life balance and remote-friendly work options are where organizations are not currently meeting the mark on EVP attributes important to employees.
While employees in the survey rated their employers favorably on remote work options, this might be because the return-to-office transition had not yet occurred for many of them. In the larger picture, we know that more than two out of three employees want to work remotely at least part time – and fewer than one in 10 current job opportunities are remote-friendly. That’s perhaps expected given the openings in hospitality, where remote work is not an option. But even in software development, which can easily be done remotely, fewer than one in five opportunities are remote-friendly. There are many jobs available – but few that fulfill this important attribute on employees’ wish lists.
So what are the implications of this mismatch between employees’ wants and what is being offered by most organizations? The research shows linkage to employee intent to stay – the biggest predictor of turnover. For those employees who did not rate their current organization favorably on the top five EVP attributes most important to them, only 52% intend to stay in their job for the next 12 months.
On the flip side, among employees who rate their employer favorably on all the EVP attributes of greatest importance, 96% intend to stay for at least the next 12 months. These findings underscore the critical importance of an attractive employee value proposition in the war for talent.
Creating an Attractive EVP
What defines an attractive employer? For most employees, it’s satisfying those EVP attributes that matter most to them. Just as consumers make purchase decisions by comparing features and benefits, employees play mental chess to weigh their options in terms of which organization offers them more of what they want. Who provides the most value to them as an employee? Each individual has different things they value most, so each will make a different calculation.
Our research bears this out. Employee intent to stay is highest among employees whose most important EVP attributes are all being satisfied and declines steadily as fewer of those EVP attributes are satisfied:
The starting point, then, is to ask your employees which EVP attributes they value most highly – and how they rate your organization’s performance on each of them. Where large companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year on compensation and benefits, understanding which attributes top talent values most can help direct those funds strategically. It’s important to note that in large organizations with a variety of departments and roles, there may be a number of unique EVPs specific to roles, locations, or units. Zeroing in on what matters most for each group of employees with tile-and-drill survey items can help you understand the unique EVP for each group and avoid mass resignations. While the enterprise may have an overall EVP for the organization, this type of information allows the EVP to be tweaked for segments of the organization particularly crucial to the business. Tailoring the EVP for these critical segments to the unique mix of attributes favored by those groups will help you win the war for talent – both by retaining workers and attracting new employees.
A good example of an employee value proposition attribute that’s been tweaked to meet current employee wants and needs is Target’s August 2021 announcement of debt-free education assistance for its 340,000 employees.
The quit rate in retail jobs has doubled over the past year; Target’s decision may reflect a calculation that offering educational opportunities will allow the company to keep employees aboard for at least the length of time it takes to obtain a degree. For an employee who takes advantage of the new benefit, it might mean the difference between staying in the job for a year or less – or staying for the two to four years or longer it will take to complete a degree program. Target no doubt also hopes the program will enable cultivation of employees for promotion or move to corporate roles. This is one practical way to use an EVP to attract, engage, and retain talent – and mitigate the effects of mass resignations.
There are numerous examples of EVP-tweaking by organizations in a wide variety of industries as a result of the churn in the labor market – probably including some in your industry. As the war for talent heats up, now is the time to see how your EVP stacks up against the competition – and figure out what you may need to change to attract and retain the best employees.
Need to rework your EVP to win the post-pandemic war for talent?
At Perceptyx, helping companies identify and address barriers to business success is our goal. With custom surveys, an advanced people analytics platform, and expertise in all aspects of survey design, strategy, and communication, we can help you uncover what matters most to your employees – so you can craft the most appealing EVP. Get in touch and let us show you how.
Get tips on how to enhance the employee experience from our free guide, The Employee Experience Playbook.