Employee Value Proposition – Broken Promises

This article follows my discussion on employer branding Employer Branding – Over Used Words Or Something More?  The article provides insight into a few key steps to develop an employer brand which is genuine and true.
I had mentioned the employer brand and employee value proposition (EVP) go hand in hand.  I would describe the EVP as the next level of granular detail about the employment relationship.  It defines what’s in it for the company and what’s in it for the employee.
It seems to be a regular occurrence that the definition of the employee value proposition is the responsibility of the person who heads up recruitment.  I’ve found this fascinating given the delivery of the elements which brings the EVP to life is the responsibility of many people within an organisation.
Whilst it might make sense for the Recruitment Manager to facilitate the process, it doesn’t make sense that they are somehow responsible for the effectiveness of the EVP when they are not in control of how it is delivered.
Let me explain myself.  If the EVP states that you offer diverse and challenging work, is it not the role of the line manager to effectively match the work to a team member’s capabilities and to identify projects and stretch opportunities to keep team members challenged?  How assured are we that this element of the EVP is being delivered if line management don’t understand the implications of their actions on the EVP?
If the EVP states that you offer learning and development opportunities, is it not the role of the organisational development team to offer the relevant programs and tools to facilitate this learning experience and also that of the line manager to match the learning options to the needs of the employee. How assured are we that this element of the EVP is being delivered if the organisational development team and line managers don’t understand the implications of their actions on the EVP?
Too often, I’ve found that EVP statements are really about defining some selling points for the recruitment team to use when talking to prospective employees.  Unfortunately, this creates the risk that the promises made during the recruitment process are effectively broken when the person joins the company.
Primarily this is due to the fact that the people involved in making those promises true and genuine, don’t really understand the important role they play in bringing the EVP to life.
If you are the employee who has discovered that all those wonderful things you were told during the recruitment and on-boarding process are not quite true… How do you feel? Frustrated? Disappointed? Maybe a little angry?
Sadly, this is often an outcome.  So what can you do to avoid this pitfall?

  1. Whilst it is valuable to define an EVP statement, don’t’ stop there.  There is great value in mapping out your HR touch-points and identifying all the opportunities which exist to speak to candidates and employees in that cycle. Each touch-point is an opportunity to share the EVP through stories and actions which bring the EVP to life.
  2. Talk to your marketing department and link the EVP to your content marketing and communications strategy.   This will bring your HR and marketing teams together and working towards common goals.  The EVP helps the marketing team to understand what the HR key messages are. By understanding this, they can use their expertise to bring those messages to life and reinforce them through the communication mix – collateral, social media, websites and so on, reinforcing your EVP across all your communication channels.
  3. Identify the people involved in delivering the EVP. This is a very important part of the process.   It is likely to be a bigger group than you think.  I can guarantee it goes much further than the recruitment team.  You are then able to engage this important group of stakeholders and reinforce the significant role they play in keeping the promises.
  4. Regularly evaluate your EVP by building questions into your onboarding, engagement or culture surveys so you have an opportunity to refine the EVP to reflect the aspects that matter most to your candidates and employees.

The combined effort of your marketing, HR and management teams; brings the EVP to life through the entire HR lifecycle.
It is fair to say, broken promises creates disappointed employees which is likely to result in poor retention or lack of discretionary effort. If you speak to your HR Analysts they will tell you how very expensive this situation can be.
Not only does it feel great to keep promises but it also makes good business sense.

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