Is it time to review your organisation’s EVP?

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(By Chloe Taylor) 

Many corporate leaders have devoted resources towards identifying and building their employment brand around an EVP – think L’Oréal, Google and Apple.

Mike Beeley, CEO at ReAgent Employer Marketing, recommended that all employers should consider undertaking an evaluation or re-evaluation of their organisation’s EVP.

“The important element is not necessarily the end line or end piece of communication; it’s the fact that everyone from leadership down agrees that this is the DNA of the organisation: this is what we stand for, this is what we can deliver, and this is what makes us unique,” he said.

There seems to be a contemporary misconception that EVPs are only needed during the recruitment process; when in fact, the EVP impacts all aspects of employee’s organisational lifecycle.

“A brilliant EVP can prove its value most during times of corporate stress,” Mark MacWhite, group designer at eBrands, told HRD magazine. “It can unite factions, functions, products and portfolios. The EVP can help a company that dislocates to feel whole again.”

Time for a review?

Should your organisation conduct a review into its EVP? Constant tweaking of the EVP’s core is not recommended, but key changes within the business will necessitate a review of the EVP. These include:
  • Leadership changes
  • Core strategy changes
  • Major changes to services or portfolios
  • M&As
  • Fast growth
  • Times of crisis
  • New business creation
  • Globalisation – for example, if it’s necessary to craft a local employment brand with a global EVP
Evaluating the EVP

According to MacWhite, businesses often do not understand why they need an EVP.

“Initially they are trying to understand it to put a value on it,” he said. “They want to know how to better engage their workforce. They want to know how long it takes, how much work is required, and, critically, how they can achieve stakeholder buy-in.”

In fact, what companies should be aiming for is simple, truthful, emotive and inclusive.
This can be achieved by:
  1. Understanding your strength as HR
It’s critical HRDs understand their advisory position within the leadership team.

“Leadership teams struggle with engagement, of connecting with employees,” said Beeley.

“So how do you set up the messaging, how do you create a set of values, and then behaviours that reinforce those values? That’s something HR can play a unique part in.”
  1. Selling it to your executive colleagues
“Leadership buy-in is essential,” said Beeley. “It’s up to you to demonstrate to them how powerful this can be and how much influence the leadership team can have through this EVP. On a broad basis, the EVP is a communication platform for informing and influencing many people at once.”
  1. Securing a budget – and get external help
“You cannot do a proper EVP analysis on the smell of an oily rag,” Beeley said. “It’s also difficult to do it on your own. The people you are talking to probably won’t be honest with you. Having HR in focus groups is a bit like having your parents in the room when you’re talking to your mates. As the child, you are fearful that what you reveal might hurt you down the track.”

He added that it’s imperative to have an unbiased external research team undertaking the research so you can capture the truth rather than what you’d like to think the truth is.
  1. Research, research, research
According to Beeley, if you haven’t talked to one segment of the workforce who is particularly influential or you’ve restricted research to certain segments, it becomes too easy for leadership to dismiss the proposed EVP overhaul. 

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