Pitfalls Encountered in EVP Development

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

The Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is defined as a unique and clearly defined set of attributes and benefits that embodies an employee’s overall work experience within the organisation. A strong EVP drives engagement, and highly engaged employees are less likely to leave their employer.

Bear in mind that EVP is not:

  • A list of policies, programmes and procedures
  • About what the employee should do for you, rather it is about what you do for them
  • An one-off project, it should be reviewed regularly to ensure continued relevancy

A robust EVP is at the heart of the employee experience and the key lies in understanding what employees value. In the modern workplace employees expect an employer to connect with them in a meaningful way that is similar to the way that they connect with customers and clients. Ensure your EVP expresses what you offer and what you expect in return.

Authentic messaging

The obvious pitfall in developing your employer brand is that the EVP statement is unrealistic or misleading, a lack of authenticity is particularly counterproductive. If you boast of offering learning and development opportunities for staff then you need to live up to that promise with programmes and tools to provide learning experiences that meet the expectations of employee.

If you are using an EVP statement as part of the recruitment process and are making exaggerated claims you will you have disgruntled and disaffected employees when they have their feet under the desk. You can see the impact this could have on recruitment engagement, discretionary effort and retention – a poor employer image and reputation may result in weaker candidates, disengaged and resentful employees, higher turnover and ultimately reduced organisational performance.

The most useful thing to do is a regular review of EVP by questioning joiners and leavers, and using engagement or culture surveys to ensure it reflects corporate values and what matters most to potential recruits and employees.

Communicate real values

A second pitfall we see with EVP is that the statement is generic and bland. Don’t play it safe, don’t leave out the things that add real value for employees, such as challenging work, sympatico company culture, an active corporate social responsibility programme, and values that are congruent with their goals. Make sure these messages are communicated and understood.

Having gone to the trouble of collating information from stakeholders and defining your proposition it would be a pity not to leverage the EVP for organisational effectiveness. Your EVP is unique and a crucial aid in the war for talent, particularly as the market for talent becomes more global. Use a strong EVP statement to positive effect in optimising employees’ sense of purpose, enhancing workforce engagement, improving business performance and promoting the overall brand.

Try this short checklist to clarify thinking around the message:

  • Ensure the EVP articulates your employer brand assets and any unique selling points
  • Convey an EVP that clearly differentiates the organisation
  • Check that the EVP is authentic and inspirational
  • Align the EVP with the strategic business plan, people agenda and overall brand message.


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