Thursday, April 07, 2005

Developing an Employee Value Proposition

I'm constantly surprised at companies who can't articulate a clear, concise and differentiated message to why anyone would work for them.

On one side there seems to be those companies who really don't seem to be able to articulate anything. Ask any member of staff 'what makes working here better than all your other options' and you'll get a blank.

On the other side there are those 'employer brand' messages which derive from HR. They tend to be bland, aspirational and quickly rejected by the folks in the business. 'Another one of those HR things'.

So what do you need to do?

Well it's clear that to have something that everyone in the organisation can relate to it has to resemble reality. I describe the aim here as 'reality with a stretch' - i.e., what the individual can see with where they can see it's going. This is why clear executive communications are so important. You need everything to align.

Secondly the message is going to differ depending on where you sit in the organisation. Jane the head of legal will have a very different belief than Paul in payments. You need to go through and develop a EVP for each area. Ideally they need to match up - i.e. the top level message will be shared by everyone, then you might add something for the whole of HR (for example) and then more for the payroll folk.

Finally, the EVP develops over time. What was the stretch in year 1 is ideally not a stretch in year 2. Develop a 3 year plan to start based on the business strategy.

If you can't articulate your EVP why should anyone join you?