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Employee Value Proposition

What do Employee Value Propositions Hold for the Future?

There are several reasons to have an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) i.e.: retention, attraction and productivity. Unemployment is at a high but the percentage of employees exhibiting high discretionary effort has decreased by more than half since 2005.  Although the percentage of employees who intend to remain is steadier, the number of high potentials who intend to stay has dropped to 21% (CLC 2010).  This questions the effectiveness of the current EVP's.

These are unsettling times for businesses, and employees which have created cracks in the EVP.  The Corporate Leadership Council (CLC) does not recommend to promise stability, but to just set stability expectations and give line managers guidance for how to manage simple communications.

EVP Research by CLC proposes 5 categories: Rewards, Opportunities, People, Work and Organization and their research highlights the top preferences to attract and retain employees.  I'm not going to go through the design and implementation of an EVP here, it is context and company specific.  Please feel free to contact me if you have individual questions.  However, there are a number of common levers.


Source: CLC Human Resource 2010

There are a couple of good recommendations, but the purpose of this article is to challenge how we view the EVP; yes even the CLC.   If we keep measuring and managing the incomplete picture, we will keep on getting the incomplete answer and hence output.   The research between job satisfaction and job performance at best has shown a limited positive relationship, and at worse a negative one.   The variance in relationship is between r = -.39 to .86; for example Chapman & Chapman 1969. Vroom examined the relationships between job satisfaction and job performance across 20 studies and established a median correltaion of r=.14,  Petty et al  r =.23 and Muchinshky 1985 r = .17 (Petty, McGee & Cavendar 1984) (Iaffaldano & Muchinsky 1985) (Vroom 1964).

One simple explanation is that we do not go to work as one person and come home as a different one. 

The EVP’s make this assumption, albeit there is work-life balance and links with health but, this is not tackling the whole person.  To add some research that demonstrates the strength of research between happiness and contentment in life, and not just at work with job performance.  Cropanzano 2000 proposes that the weakness in the relationship is due to the innacurate measure of satisfaction, it is too narrow, which is consistent with others in the field (Wright & R 2000)(Fisher 1980, Organ 1977).  They found that when a measure of happiness was used instead of job satisfaction it identified a stronger relationship between performance r = .32. Staw, Sutton, and Pelled 1994 went further to include employees overall positive emotion and pay r =.24.

If this is the case we need to better understand what makes people happy in life, and how can great companies influence this process.  There is already existing research on happiness from the psychology field.  OD professional just need to look across psychology, social science and business.

Review your Employee Value Proposition in a Bear Market

Review your Employee Value Proposition in a Bear Market


In a bear market some employers are too comfortable with retaining their employees.  Sure some people are aiming for Job Security.  The UK only just narrowly missed a triple dip recession with growth figures of 0.3% in the 1st quarter 2013.  Although the US economy has expanded 2.5% in the 1st quarter of 2013. Economic uncertainty has in many cases damaged the employment value proposition (EVP). The question used to be are you comfortable with change, and many would say yes.  Today, in a rapid changing world some organisations are constantly redefining structures, programmes and people as they scramble in what is for them unchartered territory.  There is the question of course if they have the right leadership, because the constant change has created a fatigued workforce.

What Organisations Development professional needs to do is look at what is the EVP after the desired organisation is in place to navigate successfully in the changed economy.  What capabilities are required, who are the key Talents, and what can we realistically offer those people now and in the future.

  • Package: Understand our total offering in compensation.  Money is no the only factor.  When prospective employees see the total EVP as attractive there is less emphasis on the financial remuneration.
  • Development Opportunities: What opportunities does the new EVP offer?  What development would you have, is their reduced time to market so candidates get to work in Highly Effective Collaboration Teams.  Is there a high growth rate in emerging markets, so there are international experience and exposure opportunities?  Or is there organisational stability?  All of these factors can be positive to different people what is important is to not over promise.
  • Heart: What is your organisation’s heart made up of?  Do you live and breath entrepreneurship, are you industrial, are you leading environmental change or technological innovation.  Ask your employees and be clear on that to attract those who also have it as a passion, and at the heart of what they do.
  • Life: What is the work that is being offered?  Think about the total package: work-life balance or flexibility, family friendly, location, alignment with job interests, what difference the organisation makes, business travel.  We do not exist in separate components, we need to understand how work will combine with our life.
  • Mind Set: What is the culture? Is it homely? Is it like coming in to play everyday, challenging, collaborative, great quality people, inspiring leadership.  Again ask you employees and also your new recruits.

All of these things will help you to define a better EVP in a Bear market where you can reach those people who are not necessarily looking to move jobs, retain your current employees and be ready for when the market does turn.


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