Brand and Talent: Why is Employee Value Proposition no longer enough?

Words by Beatriz González
Date 2023-11-17

The value proposition that brands offer to employees is an effective tool for fostering attraction, development and retention. However, today, talent requires something more.

Employee Value Proposition, or EVP, is the value proposition that the brand extends to its employees, both current and potential. Therefore, it not only needs to align with the brand’s own value proposition but is an integral part of it. It is crucial for organisations to have a brand strategy capable of conveying to all audiences why they are important in their lives.

In recent years, companies have increasingly emphasised employer brand, moving beyond “material ” offerings such as economic conditions, benefits or rewards. They are now focusing on a more “intangible” offering, developing employee value propositions and encapsulating them in simple, clear and direct messagings. This, similar to brand strategy, helps explain why brand is important to employees in their personal and professional lives. It helps to answer questions like: ‘What does the brand bring to your daily work and your way of working?’; ‘What goal will it help you achieve?’ and ‘What does the brand bring to you as an individual and as an employee?’

A notable example is Amazon, which has extensively worked on its employer brand with its current slogan, “Come build the future with us,” offering talent the opportunity to participate in innovative projects where their role is significant:

  • What does Amazon bring to your daily work and your way of working? Ambition, teamwork and a significant role in the company.
  • What goal does it help you achieve? Progress and attain new milestones.
  • What does Amazon bring to you as an individual and as an employee? The opportunity to grow and learn with innovative ideas and projects.

More recently, ING introduced its new global employer branding campaign called “Make it your job”, encouraging current and potential talent to make a difference, regardless of the type of work they perform or will perform.

Within the HispAm region, we also find interesting examples. Inditex, with “More than a job”, or #morethanajob”, conveys a life philosophy amongst its talent. MAPFRE, with “Where your time makes sense”, has built a value proposition around the contribution of employee’s work. This proposition directly addresses an increasing number of individuals willing to leave their jobs if the companies they work for do not share their values.

Employee Value Proposition is no longer synonymous with ‘engagement’

Despite the increasing importance of the brand’s value proposition to employees and the efforts many companies are making to convey this ambition from their brands to their target talent, employee engagement is decreasing day by day.

According to the “State of the Global Workplace” study published by Gallup this year, analysing trends and engagement metrics in the workplace globally, only 23% of the workforce feels connected to their work and their company. In contrast, nearly 80% are emotionally disconnected from their workplace and and employer. Moreover, 51% of employees expressed some degree of intention to leave their positions, including a portion of the 23% who are happy and satisfied with their work.

So, employer brand is essential and becoming increasingly necessary, but it alone cannot generate the connection and pride — or desire — of belonging that all brands seek, even though it must always be the reference framework. This is where culture comes in.

Culture, understood as a set of behaviours with which people identify, has an extraordinary power of adhesion. Firstly, because it creates emotional connection and absolute pride of belonging. Secondly, because it perfectly establishes what is expected of its members: how to express themselves, how to dress, how to act. Consider festival-goers, for example: a group of people who travel from festival to festival across the country (or even internationally) from early summer until late autumn. They are always identified by the wristbands they accumulate on their wrists, dress similarly, and above all, feel tremendously proud to be part of it. Or take ‘runners’: is there anyone more proud of belonging to their culture than a runner?

A new way to build a brand

In essence, that’s precisely what we mean when we talk about transcending the employer brand. It’s about attracting, inspiring, developing and retaining the talent that companies need by creating not just an attractive employee value proposition but a true culture that creates emotional connections with these audiences, motivates them to be part of it, and turns them into genuine advocates. A culture capable of conveying what is expected of its ‘members’ and what goals they should pursue. And a culture to which they are proud to belong.

Because that culture becomes part of the brand itself and the most effective way to make that brand come alive, evolving the three questions mentioned before into a single question: How does the brand become a part of your life?

First published in El Economista.