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Your EVP is why people are leaving: Part 2

Last week, we talked a lot about why your sexy EVP is the reason your people are leaving as the majority of the time it built on a house of lies.

If you missed that then head over here.

Today I am going to share with you my overview of how I approach designing an EVP. Now, of course, each client and business is different and there is too much nuance to cover here, however, I promise if you follow a similar approach to the one below your EVP will thank you for it.

Strategic alignment

The goal here is super simple, get as close as possible to the people and data that matter, sync internal and external narratives and do a deep assessment of current brand perceptions, determining the strategic importance of revisiting the EVP. Honestly, you will be amazed at the amount of people when asked why they are going after a new EVP who can't answer why

Creating a movement from the start:

This first stage is all about creating envy finding the energy and most importantly agreeing on the future.

A lot of this time is about bringing the client on the journey and showing them the EVP is more than a PDF. It is about helping them recognise the EVP is a living people product rather than a one-time project.

It is here where we engage a cross-functional team to challenge if they are set up, from a resource perspective, to keep the product alive.

We also look at and challenge the current organisational POX (product, operational, experience) data sets. Based on this we can start to build out some hypotheses and introduce the concept of "EVP as a Product", which in most of my EVP days allows people to have conversations about adopting product management best practices to ensure continuous evolution and relevance, it also means we can get some long tail dates in. These convos usually include:

Product reviews

A regular cadence of reviewing the future EVP. Similar to what's often seen in the tech industry, effectiveness, and relevance in internal and external markets overall alignment is tested against the business strategy as well as the employee's needs

Feedback Loops and Iterations

Building a system that pulls continuous feedback from employees and the business is the spine of any EVP. To do that it here where we put future dates in the calendar to get this customer feedback. (remember organisations have have two customers link),

Having a continuous feedback mechanism in place which will allow us to proactively leverage the EVP through two levers

Reactive - something is bubbling up and we need to adapt fast else it could be damaging

Proactive - ahh there's a moment of opportunity that will elevate the EVP and is ripe for real-time experimentation and iteration in real-time.

This is where human-centric continuous listening and discovery strategy comes - here here here here

Building a system that pulls continuous feedback from employees and the business is the spine of any EVP. To do that it here where we put future dates in the calendar to get this customer feedback. Remember every company have two customers, its external customer and internal customer (employees)

Having a continuous feedback mechanism in place will allow us to proactively leverage the EVP through two levers

  • reactive there is something bubbling

  • proactive Moos moments of opportunity allow for real-time experimentation and iteration to improve the EVP in near real-time. This is where human-centric continuous listening and discovery strategy comes in

Life cycle

Once EVP as a product has settled in, we need to understand and include the typical phases of product management often usually called birth, growth, maturity and sunset. This will allow for the natural evolution process of the EVP but also to plan for changes or pivots in the future

Stakeholder Buy In

Central to our refined approach is a comprehensive and interactive stakeholder engagement phase, ensuring alignment and buy-in from all corners of the organisation. It is here that the bespoke touch comes into play, reflecting a deep commitment to not just collaboration but also to effective facilitation and genuine consensus-building. Personally, I take helm in conducting these stakeholder sessions, leveraging the DARE canvas as a cornerstone tool to guide the discussions, get a consensus on the EVP blueprint and addressing potential conflicts between the EVP and Employee Brand (EB) teams upfront to prevent a "garden of lies."

While it may feel too soon, it is also a good opportunity to check in on who has OKRs mapped to the EVP. (we will tackle OKRs in later episodes) The DARE Canvas is a framework I designed to improve stakeholder relationships at the start of a project. It encourages an open, honest, and trusting environment by asking bold questions to identify biases, preferences, and ways of working before diving into the product and project specifics. You can listen to me talk through it here, (around 19:40 mark) or you can find it in my book here

Sensemaking and Insights

The next approach is often Sensemaking, remember your organisation is a culture of cultures. Your people are not all the same. So, when it comes to sensemaking you need to make sure you cast the net wide and then narrow in using segmentation as well as doing some specific target audience value proposition testing.

There are hundreds of different ways to capture insights, and each has its strengths and weaknesses, but in a nutshell, often it involves the usual 121 interviews and focus groups. Then I will always add in a few other approaches to help with triangulation i.e. journals, tag along, safaris, pop-up card sorting etc, don’t forget external data like social listening using Reddit, X, Glassdoor, FB, and LinkedIn.

To truly enrich our understanding and ensure our EVP resonates on a deeper level, we extend our gaze beyond the immediate organisational landscape. This involves bringing in stimulation from outside the company walls by interviewing individuals identified as external experts in fields relevant to our mission and vision. These experts offer fresh, unbiased perspectives that challenge our internal assumptions and introduce innovative ideas from a broad array of disciplines and industries. Whether it's tapping into the latest trends in workplace culture from Silicon Valley, learning from the resilience of startups, or incorporating sustainability practices from global leaders, these external insights serve as a catalyst for thinking differently about our EVP. By infusing our strategy with diverse external stimuli, we ensure that our EVP is not only grounded in the realities of our current environment but is also aspirational and forward-looking, setting new benchmarks for what it means to be an employer of choice in an ever-evolving marketplace. I talk more about that here on tiktok

I will then do a whole load of analysis on the data from human clustering through to empowering AI for trends and sentiment analysis. Through a lot of hard work and sweating we start to identify and distil down employee needs, aspirations and perceptions. This allows us to start pinpointing moments of opportunity and identifying areas to enhance.

At this point I would then run what I call a Culture playback and walk people through this finding where possible I will immerse them into the tension so yeah not many PowerPoint exist here. I would then use AI to do some live A/B testing to help narrow down what really hits home vs what doesn't, the audience for this could be 50 people or 5000. As a consultant this gives my client the confidence that the business is making the right decision on where and when to progress vs doing more discovery all in real time

Once we get the green light, we would move on Concept design, MVP and experimentation which is all for the next newsletter

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