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  • Danny

Your sexy EVP is why people are leaving!

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Today we are going to be talking about EVPs (Employee Value Proposition) what they are, and are not, and why they fail.




Companies often promise great workplace culture through their Employee Value Proposition (EVP) but fail to deliver leading to employee dissatisfaction and often the actual reason why new talents leave early.

Key issues include treating EVP as a one-off project, misalignment between EVP and Employee Brand (EB), and lack of teamwork and clear ownership. The focus on superficial branding over meaningful employee experiences underscores the need for a more authentic approach to EVP design, aiming for a workplace that genuinely reflects organisational values and promises.



 Okay...I lied



There is no free link and no free access to any course, now before you set fire to your phone, just reflect on how you feel


· Angry

· Frustrated

· Let down

· Disappointed

....Thinking of unsubscribing?


However, I wouldn't blame you if you did.

I’ve got you excited, promised you something and bam just like that it’s all a lie. Yet many organisations do this every goddamn day with their a fake ass EVP

I have experience in designing EVPs ranging from quad play in tech, Telecoms, financial services, and even a renowned company known for its innovation in home appliances (particularly vacuum cleaners, bladeless fans, air purifiers and a great hair dryer)

These companies often bring me in because they have tried to design the EVP in the past and it has fallen flat.

When I dig into why these have failed, I’ve I identified some problem patterns what stopped their initial approach from working, and ultimately what makes the difference between an awesome EVP that lands vs EVPs that end up collecting digital dust.

But first, let’s get into some terminology breakdown



Employee Brand (EB): For me, these are the folks that tend to look externally at what the perception is of the organisation, often through social listening be it social media, Glassdoor, Reddit and Internet searches. They look at what and how the org can stand out in a crowded market, often it’s brand identity, tone of voice, it’s ultimately asking how can we entice new talent in various segmentations



Employee Value Proposition (EVP): If the Employee Brand is the jab to get talent interested, then the EVP is the one-two combo. The EVP should is be the internal lens of the organisation. They should share an honest view of the org and ultimately answer the what’s in it for me.


but this is the goldilocks, usually In most cases these two functions don't actually play nice with each other... in most cases it becomes a turf war and the end result is nothing but a blossoming garden of lies



How they are often done wrong!

EVP is seen as project not a product:

In the major of EVPs, I’ve designed the first biggest barrier is how the EVP is perceived by the business. Often a design of an EVP happens when a new CPO joins the business, or there has been a public shaming of the organisation, or when the business wakes up to all their talent leaving and looking as to where they are going.

The issue with this is it is a knee jerk reaction in most (not all) cases. This becomes the first challenge, which is partnering with the organisation to enable the removal of blinkers to see that the EVP shouldn't be seen as a project but as an ever evolving people product and one that is in a constant product cycle rather than a typical project cycle. The second order impact of this tends to be that there is no real owner once the project is done, it ultimately becomes a side of desk thing which means it is forgotten about



Conflicting Whys

On one hand you have the EVP trying to show a true reflection of working at the organisation, but then you have EB trying to entice new talent by selling the dream and this becomes a fine line of walking. How much to tell the truth vs how much you bend the truth, that’s assuming that the right team is assembled in the first place.



Teaming Crafting

In my experience, most of the time the EVP is mistaken for EB and handed over to the comms and marketing team without the truth compass that is EVP team being included. The output tends to be a single EB siloed function working to produce their take on what the EVP should be. The new talent is generally enticed by this, fall into the talent funnel and start on day one and get an instant feeling of org rejection due to Instagram vs reality.



Team Patterning

The key thing that I’ve noticed when you bring these teams together is how much the EVP can be influenced by bias, yet no time is ever invested in who is best to actually own the project. Instead, one team shows up with big egos thinking they are the only ones who can and should own it. The discussion of better ways of working, value adds and how to play critical friend is never had.

Instead these teams get slammed together without any clear patterning and lines in the sand on who’s doing what, and who’s own what, and who’s accountable


Opportunity Blindness

This is where teams get trapped by their own thinking and comfort zones and miss out on any MOOs (Moments of Opportunity) when designing the EVP. Often, they can’t tap into external worlds which results in a biased view of "we know our business best"

Unfortunately, that bias means they miss out on bringing an external in who has a knack for spotting hidden gems, can bring in new perspectives and cross industry knowledge to push the thinking beyond the comfort zone.

They also miss out on having a critical friend who isn’t afraid to provoke and challenge the status quo and won’t bow down just because you have a sexy title. Their goal is to play the critical friend with the direction being what is best for the company as a collective



Fickle Future

Many projects kick off with no outcomes defined, usually there’s an over index on the nirvana state or make believe and we forget all about the present and the insight and value that can provide.

Often there is a conflict in the metrics we are measuring, for example, if the EB team are getting measured on creating a sexy brand and enticing people in, but then if no measurement is included on the promise vs actual working reality, or even how long this new talent lasted before leaving and why, then we have a problem.

The issue is, the latter measurements are usually being captured by the talent and recruitment team, however I put my house on it these two teams rarely chat and share insights and finding. Often these two teams operate as two sperate islands in most orgs.

It is clear from a recent publication from Boston Consulting that joy at work is vital, so if we are promising work to be a joyful experience then we better make sure we can deliver on it.

The last thing we should be doing is saying work is like riding on a unicorn when the reality is your just hobbling a long on a three-legged donkey.





The above challenges stop us from producing a EVP that drive true business outcome instead we get output deliver usually a document that has some sexy looking slides full of cool pictures and some swanky statements and taglines and boom EVP done!


In the next newsletter, I will share how to overcome the above challenges, as well as what an approach could look like in designing an EVP



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