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Why you should care about your employment value proposition

February 11, 2020
By Brian Kreissl

Photo: tumsasedgars/Getty Images

Last week, I discussed some of the reasons why the power dynamics inherent in the employment relationship are shifting to a large extent. With talent and skills shortages, a more highly educated workforce, changing attitudes towards work and a greater emphasis on employer branding, candidate and employee experience and employee engagement, organizations are increasingly beginning to recognize they must do more to attract, retain, develop and engage their workers.

Before an organization can embark on this journey, one of the most fundamental questions to ask is, “Why do employees work for us in the first place and what makes them stay here?” In order to answer that, you should have a pretty good idea what your organization’s unique employment value proposition is.

An employment value proposition (EVP) is the total value of what your firm provides to employees in exchange for their efforts. It includes all the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards employees receive. Intrinsic rewards are those that are inherent in the work itself (such as job satisfaction and on-the-job learning), while extrinsic rewards are external to the job and include things like base pay, pensions and benefits.

Every organization has a unique value proposition. For one company, it may be centred around a competitive compensation package, a reputation for professionalism and an opportunity to work on interesting projects. Another organization may be able to attract candidates through its solid commitment to corporate social responsibility and a commitment to work/life balance.


This is similar to the concept of total rewards management, which looks at all of the monetary and non-monetary rewards an employee receives from employment including salary, bonuses, commissions, benefits, pensions, rewards and recognition. It also includes things like the work environment, social interaction with colleagues, development opportunities, a chance to make a difference in society and learning and development opportunities.

Employer branding and communications

As is the case in the product or service market, every organization has an employer brand. This relates to how your organization is perceived in the employment market with respect to prospective and current employees, as well as the general public.

Every organization has an employer brand whether they are aware of it or not. While companies look to carefully manage how their employer brand is perceived in the market, it isn’t about creating hype or spin.

One of the first steps in trying to develop an employer branding strategy is to figure out exactly what your employment value proposition is all about. What attracts people to your organization? What engages and retains them once they join the company?

It is important to communicate your employment value proposition in order to attract candidates. This is generally facilitated through recruitment marketing and the entire candidate experience from end-to-end, right from when someone first applies for a position online, through the interview process, the employment offer and onboarding.

Communications to existing employees are also important from the perspective of employee retention and engagement. This helps to ensure employees remain aligned to the organization’s culture, vision, mission and values.

Effective communications serve as a reminder to employees why they joined the organization in the first place and the total value they derive from their employment. They also serve as a way to establish a sense of community, shared values and a line of sight to the organization’s strategy and its overall goals and objectives.

While it is just one part of the communications strategy, one option to help communicate value to your employees is by creating total rewards statements. One of the goals of communicating this information is to explain to employees the total value of the compensation, benefits, pensions and other rewards programs.

This is important because often the tendency is to think solely about one’s base pay when determining the value of the total compensation package. Depending on your organization’s total reward mix, benefits may represent 30 per cent or more of the value of the total compensation package. For this reason, it is important to communicate the value of all benefits, as well as vacation and other time off, learning and development programs and any other monetary and non-monetary rewards employees derive from their employment.

Before communicating your employment value proposition and your employer brand, it is important to audit your employment value proposition. Next week, I will explore this further as well as more on employer branding.

Brian Kreissl is a product development manager with Thomson Reuters in Toronto. He looks after HR, payroll, OH&S, records retention and Triform. He can be reached at brian.kreissl@thomsonreuters.com or (416) 609-5886. For more information, visit https://store.thomsonreuters.ca/en-ca/home.

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