employment brand employee value proposition

What is the difference between Employee Value Proposition and Employment Brand? Are they simply two different ways to reference the same thing? No, there is a difference, but they are very related. It might be useful to think of them as two sides of the same coin. One can’t exist without the other.

The Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

The key is in the word “proposition.” A proposition or proposal is an offer of something. In this case, it’s an offer that a company makes about employment with that organization and the value they expect an employee to extract from that offer. Its basically says, “If you come work for us, this is what we propose and intend to give you.”

It might be useful to think of the Employee Value Proposition as having five distinct categories. These include:

  • The Rewards
  • The Opportunity
  • The Organization
  • The Work
  • The People

Within each of these categories are multiple sub-categories that will differ a bit depending on your organization. For example, within “The Rewards,” you would likely have sub-categories like compensation, health benefits, retirement benefits, vacation, etc. The sub-categories within “The Work” might include job impact, job-interest alignment, recognition, work-life balance, etc.

EVP Attracts the Ideal Employee

This framework is usually carefully crafted by organization leaders and serves as a magnet to not only attract the type of employees the organization needs, but also those that will thrive in the environment. In competitive industries, companies might add unique attractors into the EVP to grab the attention of the ideal employee. For example, we have all heard of the free food available to Google employees. Or the beautiful corporate offices with plentiful health and fitness facilities provided to Nike employees.

Again, the key to understanding the Employee Value Proposition is in the word “proposition.” Here is what we propose to give you if you work for us.

The Employment Brand (EB)

The Employment Brand is the other side of the EVP coin. At the root of any successful brand is the notion of a promise given, and a promise kept. In other words, you expect something from your interaction with the company based on what they promise. Did they keep their word and deliver that promise, or not? Your gut feeling about the answer to that question defines the brand.

For example, the Employee Value Proposition might promise work-life balance, development opportunities, and a particular work environment. If the organization keeps their promise and truly delivers these things, it is likely they will develop a strong Employment Brand for a promise given and a promise kept. You would be happy to share your experience with others and over time the company would truly develop a well-earned reputation, or brand, for being a great place to work.

If, on the other hand, the company makes big promises in the EVP but fails to really deliver them, you would form a different opinion about the organization, and in your sharing of that opinion, contribute to the establishment of a less than positive Employment Brand.

Have you clearly defined your Employee Value Proposition? Does your organization truly deliver on the promises made? What would your employees say? Developing a meaningful Employee Value Proposition can be a powerful magnet to attract the team you need, when it is also paired with a positive Employment Brand based on your company keeping its word with employees.

For other thoughts on EB and EVP, be sure to read:

How to Communicate the Employee Value Proposition

Who Owns the Employment Brand and Employee Value Proposition

About Kurt Kennedy

Kurt founded Kennedy Communications in 1988 as a media production company. Since then, Kennedy Global has evolved into the leading internal-external brand alignment agency. Kurt and his team create strategic business solutions that align a company’s external customer promise with an engaged internal culture that generates tremendous results at every level of an organization. Kurt and his team have created strategic programs for some of the world’s most recognized brands including Intel, Nike, Office Depot, Starbucks, Albertsons, Adobe, Dell, LensCrafters, Target Optical, Sunglass Hut, Safeway, Unilever and many others. In addition to consulting with clients, Kurt frequently serves as a speaker and facilitator at a variety of business events around the world including strategy sessions with executive leadership teams, interactive workshops and training sessions at corporate summits, and keynote presentations at industry events. Kurt earned his BA in Mass Communications from Walla Walla University. He enjoys traveling in his spare time.