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Companies have to attract and retain top talent to remain competitive in a globalized world. Without a motivated workforce, they’ll fail to meet their goals and achieve growth, year after year.

In response to these challenges, business owners have given greater attention to their employee value proposition, or EVP.

An EVP is essentially the set of benefits an employee receives in return for their service to the company. It makes a critical difference in the ongoing talent war that companies wage on a daily basis. As context, Dell’s restructuring in 2010 serves as one of the many examples of the employee value proposition at work.

Michael Dell resumed the role of CEO to save his company from competitors like Hewlett-Packard and Acer. With slow growth and poor earnings, Dell recognized the value in his workforce and shifted the structure of its HR function from a regionally aligned structure to a functionally aligned one, making further changes.

He promoted the head of HR for Dell EMEA, Marie Moynihan, to senior vice president of global talent acquisition, placing her in charge of the company’s hiring and employer-branding initiatives. Her first priority was creating an employee value proposition that would more effectively convey what working for Dell was like.

In the years since Moynihan’s initial draft of the EVP, Dell has made incredible progress. They’ve pulled out of their tailspin, and in 2016, partnered with data-storage-systems company EMC in a $67 billion merger. So what can you learn from Dell’s example, and how have other businesses improved their EVP?

1. Engage in Charitable Activity

Companies that involve themselves in the community improve their reputation. Corporate social responsibility takes many forms, whether you develop a volunteer program, participate in fundraising or increase sustainability throughout your organization. However you proceed, you’re separating yourself from competitors.

Employees want to feel like they’re a part of something more significant. It creates a sense of pride in your existing workforce while capturing the attention of new talent. Perhaps best of all, you don’t have to spend a substantial sum of money, as you have many ways to engage in corporate social responsibility.

As an example, Coca-Cola started the 5by20 Initiative in 2010 for the economic empowerment of women across the world. With their program, they advocated for gender equality while providing support for millions of female entrepreneurs across their value chain. The 5by20 Initiative had a wide variety of benefits.

2. Improve Brand Perception

If you tell someone you work at Google, you’ll receive a positive reaction. It’s an impressive achievement, as Google represents one of the world’s leading technology companies with comparatively few controversies. If you tell someone you work at Monsanto, you’re far less likely to get the same kind of response.

The perception of a company is exceptionally influential on recruitment. Between a “good” and a “bad” company, a professional will favor the former. Though Google and Monsanto are enormous corporations, the point still applies to business owners who want to strengthen their relationship with potential employees.

You’ll find many opportunities to improve the perception of your brand, especially with social media. For example, the software company Buffer has a strong presence on Twitter, providing friendly, personable replies to questions and concerns. They even attach the name of the team member who’s responding.

3. Demonstrate Tech Literacy

Potential employees will often seek companies where they can exercise their education and skill set. When you take advantage of social media, like Facebook, Twitter and even Snapchat, you demonstrate tech literacy and broaden your appeal. Among your options, Facebook is a particularly valuable asset.

To provide context, Facebook and Google control over 57% of the digital advertising market. A company that develops advertisements for Facebook can connect with a larger pool of candidates, capitalizing on their available resources. Other sites like Twitter present an opportunity to improve employer branding.

Microsoft uses the hashtag #MicrosoftLife on Twitter to showcase the satisfaction of their employees. Dell also implemented this method for their employee value proposition, relying on “Dell Champions” with positive sentiments about the company to engage externally via social media channels.

The Next Step

Of the world’s top 100 most attractive employers, 84% have an EVP. If you haven’t developed an EVP, consider the examples above and apply the insights of other organizations with an employee value proposition. As long as you learn from companies like Coca-Cola, Buffer, Microsoft and Dell, you can build on their success and secure the future of your business.

About the author

Kayla Matthews, a tech-obsessed innovation writer, has written featured pieces for InformationWeek, The Innovation Enterprise, The Muse and more. You can see more of Kayla’s work on her site, Productivity Bytes, or follow her on Twitter @KaylaEMatthews.

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