Employee Value Proposition

Brands have recognised the importance of customer experience (CX) and the vital role it plays in bringing their brand values to life and living up to their brand promise. The same should be said of employer branding and employee experience (EX).

Just as a customer value proposition (CVP) defines why consumers purchase from an organisation, an employee value proposition (EVP) should articulate why employees want to work for an organisation.

A strong and coherent EVP will provide the north star for employees in terms of expectations and experience.  Read more about developing a strong employee value proposition in our previous blog – Winning the war on talent: the employee value proposition.

Gallup has identified seven stages of the employee journey where employers can make a real impact and create defining moments that will attract, engage and retain the right employees.

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*Image source: Gallup

Throughout this employee journey, it is vital that the common thread of an organisation’s EVP is evident and comes to life in a consistent and authentic way.

According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, trust is the foundation of a positive employer-employee relationship. Trust is the cement that binds this relationship. Employees who feel trusted are more likely to stay longer, perform better and be more actively engaged at work.

There are two essential ingredients to remember when activating your EVP at each of the stages in the employee journey:

  • Consistency
  • Authenticity

Leave these two ingredients out of the mix, and you will be faced with a recipe for disaster.


Imagine being attracted by an exciting, dynamic job advertisement that promises a particular working environment, and then arriving to find something completely different on your first day. Every time there is a mismatch in an employee’s experience vs expectation, trust is eroded and employee satisfaction will decrease.

An employee’s experience inside the organisation should mirror what their perception was prior to commencing employment. Recruiting promises must be fulfilled, expectations from both sides must be clearly and consistently communicated. 


Just as customers demand and expect authenticity from a brand, employees also want to ensure the organisation's vision, values and purpose are aligned with their own. 

In the wake of the various royal commissions, along with other corporate scandals – companies will simply not retain trusted employees without proving they are ethical and trustworthy. Authenticity needs to be lived throughout an organisation starting from the top; with a record high 65%* of employees expecting their CEO to step up and lead positive change.

On the subject of authenticity;


  • 58%* of employees say they look to their employer to be a trustworthy source of information about contentious societal issues.


  • 68%* of employees expect that their prospective employer will join them in taking action on societal issues.

*Source: Edelman

How can brands attract and retain the best and brightest employees?

As an organisation grows and changes, a key focus needs to be on retaining exceptional talent and attracting new talent to fill the expertise gaps. It is clear that it takes more than just the highest salary to find and keep the best employees, and it can cost an organisation more than it imagines, if an employee does not fit within the culture and share the same values.

Attracting the best candidates

The first two stages of the employee journey is where attraction comes into play. Future employees can be influences via a number of touch points including;

  • Employment Expos
  • Graduate Programs
  • Careers page on your website
  • Employee brand ambassadors
  • Recruitment method and process

Organisations need to put their best foot forward in this process, ensure clear communication of their expectations, demonstrate the culture and clearly showcase their values throughout the process.

Retaining the best candidates

Once an employee has been hired, their experience from this point on will decide not only if their expectations matched the reality, but also if they see themselves having a long-term ongoing relationship with the employer. It is also the time for the employer to ensure the person meets their expectations as well.

How you engage employees in the following stages will impact retention:

  • Onboarding
  • Training and initiation process
  • Performance and development
  • Reward and recognition
  • Career progression

Throughout all of the stages, including the final stages when an employee departs the organisation (either retires or for other reasons), it is important to ensure your employee values are aligned with your brand and that they come to life at every opportunity. 

Creating a compelling EVP

At BrandMatters, we can help you connect your brand values with your employee values. We use a research-driven methodology, mining insights and gaining a deep understanding of your current situation and desired future state.

When it comes to employer branding, we are experts in uncovering and articulating what sets your organisation apart from your competitors. It is these key findings, that will help you offer employees a workplace that is clearly and fundamentally unique. Your employees will be motivated, engaged and productive.

We look forward to working with you to create a coherent EVP that is inspiring, authentic and resonates with your employees. 

In this digital age, word of mouth has gone viral. When you need a recommendation, you head to social media to ask the question.

Brands are paying close attention. Movements and trends coming from global influencers are being adopted quickly. Consider the rise of the sharing economy; or the adoption of non-traditional banking and funds management solutions, along with the trending fashion brands endorsed by celebrities. But it is not all about celebrity and vanity - there is some resultant social good, including issues such as equality, diversity and sustainability, all of which have been gaining momentum via public support and social channels. Brands have been watching and are now seeking to lead on these trends.

For example, the global movement that takes climate change seriously has been heard loud and clear and brands are responding to promote their activities and efforts in these spaces.

Unilever launched its sustainable living brands a few years back and have recently announced that these brands are growing 69% faster than the rest of the business. Nike has announced they will be signing the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Change Action, and in doing so will be committing to the industry’s most challenging climate targets to date. 

Closer to home, Qantas launched the first-ever commercial flight to produce no landfill waste. They announced that this was the start of their mission to cut 100 million single-use plastics by the end of 2020 and eliminate 75% of the airline’s waste by the end of 2021.

Brands can spend millions of their marketing dollars communicating these efforts to customers via various channels - but one of the most effective (from a cost and efficiency point of view) is vocal endorsement via their own employees.

Employees can become micro influencers. Qantas employees are praising their employer on LinkedIn, publicly demonstrating their support of the initiative for the zero waste future. An initiative that is obviously aligned with their own values. 

Consumers love vocalising their opinions or reviews on everything from the best coffee to new and exciting restaurant openings, right through to championing the company they work for. If your internal team is not advocating how great their employer is, or living your offer - several things may require addressing:

  • The company’s values may not align to their own.
  • In an absence of values, they may not be quite sure what you stand for and therefore find it difficult to articulate this to others.
  • Corporate social responsibility activities may not reflect the current employee view of what these could or should be.
  • Your employees are at best disengaged, and at worst looking for engagement from other employers.

These issues can be addressed by aligning your brand, your values, and the value you can bring individual employees in an employer value proposition (EVP). An EVP is a clear definition of what your employment brand stands for. In the increasingly competitive market conditions, attracting and retaining talent should be one of an organisation’s key priorities. Just as a compelling brand proposition will demonstrate a brand’s benefit for customers, so an EVP should define and demonstrate the value an organisation can bring to its employees.

A coherently developed and clearly articulated EVP will support initiatives and contribute to the building of the culture of an organisation. This then becomes central to the current and future employees’ experience with the brand. It allows each employee to understand the role they play in the company and what this means in the context of the overall business strategy and the brand’s promise to internal and external customers.


Organisations with a well-defined EVP will benefit in several ways, the obvious being:

  • Talent attraction

  • Talent retention and lower attrition rates

  • Overall lower recruitment costs

  • A more satisfied workforce

  • A more vocal and advocating workforce

The not so obvious, is the benefit of an effective and compelling EVP on the transformation of an organisation’s employees becoming brand ambassadors. Employees that are vocal and positive about their employer in public/social spaces create an organic marketing channel where the value of word of mouth is paramount. This, in turn, creates a more positive internal environment with higher morale: greater retention and lower attrition. Externally, this creates the perception of an engaged and active workforce. Positive, external vocalisation by employees is an authentic brand building strategy that a traditional marketing approach, cannot recreate.

Creating a strong employee value proposition should be a collaborative process that engages stakeholders from across the organisation and includes employees at all levels of seniority, tenure, department and function.


An EVP is built from the inside out, engaging current employees to build out the answers to 3 very simple but critical questions:

  • Why do I work here?
  • Why do I stay?
  • What’s in it for me?

At BrandMatters, we run EVP workshops to unearth employees’ perceptions of their employers, and to start articulating the value an employer brings to their working life. By distilling these views down to a core value proposition, we’re able to cut through to the essence of what attracts and keep an employee engaged, what keeps them motivated, and what will make them become vocal advocates.

Once you have articulated your EVP, (re) engagement with both existing employees and external recruitment targets commences. An action plan needs to be put in place to communicate the EVP to both audiences, and a plan that rings true and is authentic. One key goal today should be authentic, self-directed, independent, vocal advocacy in social media spaces.  

An organisation’s people will ultimately become the representation of a business, especially in service-based industries. Employers should be in no doubt that every single employee is a brand ambassador or a brand detractor. At BrandMatters, we believe strong and authentic brands are built from the inside out by motivated and committed employees who understand the organisation’s vision, values and behaviours and the role they play in delivering to these. To learn more about how we can supply more information about the criticality and benefits of building an EVP, or to help you commence your EVP journey, contact us.


Get in contact

Across our culture, communities and public life, Australia is living through a period of deteriorating trust. In some of our most venerable financial institutions, trust has been almost irreparably broken; trust in our political system has diminished through caustic public discourse; and trust in individuals once held in high esteem, is shattered.

However, the Edelman Trust Barometer for 2019 found that in this environment, individuals are now looking to their employers1 to fill this trust deficit. The findings suggest that this is the opportune time for Australian businesses to understand this need and take advantage of their employees’ desire and need for trust. But where do organisations start on their trust journey?


Building authenticity

Great brands, and in turn great companies, start with people. Employees that buy into an organisation’s purpose and have the motivation to deliver on its brand promise with every interaction, drive success and synchronicity throughout an organisation. Today’s workforce is globalised and more mobile than ever with the mounting demand of flexible working options. Human capital is one of the biggest fixed costs companies face, making sourcing talent and retention of workers an important consideration in their bid for scale and growth.

So how do companies face up to this challenge of acquiring and retaining the right employees who fit in with their ethos and will champion their vision? The answer lies in an authentic and strong creation of trust, a positive two-way benefit transfer between employer and employee, as clarified and crystallised in an Employee Value Proposition (EVP)2.

An EVP summarises the wider vision of a business and defines the employee’s role in delivering against that vision. In its simplest form, an EVP defines where a business is going, what it requires from its employees to get there and what it will provide to them in return.


Attracting the best

With fierce competition in the market place for the best people, and employees looking for organisations they can trust, rely on, and feel proud to work for, employers need to be perceived as more trustworthy than their competitors. A strong EVP that communicates trust will define what an organisation offers over its competitors and clearly outline the benefits which would attract prospective talent. Building long term, substantial and authentic trust can bring depth to a business beyond commercial outcomes.

Evaluating and identifying

If an organisation’s brand promise is to be truly delivered, businesses need employees to align to and buy in to their culture, vision and values. A strong EVP not only focusses on attracting talent, but also the right talent. A clearly defined EVP supports the qualifying of applicants by being crystal clear on values and expectations. It builds a criterion on which applicants can analyse whether they align to a company’s culture, vision and values, and gives HR teams a measure to easily evaluate each applicant against an agreed standard.


Retaining their people

So why is trust between an employer and employee so critical? Long gone are the days of employee loyalty determined by length of tenure. Today’s employees are agile, flexible careerists, creating their own portfolio of roles, driven exclusively by their own choices. Employees are looking to businesses to help them reach their potential, and with so many employers to choose from, retaining the best and brightest talent can be a major hurdle for organisations. A strong EVP, focused on retention, empowers and aligns staff, making them feel in control, loyal and valued. It makes those within the organisation feel like they are moving forward in their career paths with an employer they can trust. Employees have made a proactive choice in their employer and an EVP that reinforces trust can do wonders for productivity and morale.  


But where to start?

Establishing authenticity is critical in setting the baseline for EVP development. As we all know, actions speak far louder than words. Engaging employees across all levels, lengths of tenure, departments and functions is essential in understanding: who you are, what you stand for, why employees are drawn to your organisation and the unique benefits your organisation will deliver. By analysing, researching and understanding current employee perceptions of their organisation, employers can clarify and fine tune their messaging to achieve true employee (and employer) satisfaction. Ultimately, the best employers can clarify and hone their actions and their messaging and always measure current employee satisfaction against the true north of the EVP.


Delivering on trust

Everything communicates. Organisations have the power to transform the very human day-to-day interactions between themselves and their employees. When organisations have mastered an EVP and trust has become part of a company’s culture, they become known as valuing their employees, and prospective talent is drawn to them.  Their existing employees are engaged and committed and believe that what they are doing, matters.

In short, a truly great company can be defined by the extent of trust built within their culture. You can feel this permeating through every level of an organisation, shaping the way employees interact and giving them a unified purpose. Trust is in decline and where we look for trust is rapidly changing.  Organisations need to question their ongoing role in how trust can be delivered. The research is in and suggests employers have an increasing role and responsibility in rebuilding trust. For organisations who have an EVP as their guidance system, their rewards will be significant and ongoing.



1 https://brandmatters.com.au/whatmatters-blog/are-employers-taking-over-from-government-as-the-new-leaders-in-australia

2 https://brandmatters.com.au/blog/employee-branding-the-employee-value-proposition?highlight=WyJldnAiLCJldnAncyJd


Additional sources and references:

 Edelman Trust Barometer




Brand trust





Employee branding and Employer Value Proposition (EVP)



Trust is one of the most valuable assets of any organisation. In the B2B context trust and culture – the values, mission and habits of an organisation – are interdependent. When an organisation has a strong and positive culture and an authentic offer to the market, trust and brand advocacy are built over time. This enables long term bonds between employees, and between employees and customers, to develop. When a brand’s culture, which is brought to life on a daily basis, doesn’t meet the expectations of trust placed upon it, an organisation’s reputation can quickly deteriorate under this scrutiny.

We are living in swiftly evolving times where trust across the spectrum is being eroded. From the Banking Royal Commission and ongoing political instability to fears related to job security and low wage growth rates, it should come as no surprise that the prevailing mood for Australians is currently one of pessimism about the future.


The proof? From perception to reality

The Edelman Trust Barometer has been charting major shifts in general perceptions of trust over the last 19 years on a global scale. With data drawn from 33,000 respondents in 27 markets, the Barometer is regarded as a reputable source of information to understand the shifting value and importance placed on trust. The currency of this report is only more potent given our current environment where trust has been found to be so low.


Shifting sentiments: key findings

The significant finding in the most recent Barometer was that the general adult population across developed nations is largely pessimistic about the future. There is a general sentiment that their lives won’t improve five years from now. Whilst it was measured that only 1 in 5 people globally think that society is working for them, 75% of these people have faith in their employer. The pessimistic figure is more pronounced in Australia with only 1 in 3 people in the general population optimistic about what the future holds for them.

Key findings from Australia demonstrate an overall negative view, but with insights into where opportunities to build trust may be:

Australia – Key Findings:

  • Only 32% of the general population think life will improve for them in 5 years’ time, with just over half convinced that the system isn’t supporting them.
  • Australian women in the general population have less trust (45%) in the system than men (51%).
  • The top 3 national fears are cyber security (68%), dependency on foreign goods (65%) and a decrease in “the Australian way of life” (65%).
  • Trust in media (40%) and government (42%) is lower compared with business (52%) and NGOs (56%).
  • Trust in “My Employer” is greater than in all other major institutions (including government, media and NGOs), and for Australia is 2% higher again compared with the global rate (75%).
  • Almost 80% of Australians want CEOs to take the lead on change as opposed to the government.


Employers: A source of optimism in a pessimistic world

 “People have low confidence that societal institutions will help them navigate a turbulent world, so they are turning to a critical relationship: their employer.”

Richard Edelman, President and CEO

These key Australian findings suggest that this is the opportune moment for Australian businesses to take advantage of the desire and need for trust. Australian businesses and their leaders have the opportunity at this juncture to include trust as a strategic lever, built into their organisational framework and authentically delivered to their audiences. 

This is not just about the delivery of products and services. Australian organisations now take the lead on many societal issues including diversity and inclusion, parity, gender equality, and are key voices and influencers on government policy. After all, who remembers the marriage equality debate, and the leading positions taken by organisations as diverse as the AFL and Qantas?

The findings from the Barometer demonstrate clearly that trust is conducive to many positive and beneficial employee behaviours including advocacy (80%), loyalty (71%), engagement (69%) and commitment (87%). In fact, these insights clearly show over half of the population has an expectation that their chosen employment will offer an inclusive culture (75%), which enables them to actively contribute to and progress in their career (79%). Furthermore, 65% of employees additionally expect to make a valuable contribution to society through their work.

Employees are actively placing authority in their employers to create positive cultures with a vision for the future that is beyond profit generation. Are CEOs able to lead the change a generally disillusioned public is waiting for?


(Re)building trust in a disillusioned world

But where do brands start on their trust journey? In the context of trust deficit, how does a brand locate it’s starting position in the context of a shifting market and benchmark itself against agile competitors?

The Barometer highlights the value in measuring trust over time, and measurement provides organisations and institutions a better understanding of the business, societal and political context in which they are operating.

Brand measurement – the tracking of audience perceptions, sentiments, motivations and purchasing behaviour over time – drives an overall view of brand health. And most critically, measurement benchmarks then tracks the levels of trust audiences place in the brand.

The value of these insights cannot be underestimated in driving positive, incremental adjustments in business and brand strategy to further take advantage of building trust and advocacy with audiences over time.


Building cultures that attract the brilliant and the best

Earning trust is essential not just from external audiences but also from employees and future employees. Creating an employer brand the demonstrates, imbues and empowers trust is critical in attracting and retaining the best people in an organisation.

And that starts from the top-down. What value does an organisation bring to its people? Brands that develop a strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP) provide the reason for why people should want to work there. EVPs are built from the inside out and sustained by motivated and committed employees who understand an organisation’s vision, values and behaviours and the role they play in delivering to these.

An effective EVP is a two-way benefit stream of trust, the employer fulfilling its promise kept to the employee, and the employee positively contributing to the organisational vision. Over time, through authentic and reciprocal engagement, trust is a key tool for attracting and retaining the brilliant and the best.



The recent Edelman Trust Barometer clearly demonstrates the erosion of trust as a global phenomenon, a deficit that creates an opportunity for organisations to positively and authentically build their brands and take the societal lead. The opportune moment is now for organisations to have the conversation: are we ready to be the new leaders in Australia?


Sources and references:

Edelman Trust Barometer

2019 Edelman Trust Barometer

2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Top 10 Australian Insights

2019 Trust Barometer Australia Topline Results


Brand trust

Rebuilding trust in the FS industry and its players - it all starts and ends with culture


Brand tracking and measurement

BrandMatters brand research

Brand tracking and why it is important

What marketers can learn from NPS


Employee branding and Employer Value Proposition (EVP)

BrandMatters employer branding

Winning the war for talent: the employee value proposition