• Employee Branding
  • Brand Purpose

Employee Value Proposition: why you need one?

17.04.2024

  • Employee Branding
  • Brand Purpose

When we think of brands, different thoughts and feelings about them come to mind. You might think affordable design (Ikea). You might think Cadbury is being very generous with its ‘glass and a half full’ of milk to make extra creamy chocolate. You might think KLM is open and honest about sustainable flying (or are they greenwashing) … anyway… the point is we think of brands in terms of our human needs, what we want, why we need them in our lives and how they deliver. We don’t tend to immediately think of the worker bees at the heart of brands driving the business forward – their employees.

Employees are consumers

Employees think of the brands they work for in the same way consumers do – with an emotional connection. If you have a great experience, you remain brand loyal, if the brand doesn’t live up to your expectations, you leave. It’s not enough to have an external facing presence out there in the marketplace, brand building, owning your space in the world – your brand and what you stand for has to be equally as magnetic inside company walls.

Put simply, your consumer brand and your employer brand come from the same place: from the brand proposition. You should be able to hear the brand voice, how it speaks and acts, whether you’re talking to consumers or to employees. The brand proposition should be able to divide and work for consumers (the consumer proposition) and/or for employees (the Employee Value Proposition, EVP).

Judge whether your brand has ‘stretch’

Even if we haven’t been tasked to develop the employer brand – the brand idea should have that ‘stretch’. (We’ll always have a view.) You should be able to weave it into your corporate DNA. Effortlessly. You should be able to take your consumer brand and evolve it internally. And vice versa. It’s one of the ways we judge our brand ideas. Is the thinking big enough? It should be.

Here’s the reasons

  • It’s your culture. Your EVP defines your workplace culture, demonstrates your commitment to employee well-being and provides a values framework for how people act and work.
  • It’s your future. The employer brand that crafts an authentic narrative about the organisational culture, values and opportunities will be better placed to attract suitable, emotionally invested employees who will help your business thrive. Top talent is drawn to companies with a strong employer brand – 69% of potential hires will reject job offers from companies who can’t offer a compelling EVP experience (statistics from Glassdoor).
  • It’s your employee satisfaction and growth. Not only will you be able to attract top talent, your employer brand helps retain existing staff. Research shows employees are more likely to stay with a company invested in their employee experience, personal development, and work-life balance.

It’s your carrot

Your competitors will certainly be dangling carrots. So yes, it is important to have an Employee Value Proposition to give you carrots of your own. Consider our recent rebrand for Vitacress where we put ‘growing’ at the heart of their business. We worked very closely with our client, getting under the skin of the issues, to define an EVP that would enhance their reputation in the job market and give employees a sense of belonging. We crafted an authentic narrative about the organisational culture, values and opportunities putting the company in a better place to attract the people they needed who could help drive the business forward.

We’re just curious…

  • Can you articulate your EVP?
  • Does it come from your brand?
  • Does your workforce need reinvigorating?

Feel free to get in touch if you’re curious about how we can help.

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    • Employee Branding

    What have we learnt from the great resignation?

    01.06.2022

    • Employee Branding

    A year on from the big quit (that period in early 2021 when absolutely everyone was looking for a new job), things in the world of employment seemed to have calmed down – with employers and employees both feeling more secure in their positions.

    In February the UK saw employment rising and the rate of growth of vacancies continue to slow. But we shouldn’t resign the great resignation to the past. There were reasons why an extraordinary number of people decided there must be better out there. And, there are lessons employers would be wise not to ignore.

    What went down

    But, before we can ponder on its lessons, first we must consider why it came about. In early 2020, after almost a year of lockdown, the ‘huddle where you are’ mentality many of us adopted was beginning to wear off. As it became clear that life would indeed go back to normal, employees began to consider their lockdown experiences- and many were less than pleased with their conclusions.

    A study by Personio in April 2021 found that 1 in 3 people were looking to move jobs in the following 6 to 12 months. This indicates a general mood of dissatisfaction with employment situations around this time. Those looking to change jobs cited work/life balance, pay freezes or cuts, toxic workplace culture, reduction in benefits and being furloughed as reasons for leaving their current jobs.

    The increasing importance of value alignment

    The finding’s in Personio’s study suggest there are numerous and interconnecting reasons someone might leave their job – and that salary is only one consideration.

    It seemed that experiences of lockdown and worries about health made people more attracted to companies with a defined culture and values that aligned with their own. Companies that could articulate and act on their employment philosophy (we call this an employer brand (more on this later!)).

    Earlier this year, Curious partnered with YouGov to test this hypothesis. We asked our panel to imagine their dream job and share the three aspects of it that most appealed to them.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, given that many of us enjoyed the benefits of home and hybrid working over the past two years, work/life balance was the aspect chosen by the highest percentage of respondents. This might also have been due to a shift in priorities towards spending more time with friends and family. More recently it’s been interesting to see how the phenomenon of quiet quitting has become an extension of this idea.

    Only slightly behind work/life balance, salary was the second most popular aspect. Salary will always be a vital factor in decisions around employment - it affects so many other aspects of our lives. And, with the cost of living increasing, it’s to be expected that salary will remain a key consideration. However, it is interesting to note that ⅓ of our respondents didn’t include it in their top three aspects.

    We also asked our panel how important it was for them to work for a company with clear values and culture. Over 75% said it was important to them - and 30% included it in their top 3 dream job aspects. Though there were slight variations in how influential people think this is, our data shows it’s rated consistently high a
    cross all of our demographics.

    What does all this mean?

    Our findings have shown that although some aspects of employment appeal to a broader section of the population than others, there is no one thing that employees look for. There are trends across ages and gender, but it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Employers need to know the kinds of people they are looking for and speak to them directly.

    This doesn't mean that businesses necessarily need to change or enhance their offerings - though some might. However, they do need to define them. They must know their approach and be able to talk about it - and highlight how it makes them unique. We call this an employer brand - and a good one can provide many benefits to a business.

    1. It informs how you act
      Defining your employer's brand can help to reset how you approach employment. It’s an opportunity to bring your practices in line with our philosophy. Having defined values makes it easier to respond to situations as they arise.
    2. It reduces hiring costs
      A clearly defined employer brand will help to attract like-minded people who will prove successful additions to the team. This helps reduce the costs associated with employment.
    3. It keeps hold of your key people.
      It helps create a culture that employees can buy into and that values them. Done right, it creates an environment people want to be part of and creates a language that will appeal to the right people to join your business.

    What next?

    An employer brand can’t be rushed. Making a big gesture that wins you headlines and accolades is all well and good but it is a short-term strategy that is likely to fail: your employer brand must run through everything you do and say, and stand up to scrutiny.

    Knowing what’s right for your brand requires serious thought as you must be able to live by the brand you design.
    Authenticity is key. Curious works with brands to find what is important to you and your team - they are the most important element of your employer brand. All the elements will be there, but an outside perspective can help to draw out what makes you, you.

    Once we’ve defined your personality and purpose we can creatively bring your employer brand to life, so you can share it with the world.

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      • Employee Branding

      Flexible working: Why we’re having our cake AND eating it too

      25.07.2020

      • Employee Branding

      Okay. So remote working is nothing new. Skype popped up circa 2003 and since then we’ve had a whole host of technological advancements that means we can basically have holograms of our colleagues in the same room to host a meeting (we made that last part up but who knows what Elon Musk is up to now). The point is, working from home was never unthinkable pre-lockdown, but like most other businesses in the UK we hadn’t yet found the secret recipe for remote working.

      And then we were all plunged head-first into it. Yikes.

      Source: &Walsh

      The good news is we’re coming up for air, and we’ve got a few things to say…

      Like most of you, we began studying all of the thousands of resources out there sharing insights and words of wisdom to help organisations navigate through their new home set ups. And while there were some more helpful than others, we started to notice a pattern about how the fundamental idea of an office was changing. And we started (as we tend to do) to ask questions about it…

      Do we need one? What is it there for? How do we use it?

      The truth is, we bloody love our studio. In case you didn’t know, it’s right slap bang in the centre of Covent Garden, London. And apart from the slight issue of trying to ignore all of the lovely shops in an attempt to rescue our bank balances on our lunch breaks, it is hands down one of London’s best spots. Our studio is a buzzing mix of creative workshops and questionable Spotify playlists. It’s where we think about the different ways we can bring brands to life and how we can keep surprising our clients. We’ve been there for nine years and we like to think of it as our home of curiosity. And biscuits. Lots of biscuits.

      But working from home has its perks. So what’s the right step forward now that we’re emerging from the necessary to the voluntary?

      Benefits of working from home

      People want to do it
      It’s no secret that the entire British population has discovered that commuting sucks. In fact, 86% of people said in a poll that they’d prefer to work from somewhere other than their office at least once a week. There are of course, a lot of other benefits ranging from more family time to increased productivity. So, once you add all of this together, any smart business will need to take all of this into consideration.

      The talent pool turns into a talent ocean
      Remote working basically means you can have an unlimited amount of office space. And although most of them may not have a Pret nearby, it means you can pull in talent from all corners of the globe. This is something we’re not a stranger to – last summer we were jumping on video calls with one of our designers living in Spain for the summer (we weren’t jealous at all. Not one bit). So it’s pretty exciting to think we could be working with people from all kinds of time zones – hopefully that doesn’t mean calls at 4am though.

      Flexible working means trust
      One of the biggest apprehensions companies would have had against working from home before all of this was the issue of trust. It’s true, the responsibility to manage time and productivity relies on the individuals within a team much more so than in the office. But if you have a strong culture whereby everyone is working towards the same goal, this should be easily tackled. And if it’s not, then there are probably bigger issues to address.

      No commute means no pollute
      Okay, we tried our best to avoid that rhyme but we couldn’t help ourselves. Sorry. But you get our point – with less people clogging up roads and transport links, the planet should in theory have a bit more breathing room. Not only do our bank balances look healthier because of it, so too will the environment.

      Benefits of working from an office

      An office is the hub of culture
      No matter how many funny Zoom backgrounds you can fit into one video call, it still doesn’t quite match up to the buzziness of a good office environment. From Monday morning all-hands meetings to Thursday afternoon Lunch and Learns (notice how it tends to revolve around food and drink) our office is the place we can really build our agency culture. Unfortunately, screens do get in the way of this when we’re all working from our bedrooms.

      It’s where your brand comes to life physically

      Aside from the famous Curious branded T-shirts we store in our studio, we also use it to host a whole range of activities from naming workshops to mood board sessions. Trying to do this all remote is possible of course, but we do miss our trusty Post-It notes. Not to mention our lovely Curious Wall of Fame (see photo above).

      You get to see real, live people
      …In case this wasn’t obvious, in an office, you get to actually chat in person! Mad right?! But it’s something we genuinely miss. Catching up over a coffee in the kitchen or enjoying a well-deserved drink at the end of the week is a lot better when you aren’t speaking to yourself.

      Work is work, home is home
      It’s a lot harder to relax and unwind after work when you’re sat on the same sofa trying to watch Gogglebox that you were sitting on when you did that important client phone call earlier. Entering the physical space of an office – and then leaving it at the end of the day – is a real signal to our brains to switch on and off.

      So, what are we thinking of doing?

      Here’s the thing. We know that it’s pretty difficult to plan for anything right now. But we do know that all of the above points need to be considered.

      We definitely don’t want to lose any of the good bits of working from home that we’ve all enjoyed over the last few months. But equally, just because everything changed so dramatically as we went into lockdown doesn’t mean we have to rush to go back to a long-term plan. We’ve got time. We can really think about what options there are and what will work for our business. Because everyone is different and what works for some companies won’t work for others.

      Building a hub of creativity

      Our ideal scenario would be to see our office as a place we can come together to share and create brilliant ideas, and our homes (or wherever we feel most inspired) as a place to bring these to life. Creativity can happen anywhere, so we want to encourage that wherever possible, and at the same time provide opportunities for our team to come and share their thinking in a space specially designed for all things Curious. The best of both worlds, hopefully.

      We’ll continue to adapt and learn from the things we test out, but our ability to create the best work possible for our clients will always be our focus.

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