Every HR team or department that we've talked to over the last year or so either has or is developing their EVP (Employee Value Proposition). We're not keen on TLAs (oops - I mean long-winded three letter acronyms), we'd rather call EVPs, People Deals.
Whether we're going in to develop one or to start working with a client on bringing it to life and creating recruitment and engagement tools around it we start by asking - "What's the deal?".
Why? Because the idea of the proposition in an EVP starts you thinking in a very one way direction – our proposal to you, the benefits package, what it's like to work here… Whereas one of the characteristics of successful EVPs and employee cultures is that they are two way deals. There is clarity about what you can expect from us ('the company') and what we expect from you ('the employee'). This is more realistic and credible than just selling the upside of the job, the culture etc. Employees and potential employees know the world of work is about a trade, an exchange, something that's two way. And talking about that two way deal is naturally engaging and compelling.
This is starting to sound like it's time to get legal in and write a contract, but that's not the point of asking "What's the deal?". It's about starting the process to find the ways to connect with and motivate people in organisations a human way.
Ultimately you should be able to encapsulate your People Deal in a simple core thought. Here are two examples:
In hospitality IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) sum up theirs as 'Room to be yourself'. The idea is about IHG promising an environment and culture where people can give their best and make a difference by bringing their unique personalities to work and the same energy and enthusiasm that they have in their hobbies, passions and activities outside the world of work.
In the chemicals industry, INEOS's People Deal is built around the idea of ‘Driven by challenge’. This is true to the spirit of their corporate brand, as well to what INEOS wants from a recruit and to what they can expect from INEOS. They want achievers who will thrive in a flat, non-hierarchical, entrepreneurial environment (very different from some of their competitors in the chemicals industry, like BP and Shell). And the flip side to targeting people who are ready for that challenge in their People Deal is the promise of real responsibility from Day 1 (and usually more responsibility than you would be given in similar roles by competitor businesses). You can see this brought to life in their 'Are you IN?' multinational graduate recruitment campaign on their website.
So whether you're revisiting an established EVP or creating a new one, asking what would a real two way People Deal look like for your organisation is a good start point.