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Feb 27, 2024 Ryan Humphreys

The Power of Bringing Employee Value Proposition and Advocacy Together

The benefits of employer branding are well documented – 90% of people would apply for a job with a company that actively maintains its employer brand.

However, there are more layers to uncover such as the importance of employee value proposition (EVP), which stems from customer value proposition. It’s all about how current – and future – employees perceive, and reflect, a business. 

Vicki Saunders is the founder of The EVP Consultancy and The Employer Brand Coach. She chatted to Tribal CEO Sarah Goodall in a recent LinkedIn Live.

Read on for a summary or check out the interview replay on our podcast or LinkedIn


What’s The Difference Between Employer Brand, Employee Value Proposition, And Recruitment Marketing?  

Vicki compared them to a Mars bar. The caramel, nougat, and milk chocolate are like the pillars of your EVP. Some design has already gone into them, shaping the raw ingredients of the employee experience . The three put together are your employee value proposition…. it’s what you get in exchange for your £1.

When you put a wrapper on it that gives it an identity and a personality, that’s your employer brand.

Going into a shop and seeing it against lots of other chocolate bars that want you to buy them, that’s like job boards and recruitment marketing. 

The Neuroscience Of Advocacy 

Vicki delved into the five whys, where you ask ‘why?’ five times to get to the root of something. She did this with advocacy because she knew it was powerful and that it worked, but she wanted to know why.

She found that it’s all about empathy. 

Empathy is critical to advocacy – it goes back to how we’re wired as humans. 

When someone advocates for something they’re passionate about, it triggers a subconscious emotional response. We empathise, trust, and believe what that person says.

“If you try to advocate for something you don’t believe in, it won’t work. It has to come from what’s really important to you as a person. This then triggers the emotional response in the person you advocate to.”


How Can Neuroscience Help Us Create Communication Strategies? 

Authenticity is at the core of the science of advocacy. What employees share has to come from their hearts.

If you’ve built a well-crafted employee value proposition and co-created that with employees, you’re halfway there. 

Employees resharing corporate stories won’t be as impactful as when they share something that matters to them. 

For example, when Vicki was at Boots, she noticed there was always a spike in advocacy around Children in Need. Boots’ call centre supports it, so everyone is passionate about it. 

It wasn’t until she dug into employee survey answers that she noticed patterns around the areas people cared the most about. 

One that stuck out to her was from No7 advisors. They worked with Macmillan Cancer Support to help women who’d been through chemo with things like drawing their eyebrows back on. 

Their answers were authentic because they came from the heart. So, Boots adjusted the advocacy program to include content created by employees for other employees to share. That was when their program really took off. 

She also pointed out that these two things worked for Boots because they fit with Boots as a wellness company. If you try to stretch into something that’s beyond a company’s core values, it risks people wondering if it’s just a PR exercise. 


What’s The Connection Between Employee Advocacy And Employer Brand? 

For Vicki, advocacy is a closer representation of the employee value proposition than the employer brand. It reflects employees’ experiences within the organisation.

“Employer brand messages talk from the voice of the brand. Employee advocacy talks from the voice of the employees.”

Employees’ voices add weight to the employer brand because they give evidence to back it up. 

What Vicki is now seeing is organisations putting their employee value proposition at the centre of their people strategy. This helps with retention. People learn, grow, and fulfil their potential at the same company. It aligns the EVP with the skills needed to deliver the customer proposition, and in turn the commercial strategy.  


How Is Employee Value Proposition And Workplace Culture Connected? 

A report from Boston Consulting Group found that when you compare employees’ top needs with attrition, their emotional needs dominate. They want to feel like they have job security, they’re being treated fairly, they do work they enjoy, they’re valued and appreciated, and they’re supported.

Vicki referred to her Mars bar analogy. How the chocolate bar is made, and what it’s made from, is the culture. The behaviours and ways of doing things; the relationships between different aspects of the Mars bar that make it come together. 

How Could Employee Value Proposition And Employer Brand Evolve? 

Vicki explained that both will need to get better at answering, ‘why this organisation and not another organisation?’ 

A lot of businesses have some form of employer brand and are developing their employee value proposition. But she still sees a lot of organisations that sound similar to their competitors. 

If a value proposition doesn’t give people a reason to want to work for that brand, it’s not as powerful as it could be. 

She also sees a lot of employee value proposition work being done that looks at the current workforce, potential candidates, and diagnosing what’s important, what people want, and why they stay. This is all good stuff, but her work with brands includes helping them anticipate the future workforce they want and the proposition they need to create to get there. 

A Competitive Advantage 

Employee value proposition helps businesses differentiate themselves from their competitors. It attracts employees as well as retaining existing ones by making it clear what the business stands for and how employees can benefit from being a part of it.

Want help spreading the word about your employee value proposition and what makes it different?

Get in touch today to find out how we can help.


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About Tribal Impact

Tribal Impact is a B2B Social Selling and Employee Branding Agency.

We're a team of social media strategists, trainers, coaches, content creators and data analysts who are passionate about helping our B2B customers develop and scale their social selling and employee advocacy programs.

Learn more about us here.

Published by Ryan Humphreys February 27, 2024
Ryan Humphreys