Is staff retention an issue?
Four steps to strengthen your employee value proposition

Is staff retention an issue?  Four steps to strengthen your employee value proposition

 I remember working with a boutique law firm that had approximately 40 employees. In 2019, they increased their headcount with a number of hires across different departments.  They employed a solicitor, a head of HR and a PA which cost them in excess of £20,000 in agency fees alone. However, despite a fairly rigorous interview process, all three left the firm within four months of joining, which caused further unrest within the team.  There was no one reason why it didn’t work but there was a common theme: they were not happy with the office silos and poor office culture.  Plus, although they were paid market rate, there was very little flexibility.  The firm had to learn a lesson because their overall loss, which included clients, was closer to £100,000.  So, what can you learn from their mistakes?  Let’s take a closer look at an employee value proposition (EVP).

 What is an employee value proposition?

I believe that understanding how your EVP is made up, you will avoid many mistakes made by companies when attracting, hiring and retaining staff because every company has an EVP, whether you are aware of it or not.

Minchington (2005) defines an employer value proposition (EVP) as a set of associations and offerings provided by an organisation in return for the skills, capabilities and experiences an employee brings to the organisation. The EVP is an employee-centered approach that is aligned to an existing, integrated workforce planning strategies because it has been informed by existing employees and the external target audience. An EVP must be unique, relevant, and compelling if it is to act as a key driver of talent attraction, engagement and retention.

 Why is an employer value proposition important?

At its core, your EVP confirms the organisation's “purpose”, so employees know why they are getting up each day for work.  A strong EVP will keep the team working together, pulling in the same direction and, where there are conflicts, there is transparency and trust between management and team members, enabling easier and quicker solutions.  

A recent study of over 27,000 millennials and members of Generation Z completed by Deloitte* confirms that they want to work for ethical companies that put their people first. These sentiments have been further compounded by the pandemic. Placing people ahead of profits is a stand-out value that people talk about giving you a distinct advantage to attract and retain the best.  

How to strengthen your employee value proposition

Apply our People First model:  Purpose, compensation - benefits and rewards, company culture, and personal development.  

 1.      What is the core purpose of the company? 

Your core purpose is what is unique about the company and why it came about. It’s your reason for existence and your vision for the future.

 Consider: How is your core purpose communicated?  Are employees fighting for the cause? Do they know why they are turning up every day, apart from receiving a salary?

 2.     How does your compensation and benefits package compare with your competitors?   

Your compensation and benefits package needs to be competitive but you shouldn’t simply copy your competitors.  You have an opportunity to create a unique offering.

 Consider: What are your non-financial rewards?  Are they aligned with what your employees want?

 3.     How do employees describe the office culture?

The office culture is a good indicator of how things get done. It can be improved by listening to your employees and taking action that reflects their concerns.

  Consider: Do you have a culture of trust? Do you have a culture of fairness?

 4.     Do you offer personal development plans that align with the employee’s goals and aspirations? 

 A personal development plan builds on employees’ knowledge and skills, as well as their overall sense of identity. Activities could include anything from fulfilling a personal aspiration to learning a new skill.

Consider: Do all of your employees have a personal development plan? Are they reviewed regularly?


Your EVP cannot be ignored so it’s better to gain a thorough understanding of how your company is perceived through analysing the company’s purpose, compensation and benefits, culture, and employee development.   Surveys are great to gain data on how your employees feel and think about various issues. They are also useful for gathering information from employees that have left.  What comments have they written on or what did they say in their exit interview? Perception is reality, so it’s what people think and say about your company that makes it a company of choice.


If you would like to discuss anything raised in this article or want to assess how your people strategy compares with the industry please schedule a call or take our people strategy assessment.