Employee Value Proposition: Recognition is Social Proof

A lot of companies are investing time and money into getting their employer branding right with one goal in mind: improving their ability to attract talent. Maybe your company’s one of them. It’s important because prospective applicants need to understand why working in your company will be a better experience than choosing to work somewhere else. A major part of that branding process is finding ways to successfully articulate your employee value proposition (EVP).

What is an employee value proposition?

In a nutshell, an employee value proposition defines the employment deal – what’s in it for the employee. The very best EVPs clearly spell out all the unique offerings, associations and values that come from being an employee of a company, so potentially an effective employee value proposition can help make a really strong case for why someone should join your company.

However, the existence of a branding strategy doesn’t automatically mean everything is as it needs to be with your employee value proposition . Far from it. There is always a risk that employer branding could unintentionally become a picture painting exercise that focuses on how you want the world to see the company. In this day and age, candidates are looking for more. They’ll be looking for online social proof to colour in the picture of what life’s really like in your organisation.

A lot of companies recognise this; they develop social media presence where they’d expect to find their customers online and increasingly they’re also thinking about where future employees could be found too. Those employees of the future are likely to be looking at employee review sites like Glassdoor and they’ll also be looking at your company’s social media accounts.

“What are the kinds of things happening there? What’s the feel of the company? Does it look like a great place to work – could I be happy there…?” These are just some of the questions they’ll have. If they’re asking those questions about your company, how can you help them find the answers? One way could be by using the content you’re already generating via your employee recognition program.

How does recognition help?

Employee recognition can be a really good way to tell people outside the organisation about what’s going on inside it. All those great stories generated through recognition are a brilliant and colourful way to illustrate what your company’s all about and to genuinely show your authenticity as a business.

Recognition stories help people who are actively seeking information about what life’s like working for your company. At the same time they could also attract people who aren’t actively job hunting. Stories can engage, appeal and entertain while simultaneously offering insights into what both your employees and your organisation’s like. Recognition stories build a positive and realistic image of your company. That can be attractive even if job hunting isn’t on their mind right now.

Businesses have usually found it straightforward to communicate the tangible aspects of their employee value proposition like pay, holidays and benefits packages. Marketing the less tangible but equally important aspects like culture, values, appreciation, relationships, teamwork and social events has been more difficult. While these are all much harder to convey, they are the key to an employee value proposition with authenticity.

Today’s employees are looking for social proof about those things. Employee recognition is a vehicle to both capture and then communicate many of the intangibles mentioned. It’s authentic because the days of hierarchy-dominated recognition are behind us and today’s employee recognition programs are employee-driven, peer to peer and social.

That makes the content within today’s employee recognition programs just about the best barometer any future employee can have on many of the intangibles within your employee value proposition . So don’t delay, get the hundreds and thousands of great recognition moments out there for all to see, it is valuable and authentic social proof of what it is really like to work for your company.