The importance of the EVP and the IVP in optimising the employee experience

By Dr Lydia Cillié-Schmidt

When I heard Deon de Swardt from Mercer mention the term IVP (Individual Value Proposition) during his presentation at the SABPP’s 6th Annual HR Standards Summit and HR Standards Awards, it triggered me to re-examine some ideas regarding the EVP (Employment Value Proposition). The Corporate Leadership Council defined the EVP as the set of attributes that the labour market and employees perceive as the value they gain through employment with an organisation. Many organisations set out to define exactly what their EVP is to manage it better to attract and retain the best talent.

The Corporate Leadership Council some years ago also identified four main mistakes in managing the EVP, namely: misalignment with employee preferences, lack of segmentation across employee groups, failure to deliver on the attributes of the EVP and poor differentiation of the EVP (leading to what Bill Boorman and Ali Hackett and their whitepaper “EVP to IVP” call “Employer Bland” where the message across organisations are very similar).

Thinking of these challenges, together with the drive to personalise HR and to optimise the employee experience by focusing on the individual’s expectations and needs, the most obvious answer is that organisations need an overall EVP, as well as a segmented EVP addressing different employee groups. This may however not address critical expectations of the individual employee, necessitating line managers and recruitment staff to know what value individuals perceive to get from the organisation and what value they would like to get from the organisation, and what the gap between the two entails. This information is then used to personalise the EVP to sufficiently cover individual expectations. This shaping of the Individual Value Proposition (IVP) requires extensive engagement with individuals and great flexibility from the organisation.

Bill Boorman and Ali Hackett and their whitepaper “EVP to IVP” defines the difference between the EVP and the IVP as follows: “The EVP is macro level; top down. It has often been carefully cultivated by creative recruitment communications specialists and distilled to be as direct as possible. By contrast, a person’s Individual Value Proposition (or IVP) tends to be multi-faceted. Candidates will want to know about micro-level details of the job in hand from both a personal and professional perspective”.

It is clear that both the EVP and the IVP plays a major role in optimising the employee experience.

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