Balancing promise and progress.
What to include (or not include) in your EVP usually can be evaluated by looking at two things — the timing of what you’re creating and the language you use when talking about initiatives that aren’t quite fully baked.
Consider your timing.
If you’re close to launching a really great initiative that you know needs to be part of your EVP to attract the right people, you can include it…as long as it’s going to be implemented by the time your EVP starts gaining traction.
For instance, let’s say you’re creating a really excellent rewards program, something you know your people and future talent will value. It’s set to launch next quarter—the vendor is set, the program mapped out, the budget locked in, and you have a standout name, visual identity and messaging. The rocket is rumbling on the pad—this thing is definitely going to launch.
So do you mention rewards in your EVP? Of course, because you’ve fully committed to delivering and it’s going to happen soon enough.
Use the right language.
But what about other initiatives that aren’t quite this far along? How do you decide if you want to include these in your EVP? Well, that boils down to how you talk about it. If you still have work to do, but you know your organization has good intentions and ambitions, you can capture the spirit of your intentions in an EVP.
The key is to use the right language to characterize your work-in-progress initiatives.
Fully baked versus work in progress.
You can look at your initiatives like chocolate chip cookies versus cookie dough. People find value in fully-baked cookies, but they also love cookie dough—although it is not yet baked, it still holds value in the hearts of those with a sweet tooth. Both can be very attractive, it’s just a matter of how you talk about them.
Let’s look at how we talk about a program that’s fully baked.
A company that has a mature and robust leadership development offering might say that “we offer a comprehensive training and development process to keep you challenged, engaged, and growing as a leader and as a professional.” It’s very specific.
But what if you’re still at the cookie dough stage? Here we’d say you can include leadership development in your EVP if you use the right language and highlight your passion and your commitment, which are valuable to prospects in their own right.
So instead of saying “we offer a comprehensive training and development program” you might say “we are committed to creating the leaders of tomorrow through an ever-growing foundation of training and support.”
It’s a little softer, but still meaningful, especially when it reflects your true commitment and beliefs as an organization. As long as you can support it with some tangible assets today and you’re confident more great stuff is coming, it really comes down to how you say it.
Striking the right balance.
When it comes to balancing today’s realities with tomorrow’s ambitions, we say if improvements are imminent, you can be specific.
If they are not quite baked but reflect a true commitment of your organization, lean into your excitement for them and include them in your EVP using broader—but still motivating—language.
In the end you should always work to be authentic and honest about the value you’re providing. It matters, especially to young talent who respect transparency. They don’t need you to be perfect, they just need you to be honest.