Many organisations can become slightly ‘fazed’ by the sheer ‘depth’ and ‘width’ of a rigorously-researched EVP. But ‘doing it properly’ very often means involving people from all parts of your enterprise – and certainly demands buy-in and active participation from senior stakeholders. Over the past decade and a half, our team has developed a five step process that engages with the optimum number of people in an organisation – and ensures that a highly-engaged internal population is a key outcome. So what are those five key phases?
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1. SURVEY YOUR EMPLOYEE BASE
For most organisations of any size, the first part of the Research Phase consists of a ‘focused’ online survey to all employees. This should obtain employees’ perspective of the values and culture of the organisation – and forms the framework for the rest of the project.
2. SPEAK TO YOUR PEOPLE
Extensive qualitative employee research is vital is you’re going to understand the primary motivations and key drivers of your people. An appropriate number of focus groups across the key candidate markets make real sense of the results from the first stage of the research. Keep the groups semi-structured and allow your employees to talk in-depth about your company, as well as gauging their thoughts on the employer brand. Create a sample that fairly reflects gender, age, length of service, etc. – as well as hierarchical levels – and we always recommend crafting communications to all staff to raise awareness of the research and its purpose.
3. LISTEN TO YOUR LEADERS
The third element of the proposal complements the focus groups and is a one-to-one meeting with a senior Director of each of your main Business divisions. It’s an approach we have pioneered – following each day of Focus Groups, our Researchers (armed with what they have just learnt) speaks to the relevant Business Director about what people have said – and asks him/her to comment and to give their perspective on the working culture and on the potential EVP. The benefit of this is that senior management are brought into the concept and feel that they have ‘had their say’.
After the Focus Groups and Interviews have been completed, our team creates a report which presents the findings in an insightful, useable way. All told, we have been conducting Focus Groups with large businesses for more than fifteen years and are able to succinctly distill the mass of commentary into actionable outcomes. It’s also important to note that the people who run the focus groups are the people who write the report. This ensures that reporting is ‘first hand’ and that we get verbal and non-verbal feedback. This report forms the basis of a collaborative workshop, consisting of our Research team, our Creative Brand team and the client steering team. Our Research team do not simply produce and ‘hand over a report’, but continue to work as a part of the core team, available to provide input where required. This output-driven workshop results in action plans and ‘next steps’.
5. CONSOLIDATE THE VIEWS
Once all of the Surveys, Focus Groups, Interviews and Data have been considered in the workshop, we can then take the nascent concepts and test them with employees across the company. Rather than taking a sample (too clumsy, not inclusive), we again ask a broad section of employees for their opinions on the ideas formed so far. The output from this shows which concepts or values chime most with the population and can feed into the final decisions – once again, with the entire workforce (at all levels) feeling that they have had the chance to provide input.
Follow those five steps and you’re going to have a highly engaged internal audience – and the beginnings of a robustly researched EVP. It would be great to have your thoughts and experiences on the matter – and if you have any questions, do get in touch.
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