Is your EVP ready to pass the new Millennial test.

In part two of a four part blog series, we continue exploring the EVP challenge of the ‘Millennial’ and what it means for EVP builders, HR practitioners and employment brands.


  • What are organisations dealing with?
  • Which typical Millennial traits are we encountering?
  • Where’s a good place to start the process of EVP refinement


Let’s open with another piece of research.

“40% of Millennials are willing to pay extra for a brand that reflects the image they wish to convey about themselves. (Compared to 25% of non-Millennials.)”[1]

I do not enjoy making a habit of tweaking research to suit findings, but if you substitute the word pay for invest – you obtain a sense of what eBrands and our clients encounter during the research phases of our EVP projects. Millennials feel a deeper sense of identity with the brands they associate with, and this unabashedly reflects in how passionately they talk about their work and career choices.

Some themes we are seeing regularly :

  • Validation of millennial cultural origins as digital natives
  • No hesitation in challenging workplace ‘ceilings’ and project obstacles
  • The ‘You only live once’ mentality
  • Social ties and approval routes back to the collective and consensus
  • Responsibility and sense of duty borne of greater good
  • An appreciation of dialogue, recognition and approval[2]

Without dissecting the above further with the attention it merits, a useful summary for the purposes of this blog is to consider that the Millennial idea for employment give and get has shifted from Return on Investment to Return on Involvement.

Previously, what was:

“If I work hard, keep my head down, don’t rock the boat, stay late and start early, I might get a promotion?”

Has become:

“If I was to be a part of this – what we are trying to achieve together – what does it mean and what do we stand for? How do I have input? Is what I am doing correct? What is stopping us and let’s fix it? Will we have a good experience? Can I get the most out of today?”

Many corporates and organisations sport EVP’s that are outmoded or are out of sync with the modern employment context, and the longer it continues, the greater the risks. Disconnects appear either with potential recruits (millennial’s lacking clear perception on the EVP offer and by proxy their “reason to join”) or with the new staff intake (millennial’s perceiving the EVP externally on their terms, only to subsequently experience a reality that did not match their perception). The pace of employment brand erosion has a multiplier effect as new talent continually routes their views back to consensus.

The first thing to think about when refining the EVP in the light of the Millennial challenge?

The basic rubrics of the Research (planning, learning, and insights for effective use in strategy) do not change; but the very first step is for an organization to transparently acknowledge it’s need for collaborative introspection and to clearly frame the benefits of the EVP process for the workplace population, opening the doors for input from Millennials, X’ers, Boomers and vitally, the tenured.

Cultural alignment does not happen by running a project as an island. Some thoughts on how to do this (focusing on the millennial context), next week.

[1] Christine Barton, Lara Koslow, Christine Beauchamp, The Reciprocity Principle, How Millennials Are Changing the Face Of Marketing Forever (The Boston Consulting Group, Jan 2014)

[2] We’ll explore the impact of these themes individually in future blog posts.


The Millennial Series

Comments? Thoughts?