Knowing your cause is one of the quintessential pillars in building people community within your business. Simon Sinek states ‘people don’t buy what you do, but why you do it’. So why do you do what you do? What is you value? What is your value to market and what is your value proposition to your employees? How do you attract talent and motivate those working for you?

The value proposition to market is made up of two parts. The tangible (easily measured) value you would add to a customer, for example, a fully automated online retail service which saves the customer tangible time. The intangible (not easily measured) value would be what the customer experiences when engaging with that service. The item is delivered on time and in perfect condition and the customer experiences a feeling of trust, confidence and ease.

Likewise, the people proposition, or employee value proposition is made up of the two same parts. Tangible value would be commensurate pay, development opportunities and physical rewards. Whereas one would describe the intangible value as ‘feeling’ part of a team or experiencing ease of work.

Employer Brand Value Equation

Value is the combination of the tangible and intangible value proposition to market combined with tangible and intangible value proposition to your employees.


Let us play with that a little. So, we have a fully automated online retail service – why are we in business?

It’s not what we sell but why we sell it. We have automated this service because we are about the future – ‘we believe in the future’. We believe in doing things that make the future better. Not only do we innovate using a futuristic mind set, but we ensure that the service makes consumers lives better. Translated as employee value – we believe in our employee’s future. We hire and grow innovators and we make sure that our employee’s futures are better for having worked for us. Our internal tagline essentially becomes ‘you are our future’. This becomes the employee value proposition.

Walt Disney for example. Their tagline reads ‘Happiest place on earth’. Their value to market is creating movies that result in happiness for the customer. Their tangible value add is well made movies. Their intangible value add is happiness. Translated to the employee, Walt Disney gives tangible opportunity for employees to exercise and learn skill on some of the biggest movies sets in the world and intangibly should provide equal happiness for their employees. If done well, their employee value proposition would be ‘we are happy’.

Apple’s tagline is ‘Think Different’. Their tangible value add to market is technology that has proven ‘different’, disruptive, well designed and intuitive to use. The intangible value add for the consumer is the resounding warmth at being able to engage with technology and feeling clever as a result. Status and the invariable feeling of being ahead of the pack follows. How does this translate to the employees? Tangibly they can use state of the art laboratories and equipment. Intangibly they should experience the thrill of high performance, creative energy and being a part of teams that produce what millions around the world want. Their essential employee value proposition could very well read ‘making a difference’ or ‘we are the difference’.

To land, it is important to keep two key elements in mind. Firstly, your value proposition to market must align with your employee value proposition. Having value to market as innovation but majoring on compliance with your employees will create a different brand message to market. Bear in mind that creating employee value is about creating brand ambassadors for your entity. What message are they taking to market?

Secondly, be authentic. When exploring the ‘why’ do not attempt to take on the cause or culture of another business. Be who you are. Are you high performing ? Be the A types. If compliance turns you on, be the King III’s. Is innovation your key driver? Then be the mad scientists you are.

Why does your business exist? What is your tangible and intangible value to market? What is your tangible and intangible value to your employees?
When these questions are answered successfully you have the axis for people community within your business and the platform for a powerful Employer Brand.

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