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Research Report

4 Misconceptions About Employee Value Propositions that Every Campus Leader Needs to Confront

September 22, 2023, By Brooke Thayer, Senior Director, Research Development

Key Insights

Higher education is facing high levels of staff turnover, widespread employee disengagement, and a broader competitive set that increasingly includes out-of-sector employers. As a result, campus leadership teams can no longer rely on their student value proposition and institutional brand to attract and retain a talented workforce. Instead, they must invest in creating and articulating a clear and compelling employee value proposition (EVP).

What is an employee value proposition (EVP)? An employee value proposition is all the ways through which an organization provides value to employees and convinces people to want to work (and stay) there.

EVP is a best practice in the corporate world, but has only recently begun to infiltrate higher ed. Many colleges and universities have not yet adapted their talent strategy to compete beyond compensation or explain why exactly employees should work at their institution. But given higher ed’s weakening competitive position on pay and other benefits, campus leaders will have to clearly define, strengthen, and articulate a compelling EVP if they are going to attract and retain top talent.

Since EVP is still quite new to the higher ed sector, EAB conducted a series of research interviews with out-of-sector employers to pinpoint transferrable lessons and practices from organizations with years of experience investing in EVP. Below, we have outlined some of the most common misconceptions about EVPs among higher ed leaders―and what they must know and do instead.

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