Case Study: Employee Value Proposition at Kuoni Group

The key to the success of this EVP project was really getting to grips with the needs of two distinct businesses (Kuoni Group’s Global Travel Distribution (GTD) and Global Travel Services (GTS) divisions) operating in culturally different landscapes, in a rapidly changing industry. We worked closely with our client to develop a compelling global EVP with a clear, actionable, five-year implementation plan.

The goal

Kuoni GTD and GTS wanted to create a global Employee Value Proposition EVP to focus, first and foremost, on improving employee engagement.  They wanted a consistent global approach to engagement, built on sound knowledge of what really makes a difference to people in the overall experience of working for those divisions.  They also wanted to establish a set of standards and leadership behaviours to guide their managers to deliver this employee experience.

Secondly, they wanted to improve their employer brand to help attract and retain key skills in their competitive markets, with an aim over time to significantly leverage their brand’s USPs, as an employer, to reduce cost of hire.

In essence they wanted to:

  • make their organisation a better place to work
  • improve employee engagement consistently, helping the business to grow and succeed
  • make sure they are focused on the initiatives that will deliver most value to their employees and the business
  • attract and keep great people
  • be clear about the behaviours required by frontline managers and their people

Establishing an EVP was seen to be an inclusive, engaging and commercial approach, creating a clarity of focus and transparency around the ‘deal’ between the employee and the organisation, which can be monitored and measured and which has the potential to enable the step change in the engagement they were seeking.

What we did

Buy-in from Senior Managers

We wanted to quickly get to grips with the motivations for both sides of the ‘deal’.  We were lucky enough to be able to take advantage of the top 75 Senior Managers Conference in Bangkok, where we started the buy-in process for the People Deal (what Kuoni GTD and GTS called their EVP).  We gathered insights on what managers needed more of from their employees and what they themselves needed from the business to stay engaged and motivated ie. both sides of the deal.

Executive Team direction

We interviewed the Executive team to understand what they thought employees needed, to better help support the business strategy over the coming years.

Employee voices

Using their comprehensive Employee Opinion Survey data and other local insights, and using our extensive knowledge of what motivates people in the workplace, we were able to put together a draft EVP at this early stage.  We flex our methodology depending on the clients starting point and what process will work best for their people. Our aim is always to create the most effective process.  For this project the main aim was to improve engagement and really understand where cultural differences were significant in terms of what was truly driving engagement.  We knew the best way to achieve this was to start the engagement process immediately and meet with employees face-to-face.  We travelled to key employee hubs to run focus groups in nine locations globally, including Australia, China, Japan, Indonesia, Dubai, US and Europe.

We tested the draft EVP in these focus groups to see which elements were most important to people, what was missing, whether the language translated well in all countries, and how ‘real’ (actionable now versus aspirational) was it.  We used a solutions-focused approach to understand which things would make a real impact on engagement.  The result enabled us to simplify the EVP to five key themes.

These five themes we tested in a global-wide, all-inclusive employee survey so we could make final tweaks and make sure that overall the suggested People Deal was more real than aspiration, in this case we were looking for 70% real and 30% aspiration. The testing also told us which elements of the EVP appealed more to each segment of the workforce and therefore which messages to highlight to these groups.

The Kuoni Group Global EVP Process talentsmoothie case study diagram
The Kuoni Group Global EVP Process

Key project outputs

  • The EVP or People Deal itself
  • An HR strategy which outlines 20 areas to focus on until 2020, to improve engagement
  • A priority 2 year plan which focuses on the 5 areas that will have the biggest impact on engagement
  • A plan which ensures Managers are focused on delivering the People Deal – 40% of their objectives are attached to the People Deal, and support and guidance to help them succeed

The difference we made

  • We increased engagement through the process as we gave people an opportunity to be understood and have their say
  • Kuoni GTD and GTS now know exactly where to focus their time and money to make a tangible difference in engagement with their clear action plan ”20 for 2020”
  • They are clear where the differences are across segments, such as talent groups and culture, and what changes need to be made in their approach to get the best results

The People Deal has created a global community with a shared purpose.  The online People Deal website (see screenshots below), created for the launch, shares the actions people are taking around the world to make it more of a reality day-by-day.

The Kuoni Group Global EVP Process website screenshot talentsmoothie case study
The Kuoni Group Global EVP Process website screenshot talentsmoothie case study

“talentsmoothie… a true partner

We chose talentsmoothie, ahead of other consultancies, to develop our global EVP because of their personal approach and the speed in which they quickly understood what we needed. They were a true partner throughout and it felt like they were a natural extension of our own team. This made successfully delivering the project so much easier and they really produced the results we needed. Of course it was also talentsmoothie’s professionalism and vast experience in organisation culture, generational knowledge, and their general understanding of what motivates global employees in the workplace that were critical to the success of the project.
Lorraine Slattery — former Chief HR Officer & James Reuben — former Vice President, Kuoni Global Travel Services

If you found this Employee Value Proposition case study of interest and would like to know more about our EVP work in Kuoni Group or discuss how a similar project might work for your organisation, call Justine James on +44 (0)7710 778961 or email her at

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