Human Resources Today

When you work in marketing, it’s hard not to marvel at the sheer amount of data collected on customers. If you do market research right, you know everything about your target customer from their buying patterns to their personal lives to their political persuasions.

In human resources and talent functions, we collect data too. But it’s what I affectionately call “data between the doors”— typically data on employees from the moment they walk in the door to the moment they leave. We don’t have concrete data beyond work. And that makes it hard to market to employees. After all, you bring your whole self to work every day. 

When you’re having challenges in your personal life, you don’t check those at the door during your workday. And most employees think about work in some capacity when they aren’t working. Even a shift employee may be considering her upcoming schedule for the following day and how it impacts her life.

That’s why exaqueo created the Whole Self Model. It’s our distinct and proprietary research model, first of its kind, that serves to truly understand the employee’s whole self. And when I wrote about it for Harvard Business Review, our mindset was understanding employees fully so you can both market and engage talent.

At exaqueo, we don’t just collect data on the whole self, we practice it too. When you bring your whole self to work, you’re sharing your own values, and your own experiences including those from outside of work. And those diverse experiences are what make workplaces, and our work, even better.

Whole self also means taking energy from work and shifting it to other things. One way to do that is through paid time off (PTO). Our approach as a company is offering unlimited vacation, but we also take “shared PTO” too. Twice a year, the whole team takes a week off so we’re all on PTO at the same time. It means we can truly step away, and not return to a full inbox and a list of uncompleted tasks. We truly rejuvenate our whole selves.

Our first shared week of the year starts shortly—the week of the 4th of July in the United States and Canada Day in Canada. So across the next week, you’ll see our team proudly share what makes them whole. From relaxing to rejuvenating to renovating, our team will share snapshots of their #exaqueoPTO in the coming days online. Follow along and cheer on our fun. Better yet, rethink your approach to how you understand and engage with your colleagues and what makes them whole. When you know your audience in a full and complete way, the connections are always more impactful and meaningful.

Here’s to embracing the #WholeSelf!




Susan LaMotte (@SusanLaMotte) is the founder and CEO of exaqueo, an employer brand experience firm building employer brands and the talent strategies that drive them through research, consulting, and creative and digital execution. Contact exaqueo to learn more about our employer brand innovation, workforce research, and recruitment strategy offerings.




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