When it comes to the employer branding debate, it’s not so much about the brand itself. Perceptions and feelings people have toward a workplace exist with or without actively managing them. The debate is more around how an organization is structured to support it. Many responsibilities fit distinctly under specific functions within the organizational chart. Benefits administration aligns to human resources, business development sits within sales, and helpdesk support falls under information technology.
For employer branding, it's not as cut and dry as you may think.
The term “work-life balance” has been so frequently tossed around in the past decade that it has almost become meaningless -- a vague, distant goal that most claim to strive for but no one seems to wholly attain. In Silicon Valley especially, where your lack of sleep is a bragging right and the 40-hour workweek feels like a thing of the past, it’s easy to lose sight of the value of a meaningful life outside work, and some even view it as an impediment to professional success.
Child-care centers can be expensive and complex to run. But companies say they pay off in employee morale and retention.
One of the largest day-care centers in Atlanta has more than 66,000 square feet of outdoor and indoor space, including three playgrounds, basketball courts and a water play area. To enroll their children, parents must meet one big requirement: work for Home Depot Inc.
Even in industries known for insane hours, you can have a personal life if you're smart about your time.
Work-life balance sounds great, but it's getting tougher to achieve. Managers and staff often don't see eye to eye on time spent between the two. Several studies also indicate that the traditional workweek is getting longer. In certain industries such as accounting, law, consulting, or at startups in general, that balance is assumed to be impossible. The "80-hour workweeks" people complain about mean there's no time for everything else.
It seems only yesterday that HR Communicators were focused on employee engagement and how to better engage employees through more effective communications, onsite events and employee town halls, employee opinion surveys, and collaborative technology.
Just as we’ve gained a better understanding of employee engagement, now we’ve started hearing a lot about employer brand. At a Talent Brand summit I attended earlier this year, the conversation drifted back and forth between employee engagement and employer brand. And as I participated in the discussions, I realized that many of the attendees were using the words interchangeably while other attendees were asking, “What’s the difference between employee engagement and employer brand?”
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Shannon Smedstad (@shannonsmedstad) is a Lead Consultant & Project Manager for exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps organizations build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about our employer brand innovation, workforce research and recruiting strategy offerings.