Boroondara – It’s your working life

Article image - Boroondara – It’s your working life The Boroondara brand working group: (l - r) Coleen Cartwright, Eli Newton, Renata Popovic, Kelli Browne, Lisa Reynoldson, Roger Hicks, Chris Haspell, Dragan Lolic.
In a competitive employment market, successfully promoting an organisation as an employer of choice can boost the calibre of job applicants, the quality of the organisation, and provides an important tool in reducing costly staff turnover.

In January, the City of Boroondara in Melbourne launched a new internal and employer marketing brand: ‘The City of Boroondara – it’s your working life’.
Internal research had uncovered a need to update and consolidate Boroondara’s employer branding. Although staff felt that Boroondara genuinely delivered on its promise to provide a work/life balance, they felt its existing work/life balance brand had taken on a somewhat vanilla flavour.

Staff focus groups were held to identify ways to improve internal and recruitment communications at the City of Boroondara. This research revealed an opportunity to unify a range of Boroondara employment and internal communications brands.

Working together to formulate ‘The City of Boroondara – it’s your working life’ gave Council staff and leaders a strong sense of ownership of the brand and maximised its relevance to them.

According to Boroondara CEO Phil Storer, staff involvement in creating employer branding is very valuable. “We asked staff what they wanted from their work and their employer.  We established an employer brand working group, with representatives from all departments helping to develop and roll out the brand across the organisation.

“We found out what set Boroondara apart from other employers and where we could do things a little better.

“We also learnt more about the different goals staff have for their working life and how important it is to identify Boroondara as a flexible employer that values, supports and develops all staff and their diverse aspirations,” he said.

One of the aims of the new brand is to boost promotion of the many great opportunities for City of Boroondara staff, which include: a fantastic learning and development program; flexible, modern and efficient work processes; a high quality, relevant rewards and recognition program; a broad ranging staff wellbeing program; an active social club; a commitment to creating an enjoyable workplace; and the opportunity to make a difference to the local community.

Identifying the organisation’s strengths and highlighting those to current and potential staff is seen as an effective way of attracting and retaining great people.

Boroondara Mayor, Councillor Jack Wegman said, “The City of Boroondara is a leader in the local government sector; we are committed to social and environmental sustainability; and we have a reputation for innovation and excellence.

“Our staff are proud of the high quality work they do and the difference they make in the lives of local residents. Using these strengths to promote the City of Boroondara to potential and existing staff will help us maintain that reputation by continuing to attract great people who serve our community so well.

“We believe in providing an environment where employees thrive, both in the work they do and in how they learn and develop as people and professionals. This new branding communicates that,” said Cr Wegman.

The internal employer brand is closely linked to Boroondara’s five corporate values of integrity, collaboration, accountability, innovation and respect.

“For the branding change to succeed, it needs the support of all Boroondara managers and they must promote it by living our five values,” said Mr Storer.

“We want to make it clear to staff that we respect their ideas by encouraging them to share those ideas with their managers or through our internal blog.

“This new brand also forms the basis of our recruitment strategy. It features on all the marketing materials we will use to attract high calibre people to Boroondara,” said Mr Storer.

The City of Boroondara has entered the internal branding project into the prestigious Government Communications Australia Awards, with the results to be announced in mid-February.