August 15, 2022

University of Phoenix’s College of Doctoral Studies has released a whitepaper titled “Aligning Employer and Employee Perspectives on Successful and Sustainable Work and Life Balance.” This newly published paper explores the methods that can be put into practice to create a mutual perspective on work and life balance between employers and employees.

The whitepaper incorporates insights from Sandra G. Sessoms-Penny, Ed.D., faculty member of University of Phoenix’s College of Education and fellow of the University’s Center for Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Research (CWDIR). These insights illuminate data from the 2022 University of Phoenix Career Institute™ Career Optimism Index® study.

With these insights in mind, the whitepaper describes how work-life balance perceptions between employers and employees can present challenges. The paper goes on to explain that these perceptions should be aligned if retention and brand perception in the talent market represented in the Great Resignation are to improve.

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The Career Optimism Index® Study

The Career Optimism Index® study is one of the most comprehensive studies of U.S. workers’ personal career perceptions. University of Phoenix’s Career Institute™ conducts research for the study annually to provide insights into current workforce trends and help identify solutions to support and enhance U.S. citizens’ careers and create equity in the workplace.

The University’s second annual study saw more than 5,000 U.S. adults surveyed about their feelings on their careers. Respondents commented on their concerns, challenges and the extent to which they are positive about the core aspects of their careers and their futures.

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University of Phoenix’s Career Institute™ conducted the study among a diverse, representative sample of U.S. adults to allow for gender, generational, racial and socioeconomic differences. The study also includes further analysis of workers in the leading media markets across the country to identify geographic nuances.

This year, the study also focused on the results from 500 U.S. employers who are influential or have a critical role in hiring and workplace decisions across a range of departments, company sizes and industries. This segment of the study provided a comparison between the workforce and those responsible for hiring, training and retaining them.

“Aligning Employer and Employee Perspectives” Whitepaper

In the whitepaper, the importance of mutual perspectives between employers and employees is particularly apparent:

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“Aligned perspectives impact the bottom lines within the organization in support of organizational growth and employee development. The following areas may result in misalignment of perceptions: profits and losses by the organization, sustainability, competitiveness with other organizations, retention of the best-qualified employees, work-life balance for employees, vertical and horizontal trust, job satisfaction, employee productivity, a pipeline of skilled and trained workers and social responsibility.

“When organizations offer benefits and services the employees do not see as a benefit or enough of a benefit to influence the employees’ work or life balance, this becomes problematic.”

University of Phoenix’s Sandra G. Sessoms-Penny

Before taking on her role with University of Phoenix, Sessoms-Penny spent 13 years working as a teacher, school administrator and instructional leader in the public sector at elementary, middle and high-school levels in the Commonwealth of Virginia. She also completed a Doctor of Education Degree in Educational Administration and Policy Studies from George Washington University.

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In addition, she has served for more than 21 years in the United States Air Force, culminating in her military career as a senior-level non-commissioned officer and paralegal superintendent in military law offices located in the U.S. and in Europe.

Sessoms-Penny has been a faculty member with University of Phoenix since 2009. In reference to the data collated for the creation of the whitepaper, Sessoms-Penny remarked:

“Employees desire to see the proof and be recognized for identifying what they need now versus later in their careers. Aligned perspectives impact the bottom lines within the organization in support of organizational growth and employee development. The greatest opportunity to align perspectives is manifested when the employers give employees the opportunity to share their insight into the problem and possible solutions.”

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The “Aligning Employer and Employee Perspectives on Successful and Sustainable Work and Life Balance” whitepaper is available to access in full.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is dedicated to supporting the educational goals of adult and nontraditional learners as they choose the career options and degree programs that best suit their interests. The University’s degree programs are aligned with numerous in-demand career paths including in cybersecurity, nursing and business, and they provide flexible start dates, online classes and many scholarship opportunities to make it possible for all students to earn the degree they desire.

In addition, University of Phoenix’s Career Services for Life® commitment to active students and graduates provides the resources needed to be prepared when entering the workforce for no additional charge. These services include career guidance, education and networking opportunities and resume and interview support. For more information, visit

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