Global Practices

Gaining Workplace Recognition



Hot on the heels of the Academy Awards each year, Fortune Magazine publishes its annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. Produced in partnership with the Great Places to Work Institute, the list is viewed, like the Oscars, as the gold standard for recognition.

But is securing – and maintaining – a place on Fortune’s list worth it? Entering requires a time investment to put together the written submission, which has detailed requirements including an employee survey and culture audit. Depending on how a company intends to garner workplace recognition to enhance its business goals, the answer may be “no.” Read on for tips to identify and secure the workplace rankings that will attract the type of recognition and talent your organization needs to succeed.

Step One: Determine Your Desired Outcomes

Start by identifying the overall business outcomes you’re looking to achieve, and identify the target audiences you are trying to influence, such as current and potential employees. This will help identify the types of workplace rankings and lists to pursue.

Step Two: Identify and Evaluate Workplace Rankings

Clear on your desired business outcomes and target audiences? Now it’s much easier to narrow down the universe of workplace recognition opportunities into specific and relevant lists for which you are eligible. Five questions to consider:

  1. Which media do your target audiences consume?
  2. For which rankings does your organization meet eligibility requirements?
  3. Which rankings are most influential?
  4. What is the methodology and approach for selecting winners?
  5. What level of commitment and resourcing is required?

Step Three: Develop a Differentiating Submission Strategy

Once you’ve identified a set of recognition targets that align with your business goals and recruiting strategy – and that are offered through reputable outlets that match your priority geographies, communities and business strengths – the real work begins. We partner with clients at this stage to create an action plan, with submission requirements for each opportunity, deliverables, deadlines and accountable parties.

Step Four: Create an A-List Submission

Create a best-in-class submission that effectively tells your company’s employee value proposition , and makes your company stand out from other entries and clearly highlights why you should be recognized. Regardless of which recognition opportunities you pursue, the following five criteria used by evaluators for the Fortune list are a helpful lens through which to view your submission:

  1. Variety – Breadth of programs, policies and methods for implementation
  2. Originality – Programs, policies and practices that are unique and creative, while “bearing the mark of the company”
  3. All-Inclusiveness – Programs, policies and practices that are for everyone
  4. Human Touch – A sense of appreciation, generosity and warmth in programs and policies
  5. Integration – Programs and policies that are linked by a central theme; an overarching framework in which the programs are delivered

Step Five: Don’t Forget the After Party

You’ve followed these steps and achieved recognition that matters – don’t forget to promote your hard work and maximize the impact with key stakeholders, potential recruits and employees. In addition to announcing the win internally, be sure to celebrate your hard-earned recognition externally and thank employees for their contributions and efforts.

To learn more about how to select and pursue the right workplace recognition programs for your organization, read this Connections article.

 Amy Kot is senior vice president, Employee Engagement.

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