Are ‘Best Places to Work’ studies worth the time?

There are several studies that exist today that recognize top employers.  For example, in Canada some well known studies are:

  • Canada’s Top 100 Employers
  • Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures™
  • Best Workplaces in Canada
  • Canada’s Best Employers

These studies take time to complete and with multiple priorities one has to ask — is it worth the time?

To participate or not to participate…

Although these studies take time and resources to complete, some more than others, it is well worth the effort.  Having top employer awards can be that “stamp of approval” from outside the organization to validate that you are indeed a great employer. This adds to the internal pride of employees and external validation of your employer brand message.  Some of the benefits of participating in these studies are as follows:

  • Intelligence on employee engagement

Organizations should be measuring employee engagement/culture/satisfaction at least on an annual basis.  Some of the studies require employee input which provides you with the opportunity to receive third party feedback on how your employees feel.  This is valuable feedback and allows you to prioritize, measure progress and develop programs and practices that are in alignment with employee needs, your brand and company objectives.

  • Benchmarking

Some of these studies will allow you the opportunity to benchmark your organizations against others.    Organizations of all sizes can benefit from benchmarking.  Benchmarking provides additional insight on successful practices of others that you can consider implementing within your own organization.

  • Being a great workplace is good for the bottom line

Companies recognized as a great place to work perform 3x better than the general market (Russell Investment Group).   When you participate in these studies it motivates employees and leaders to improve performance.  These studies do not encourage complacency.  The bar is always raised annually so it forces you to think of innovative ways to attract, retain and engage your talent to impact the bottom line.

Final Thoughts

Although we see tremendous value for an organization to participate in these studies, we strongly recommend that you consider the following prior to participating:

  • Plan

We recommend that as part of your employer branding strategy you review all studies available and work with the executive team to choose the ones that suit your culture and reflect the image you want to perceive.

Furthermore, there are some studies that you may want to use as a goal or KPI for a specific employer branding strategy such as being recognized as a great place to work for women.

  • Employee participation

Not all studies are created equal so make sure you do your homework.   If you want to be recognized as a top employer then it is important that the study solicits feedback from your employees.

  • Follow-up

When considering how many studies to participate in, don’t forget to build in time for follow-up.  When asking your employees to participate in a study it is important that you thank them for their time but to also follow-up with them on the results.  When employees participate in these studies they want to know what is going to happen with the results.  Make sure you take the time to put together a follow-up plan so that you can communicate your commitment to employees upfront.

  • Don’t forget to celebrate!

Make sure that when you do win that award you take time to celebrate.  A lot of organizations participate in these studies so to be formally recognized is a huge accomplishment.   You should collaborate with your peers and brand ambassadors on how to best promote all wins and make sure that it is integrated into all your people practices (i.e. careers site etc.)

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