“The Best” Lists- A Little Ranting


July 20, 2009

Ok.  We’ve all heard of the numerous magazines that have lists of “the best”.  The best places to work, the best place for working mothers, the best place to (fill in the blank).   While being on a list is often very desirable for the company, I get frustrated with the reasoning, or lack of, behind it.

I once had someone tell me at a former company that we needed a plan to get on one of these lists.  My response was….you shouldn’t DO something to get on a list.  If the company is doing what is in the best interest of the employees; what is progressive in terms of flexibility, benefits, compensation strategy, training and development, and special programs, the company will have happy employees.

Happy Employees = Being “The Best”.

What do you think?


  • Yikes! A strategy or initiative should not be to “get on a list”. That makes me question their motive. Companies should be setting their own “best” … and I vote for happy employees too.

  • This ‘make the list’ mentality is really prevalent in Higher Ed, where getting the school on the ‘right’ list in a prominent place is seen as really important. It could be that eventually the ability of ad-hoc rating sites and feedback sites will reduce the importance of these official sounding lists, and organizations will worry less about them in the future.

  • I liken this post to a “Saved by the Bell” episode I was watching as I worked out last week- Miss Bliss was being evaluated for a teacher of the year award, and the only day the evaluation team could come observe her style of teaching was a day before mid terms. Turned out it was a huge distraction to her students, to have the people there observing, so she had to make the ultimate choice- the award or prepping her students for the mid term. She excused the evaluation team to focus on the midterm. Her students did amazing on the test and she WON the “teacher of the year award.” I, like Miss Bliss, would rather do things the right way, day in and day out, and maybe not win the award, rather than gunning for the specific award.

    Another good example is Social Media- everyone wants to throw a Facebook fan page up, or a Linked in group, or a company Twitter account for looks. “we need to have those buttons and presence to look cool or Hip.” Prove something to their clients or potential candidates. In reality, it takes work and strategy to feed the beast (SM) really engage clients and potential clients.

    Sorry for the RANT-

  • Employees can absolutely tell the difference between a management team that is truly trying to create a great place to work from one who is trying to be recognized for having a great place to work.
    I worked with a team leader who once told me – do your job as best as you can, and promotion takes care of itself. While I found that to be true, I also watched people who could play the game well move faster than I did. They didn’t make it for the long haul however.
    So give me a management team that doesn’t care for the awards, but for their people, and that’s where I want to work.

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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