Trying to make a best workplace list is not a marketing strategy. It is a people strategy.
Making the “list” should be based on treating employees with trust and respect.
If your great workplace initiative is being championed by the marketing department, that’s a good sign it’s being done for the wrong reasons. If it’s a marketing strategy, employees will see right through it.
Legitimate best workplace awards create a robust system that prevents opportunistic companies from pursuing an award for the wrong reasons. Legitimate awards are based on quantifiable data that includes a significant statistical sample of employee attitudes, evaluation of company programs and benefits, and possibly a CEO interview.
Avoid lists that are merely a popularity contest. I have seen newspapers and magazines create great workplace lists that are based on the number of votes on a website. That is absurd. Unethical organizations can stack the deck with illegitimate votes.
Create a great culture first. Then start the process of making a list. After you make a list for the right reasons, then tell the world.