Not In My Freaking House... The Psychology of Emotional Leaders....
Tuition Aid - Who Offers, How Much and Of Course, Payback's a #####...

BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME: The Cynic's Guide to Building a Great Place to Work...

Capitalist Note:  I'm speaking today at Modern Healthcare's Best Places to Work Conference in Chicago.  I did the post below and the related whitepaper back in April, and while it's a Cynic's Guide to the Great Place to Work designation, it doesn't mean the companies being honored today in Chicago aren't doing great things - they are!  It does mean that the rest of us need a plan to figure out how we chase the designation if we think it has value.

Congrads to the all the healthcare companies being honored today by Modern Healthcare. Take a look at the whitepaper below if you have interest in pursuing the designation or want to spar a bit on the relative merits of the award.

Few terms in the business world spur as much emotion as the term "Great Place to Work" (GPTW). The result?  There are lots of opinions about the value of chasing the GPTW award/designation, including the following gems:

1. Cheerleader: "The GPTW award reflects who we are and how we treat people. Let's get the award so everyone knows what we stand for." Kinetix_buildit_single_large

2. Cynic: "The GPTW award is a necessary evil.  Let's go through the award process and play the game. If we get it, it'll help recruiting."

3. Basher: "The companies that chase the GPTW designation have the same issues we do.  I think it's counterproductive to chase the award."

Some think the award is great, some think it's total BS. Like most things, I tend to come down somewhere in between.  I've been lucky enough to work in a couple of corporate environments that were voted great places to work, and I can see both sides.  

BUT: When asked, you need to have an answer to the standard question from your C-Suite or Divisional Head: "How can we build a Great Place to Work and get the award?  What are you doing to help us do that?

You need some thought starters to answer that question and let them know more people than just you need to be involved.  We did a related whitepaper at Kinetix called The Cynic's Guide to Building a Great Place to Work, and rather than cheerlead and simply say it's great, we give you 4 easy steps and 4 hard steps that any company needs to take to build a GPTW, whether you chase the award or not.  

It's interesting stuff, so if you want to read more, go get the whitepaper here (registration required). Not a sales pitch, just interesting reading and a great way to answer the question when you hear it.  I wrote it, so if you like what you get here, you'll like the whitepaper...

If you find registration for content personally appalling, I don't even know who you are anymore.... Just kidding, just email me or hit me in the comments if you're hiding from the authorities and are naturally suspicious, and I'll send you the PDF...


Bob Corlett

OK, I almost never register to download, but this was worth it. Spot on advice and really well written. Dude, who knew you could write?

Julie Espy

Fascinating! We keep chasing the "Workplace of Choice" designation, but as a government agency, we'll never be able to "buy" some of the benefits you describe (although we do have no-cost health care - for now). Amazingly, we've got the last four things nailed (the hardest things) and can't seem to get the first four funded. Riding a bike on the freeways seems easy - but first you've got to get the bike!

Whoa! Coming awful close to Cynical Girl®™©, aren't you???


Devon Shane

Love your ideas! I will dig into that white paper. I love that you take the "cynic's perspective" of GPTW recognition. I am not a cynic about it and believe strongly in the benefits of creating a GPTW. However, I think many companies will benefit greatly from your perspective here as it seems to completely get away from the "woo woo" factor in creating a GPTW, if ya know what I mean.

Carl McDonald

The favorable comments have made me very curious, particulary the one that mentions your "cynic's perspective". I often think of myself as a cynic, but I think the word pragmatic sounds much more professional. So, I must see what you have to say on this matter. With that, please send me the whitepaper (sans registration).


Interesting stuff - thanks! I am cynical about companies chasing 'best company to work for' awards and the perceived value of these awards by would-be employees having worked for companies falling into this category! However, some good practical thoughts as to how to build a great place to work...

Jessica Ray

I will absolutely admit that, as a recruiter, I've been jealous of "those other companies" and would say that today, I'm a reformed Cheerleader/recovering Basher. Really loving the concept of buy then build here! I've seen companies that try to do the build without mastering the buy very well. Do you think one can be done without the other, successfully?


Hi Jessica -

I think doing one without the other (Build or Buy) is better than doing nothing, but won't get you the full results. I think you have to buy first, then create the build side. It's kind of like Maslow - you need to take care of the basic needs, then move up the pyramid...

Thanks - KD

The comments to this entry are closed.