“when in doubt, go with the smiley face…”

Working at Alcon in the 1990’s and early ’00’s, one of our key focal points (as directed to us by our superiors) was to be placed on & then remain on the “Fortune 100 Best Companies To Work For.”

HR became a Public Relations firm ~ we needed to know who got the survey (the “anonymous respondents”), what they might say, and how many had completed the process. Getting on the list is almost a losing proposition ~ at one point we were ranked in the top 10, so you can imagine the pressure on the group to stay at that level in future years.

I bring this up now because SHRM/SHRM-Texas State Council/Texas Monthly have announced a new initiative to recognize the “Top 100 Texas Companies to Work For.”

Pain in the…..

If I’m SVP of HR for a local company, this just became priority #1. If I’m anyone else in HR, this just became my newest nightmare, because guess who is going to be completing the survey? Oy.

The survey requires a lot of data, a lot of research, and a lot of corporate awareness. In these respects, it would be a helpful exercise for ANY HR group to compile, if for no other reason than to have the information (turnover, EEOC claims, gender breakdown, Wellness programs, etc., etc.) available for your business leaders.

But, being the skeptical being that I am, one question in particular seems a little suspicious as it relates to “Best Places to Work.” Remember, this is not OFFICIAL, only one of a list of sample questions currently presented on

Q: What professional HR Certifications are currently held by your organization’s HR staff? Listed: PHR, SPHR, GPHR, CCP, CBP, GRP, WLCP

Does that seem a little “promotional” to you? To anyone outside of your HR department (and SHRM), what does this question have to do with the price of tea in China? Hmmmmmmm, not sure I like that one.

Regardless of the final question make-up, get your PR shoes shined and ready.

John “Whit” Whitaker is Founder and OH (Original Hardballer); like this post? Try this one, this one, or even this one….go ahead, don’t be a weenie.