As the survey season takes hold, for many reading the lists can become an addiction. Every prestigious magazine or newspaper counts down the top 100 best places to live, best companies to work, best industry to meet a partner, ways to make a million. You get the idea. The richest man in the world, the richest women, pop star, rap artist, pop artist, actor, atheistic, the list is endless and I say bring it on, we love surveys.

Surveys help us to understand where we are in the order of things, the average male and female. Whilst subtly reminding us that out there in the world are people who are more powerful, richer, talented and beautiful than we will ever be!

Often the surveys are superficial and do not delve below the surface, only demonstrating how and why those listed have become so rich, or made it to the very top of the company. There in itself is a whole new market and genre of self help books, many written by individuals listed in such surveys.

Researching the Fortune 100 must involve extensive work, polling each company and business person. In fact, it is practicably impossible. Therefore surveys understandably work with in certain parameters.

In selecting The 100 Best Companies to Work For, Fortune partners with the Great Place to Work Institute conducted the most extensive employee survey in corporate America with280 firms participating in 2012. 246,000 employees from the companies surveyed responded. (Any company that is at least five years old and has more than 1,000 U.S. employees was eligible).

How are the winners chosen?

Two-thirds of a company’s score is based on the results of the institute’s Trust Index survey. This is sent to a random sample of employees from each company. The survey asks questions related to their attitudes about management’s credibility, job satisfaction, and camaraderie.

The other third is based on responses to the institute’s Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about pay and benefit programs and a series of open-ended questions about hiring practices, methods of internal communication, training, recognition programs, and diversity efforts.

Companies included in the Fortune 100 offer us enlightenment into the corporate world of perks (which might be something you may wish to mention to the boss). Google is the legendary home to some of the best and most wide-ranging perks. One of the favourites has got to be the in-house eyebrow shaping at the tech giant’s New York office.

Twice a month, Google sets aside a room with a director’s chair and lots of natural light to make way for beauticians, who offer brow shaping at a substantial discount. The service is not offered at company headquarters in Mountain View, but Googlers there make do with onsite haircuts.

Last spring employees at Southern Ohio Medical Center started a garden and invited the staff to plant their own vegetables or come pick them on their lunch break. Consisting of two small greenhouses and several large raised beds, the garden turned out kale, broccoli, tomatoes, rhubarb, strawberries, and a bumper crop of lettuce so large that non-employees were invited to take some too. The company also dedicated a page of its internal site to gardening tips and recipes like strawberry-rhubarb ice cream. Whilst we make do with a temperamental coffee machine.

The perk list includes the great employment package, but we can’t all earn huge amounts. But we can work towards making the work-place a better place to work.

Becoming our own top 100

It starts with a product or service delivering added value to our clients, sold competitively, with reasonable margins. Then we must avoid making our clients feel frustrated or disappointed as we fail to live up to our side of the bargain.

As humans there is always margin for error. Murphy’s Law: “If things can go wrong – they will”. We’re not perfect. Accepting the inevitable is a step forward to becoming a better company. The next step is what do you want to do about it?

ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems

Organizations strive to meet the international benchmark of continual improvement and consistently delivering a product and service, every time.

The ISO 9001 Quality Management System is based around eight management principles that apply to any organization planning to expand and deliver quality products and services.

Customer Focus: Organizations depend on their customers therefore should understand their current and future needs, meet their requirements and strive to exceed their expectations.

Leadership: Good leaders establish unity of purpose and direction within an organization; they create the internal environment that enables employees to achieve the organization’s business objectives.

Involvement of People: People of all levels within the organization are important to how it performs; understanding that involvement will only benefit the organization.

Process Approach: Results are achieved more effectively when activities are managed as a process.

System Approach to Management: Identifying, understanding and managing interrelated processes.

Continual Improvement: This should be the permanent objective of any organization.

Factual Approach to decision Making: The best decisions are made on the analysis of data and information.

Mutually Beneficial Supplier Relationships: Any organization and its suppliers are interdependent and such a relationship allows both to prosper.

Tomorrow you will overcome the many ups and downs of the general working day. Many of you will have done so by incorporating some or all of the eight management principles, under pinned in ISO 9001 Quality Management System.


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