Thanksgiving is over, and Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanza are just days away now. That means that New Years, along with the resolutions it brings, is just around the corner.  It’s a good time to begin taking stock.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a job, it’s a terrific time to take note of the things for which you can/cannot be thankful about your place of employment.  If you’re looking for a job, there’s no time better than now to think carefully about the attributes you’d like your new employer to have.

While each of us is likely to come up with a somewhat different list, there are some things that most of us could agree on – we’d like to work for companies that are good to their employees, their customers, their communities, and the environment.  Not only is it more pleasant to work for these “good guys” – it turns out that they beat the pants off their less worthy counterparts.

In that spirit, note your answers to the seven items below – either about your current or prospective employer.  Would your answer be: (A) absolutely agree, (B) kind-of agree, (C) not so much, or (D) are you kidding?

i.          Building win-win relationships with customers is a key value of my organization.

ii.          Earning the trust of our customers is an important value of my organization.

iii.          My organization makes significant contributions to the communities in which we work.

iv.          My organization places great importance on reducing its environmental impact.

v.          The work of my organization contributes to a better world.

vi.          My organization focuses on creating sustainable profits, rather than just short-run profits.

vii.          The well-being of employees is of great importance to my organization.

You know the drill……..Add up the number of questions that you answered:

1. Absolutely agree:  multiply this sum by 3
2. Kind-of agree: multiply this sum by 2
3. Not so much: multiply this sum by 1
4. Are you kidding: multiply by 0

Now, take the sum of A + B + C (and D, if you insist).  Come on folks — you can do it!  (HINT — your answer should be somewhere between 0 and 21.)

Here’s how to interpret your sum (A + B + C):

• 18-21     This is a VERY good company – definitely a keeper
• 14-17     Not a bad company – think about what you can do to help improve it
• 7-13       Not so great – perhaps it’s time to move on
• 0-6         Definitely time to move on

The lower the score, the more you should consider either becoming a (perhaps lone) voice for change, or resolving to find and keep Good Company in the New Year. The higher the score, the more you have to be thankful for at work.

Even in these difficult economic times, we have the power to make a difference: by speaking up in our places of work, voting with our spending as consumers, and investing in firms that are good employers, sellers, and stewards.

Let us give thanks for the Good Companies in our lives, and resolve to exercise our powers – as employees, consumers, and investors – to give rise to more of them in the year to come!