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What’s the confusion?  A PEO is what? | PEO Blog

Friday November 11, 2011

Why doesn’t everyone know what a PEO is?  What’s the confusion, what can Professional Employer Organizations do to help clarify and promote the PEO Industry?

Early this year we set out on a mission to help promote the PEO – Professional Employer Organization Industry.  If you’ve read some of my earlier blogs we’ve discussed the issue of why hasn’t the PEO Industry managed to grow more than it has?  I mean, the concept is brilliant, if you are a small to medium sized business you need to find a quality PEO to manage your Human Resources, Workers Compensation, Benefits, Payroll and more. 

The bottom line is… there isn’t a small to medium sized business that couldn’t benefit from finding and using the services of a quality PEO.  So with that being said, why hasn’t the PEO Industry been able to grow past a market penetration hovering around 3%?

There are a number a reasons, and a number of solutions.  Over the next several weeks we’re going to touch on issues, and solutions… this is blog and I only have so much time daily to spend typing, but we will identify issues, and develop solutions.

Certainly I can’t be the only person wondering why the industry hasn’t grown more.  (although I often feel that way)  And I am committed to do whatever I can to promote and educate as many businesses as I can about the PEO Industry. 

Let’s start with the concept of Acronyms, here’s a list of some of them that I found on

Acronym Definition
PEO Professional Employer Organization
PEO Philanthropic and Educational Organization for Women (PEO International)
PEO Professional Engineers Ontario
PEO Polyethylene Oxide
PEO Performing Engineering Operations (UK)
PEO Pan-Cyprian Labor Federation (Cyprus)
PEO Pacific Economic Outlook
PEO Publish Everything Online
PEO Professional Engineers of Oregon
PEO Protect Each Other
PEO Pay Equity Office (Canada)
PEO Planning Engineers Organisation
PEO Polar Earth Orbit
PEO Peace Enforcement Operation (includes peace keeping operations)
PEO Plant Equipment Operator
PEO Promoting Educational Opportunities
PEO Physical Education Officer (UK)
PEO Program Executive Office/Officer
PEO Primer Estado Oculto (Spanish: Hidden First State; cryptographic protocol)
PEO Project Executive Office/Officer
PEO Program Enrichment Office
PEO Plant Emergency Organization
PEO Personnel Executive Officer
PEO Pentagon Engineering Office/Officer
PEO Program Evaluation Office/Officer
PEO Product Engineering Office/Officer
PEO Product Engineering Organization
PEO Pre-Existing Ordering

So, from a Human Resource Outsourcing perspective, using the term PEO for Professional Employer Organization can be a bit confusing, by the way, this isn’t the BIG list, a couple of the sites had well over a 100 acronym’s for PEO, and what I like about this one was that it has Professional Employer Organization as the top choice.

Well that’s enough for today; we are going to continue our message that as an industry we all need to contribute towards educating the business community about what a PEO is and how PEO’s benefit businesses by freeing them of the administrative side of employment.

By Rod Diekema, Rod is the CEO of LLC and Managing Partner of Michigan based Employee Capital Management LLC a leading Regional PEO serving Michigan and Illinois.  For more information, please visit or

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