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How we chose the Top Workplaces

September 28, 2018

On the road to success, organizations need to know where they are. That’s the motivation behind the annual Top Workplaces survey, which gives employees the chance to rate their workplace.

“Becoming a Top Workplace isn’t something organizations can buy,” said Doug Claffey, CEO of Energage. “It’s an achievement organizations have to work for.”

For the eighth year, Hearst Connecticut Media Group partnered with Philadelphia-based Energage, formerly WorkplaceDynamics, an employee research and culture technology firm, to determine the area’s Top Workplaces based solely on employee survey feedback.

Starting in February, Hearst and Energage sought nominee companies. In all, 930 employers in the region were invited to take the employee survey and a smaller number participated. Any employer was eligible, as long as it had at least 35 employees in Fairfield, New Haven and Litchfield counties. Employers could be publicly traded, private, nonprofit or government agencies.

There is no cost to enter the Top Workplaces program.

In all, 8,345 employees at surveyed employers responded, either on paper or online. Fifty scored well enough to earn recognition on the Top Workplaces list.

The employee survey gathers responses on 24 factors covering seven areas, including organizational health factors that measure how well employees are working together toward a common cause:

Alignment: Where the company is headed, its values, cooperation.

Effectiveness: Doing things well, sharing different viewpoints, encouraging new ideas.

Connection: Employees feel appreciated, their work is meaningful.

Managers: Care about concerns, helps employees learn and grow.

In addition, the survey asks employees about their engagement, their confidence in the organiozation’s top leader and basics such as pay, benefits, training and flexible working conditions.

Statements relating to “Connection” and “Alignment” are consistently judged most important to employees when they look at what makes overall workplace satisfaction. Statements about pay and benefits rate least important.

Smaller employers tend to score higher than midsize employers, and midsize employers tend to score higher than large employers. Employers are ranked among groups of similar size to most accurately compare results.

In addtion to the overall rankings, Energage determines special award winners based on standout scores on specific areas of the survey.

Why aren’t some companies on the list? Perhaps they chose not to participate or did not score high enough based on the survey results. To ensure organizations are accurately administering the survey, Energage runs statistical tests to look for questionable results. Sometimes, it disqualifies employers based on those tests.

Bob Helbig is media partnership director at Energage, the Top Workplaces research partner.

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