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Employees choose Top Workplaces through survey
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Employees choose Top Workplaces through survey

From the Meet the Madison area's Top Workplaces series
Workers

Employees are the best judges of their workplaces.

Who determines Top Workplaces? The best judges: the employees who work there.

For the second year, the Wisconsin State Journal has partnered with Philadelphia-based Energage to rank the Madison area’s Top Workplaces. The process is based on a scientific survey of employees who rate their workplace culture. It also gives company insights about what makes them unique.

“Recruitment and retention are a key focus for every organization today,” said Eric Rubino, CEO of Energage. “The employee engagement survey at the heart of the Top Workplaces program provides the foundation for unearthing unique culture differentiators to recruit and retain the right talent.”

The process began in July, when the State Journal began news coverage and promotions to welcome people to nominate companies as Top Workplaces. Energage also reached out to area companies. Throughout the process, 760 employers in the region were invited to have their employees take the survey. Any organization was eligible to participate, provided it had at least 35 employees in the region. Employers could be public, private, nonprofit, or governmental. There is no cost to enter the Top Workplaces program.

For 2020, 63 employers agreed to take the survey. Combined, they employ 11,001 people in metro Madison. Of those employees who received questionnaires, 7,520 responded, either on paper or online. For this year’s winners list, 40 Madison-area employers were ranked based on their employee survey feedback.

The employee engagement survey of 24 questions gathers responses regarding issues relating to workplace culture:

  • Alignment – where the company is headed, its values, cooperation, effective meetings
  • Coaching – managers care about concerns, are helpful, encourage employee development
  • Connection – employees feel appreciated, work is meaningful, working at full potential, clued into each other
  • Engagement – productivity, retention, recruiting
  • Leadership – confidence in company leaders
  • Performance – execution, open-mindedness, innovation, clued-in leadership
  • The Basics – pay, benefits, flexibility, training, expectations

Employers that score high enough are recognized as Top Workplaces. Employers are categorized by size, and they are ranked within those size groups, to accurately compare results. Energage also determines special award winners based on standout scores on specific survey topics.

Did you look over the list and wonder why a particular company was not on it? It might be because it chose not to participate, or because it did not score well enough in the survey process.

Energage occasionally disqualifies employers based on questionable results detected through statistical tests it runs to ensure organizations are accurately administering the survey.

Want your organization to participate in the 2021 program? Just go to topworkplaces.com/madison to submit a nomination.

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