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Economy

TOP WORKPLACES 2015

Methodology: How the survey was done

Measuring what determines the area’s best places to work

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Claffey

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The Blade partnered with Philadelphia-based WorkplaceDynamics, an employee survey firm, to determine the region’s top workplaces.

Beginning in July, The Blade ran articles and advertisements encouraging employees in the region to nominate their companies as top workplaces. WorkplaceDynamics then invited those companies, as well as other organizations in the region, to participate in the program.

Anyone could nominate a company. The sole requirement was that the organization employs at least 35 people in the Toledo area. The company could be public, private, nonprofit, or governmental.

To pick the top workplaces, WorkplaceDynamics went straight to the experts — the employees. We invited 593 companies to participate and we surveyed 41 of them. The surveyed firms employ 7,135 people in the Toledo metro area. Receiving questionnaires were 7,135 Toledo metro area employees, of whom 4,387 responded, either on paper or online.

The employee survey included 22 questions, covering seven factors.

The three “My job” factors measure how employees feel about their day-to-day job:

■ My work — training, work-​life balance

■ My manager — cares about concerns, helps learn and grow

■ My pay and benefits

The three “OrgHealth” factors measure employees work together toward a common cause:

■ Direction — where the company is headed, its values and leaders

■ Execution — how the company is getting to where it aims to go

■ Connection — feeling appreciated and that their work is meaningful

Lastly, the survey measures Engagement — retention, motivation, and referral.

The OrgHealth factors were the most important to Toledo-area employees, with “connection” as the single most important. “My pay and benefits” was least important. While pay and benefits remain important to a point, they are more “table stakes” for top workplaces. Paying more money does not make a bad workplace better.

After the surveys were completed, WorkplaceDynamics ran statistical tests to look for any questionable results. It disqualified a small number of employers based on those tests.

Employers were then categorized into size bands because smaller employers tend to score higher than midsize employers, and midsize employers tend to score higher than large employers.

The employers were ranked within their size band based solely on employee responses to the survey statements. The top employers in each size band were then selected as the Top Workplaces in Toledo for 2015. We also determined a list of special awards based on standout scores on specific survey statements.

You may wonder why your employer is not on the list. One possibility is that the company took the survey and scored too low. Another is that it chose not to participate. We hope that next year more Toledo employers take the time to survey their employees and see where they stand.

Doug Claffey is chief executive of WorkplaceDynamics.

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