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TOP WORKPLACES 2016

Survey of workers reveals what matters

Measuring the area’s best workplaces

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Who determines Top Workplaces? Those who know them best: the employees.

Doug-Claffey

Claffey

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The Blade partnered with Philadelphia-based WorkplaceDynamics, the employee survey firm, to determine the region’s Top Workplaces rankings. Beginning in July, The Blade ran articles and advertisements encouraging employees in the region to nominate companies as Top Workplaces. WorkplaceDynamics invited those companies, as well as other organizations in the region, to participate in the program.

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

WorkplaceDynamics invited 572 workplaces to participate and surveyed 53 of them. Only those organizations that agreed to participate were included in the surveys. The surveyed firms employ 7,763 people in the Toledo area. Of those employees who received questionnaires, 5,262 responded, either on paper or online.

The employee survey seeks responses from 22 statements covering seven factors.

Key to those are organizational health factors, which measure how well employees are working together toward a common cause:

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

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

■ Connection — feeling appreciated and that their work is meaningful.

“Time and time again, our research has proven that what’s most important to them is a strong belief in where the organization is headed, how it's going to get there, and the feeling that everyone is in it together,” said Doug Claffey, CEO of WorkplaceDynamics.

In addition, 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 & Benefits.

Finally, the survey measures employee engagement — retention, motivation, and referral.

Organizational health factors were the most important to Toledo workers, with “Connection” and “Alignment” as the most important. “My Pay & Benefits” was least important.

“While pay and benefits remain important to a point, they do not make a bad workplace better,” Mr. Claffey said.

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

Employers were categorized into size bands, because “smaller employers tend to score higher than midsize employers, and midsize employers tend to score higher than large employers,” Mr. Claffey said.

The employers were ranked within their size based solely on employee responses to the survey statements. The top employers in each size band were selected as Top Workplaces in Toledo for 2016. We also determined a list of special awards based on standout scores on specific survey statements.

Why is a particular employer not on the list? Perhaps the company took the survey and scored too low. Or, it might have chosen not to participate.

“We hope more Toledo-area employers take the time next year to survey their employees and see where they stand,” Mr. Claffey said.

Doug Claffey is chief executive of WorkplaceDynamics.

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