Tuesday, Jun 19, 2018
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Blade seeks region’s top employers

Winners say distinction is morale booster and recruiting tool

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    Dana advertises the honor on its building in a two-story banner so people can see it as they drive by the headquarters in Maumee.

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    Kathy Kuyoth, left, and John Mangas’ Re/Max Preferred Associates was named the top midsized company in last year’s contest.

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If you or someone you know has an employer who simply is among the best, it’s time to tell others about it.

Nominations now are being taken for the Top Workplaces of 2018 awards in northwest Ohio, a contest sponsored by The Blade in conjunction with its research partner, WorkplaceDynamics.

The contest is open to any local business or organization — public or private, nonprofit or governmental — with 35 or more employees. Anyone can submit a nomination by going online to toledoblade.com/​nominate or by calling 419-617-0606.

Only the most basic information about the company is needed.

Toledo real estate brokers Re/​Max Preferred Associates was named the top midsize company in the contest last year, and broker/​co-owner Kathy Kuyoth said the award gave the firm a huge morale boost. But it also provided some validation that the ownership does things the right way.

“I think people underestimate this award and what it means. This was different,” Ms. Kuyoth said. “It was local and from the Toledo Blade, but it also is from the people we work with here. It meant a lot to us.”

Dana Inc. was so proud to be named a Top Workplace that it purchased a two-story high banner proclaiming the achievement and then placed it on the side of its headquarters in Maumee.

“We’re right along the expressway and we want people to see it as they drive by. Dana is a great place to work and we want people to know that because we’re always looking for great people,” Dana spokesman Jeff Cole said. “It’s a statement of pride, but it’s also a recruiting tool.”

An initial deadline for this year’s nominations is Aug. 18.

Nominees will be contacted by WorkplaceDynamics, of Exton, Pa., and if the nominated company agrees to participate, its employees will be evaluated by using an anonymous 24-question survey, administered between July and September. A nominee’s leadership will receive only a summary of the results.

Early next year, a number of nominees will be notified that they are a top workplace with three of those top workplaces being named the best of the best in small, midsize, and large workplace categories. Winners will be revealed in January in a publication in The Blade.

Small businesses are those with 35 to 74 employees, midsize firms have 75 to 299 employees, and large companies have 300 or more employees.

Bob Helbig, WorkplaceDynamics spokesman, said the employee feedback is the most important aspect of the Top Workplaces award program.

Award winners enjoy the accolade, but all participating companies benefit in that they get a window into their company’s culture, Mr. Helbig said. 

“It establishes that baseline and lets people figure out what we are doing well and what do we need to work on,” he said.

WorkplaceDynamics’ challenge is to get more companies to recognize the value of the feedback and to participate. “We need companies that are willing to take that challenge,” Mr. Helbig said.

This is the fifth year for the Top Workplaces awards in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.

Last year 64 companies, out of 583 nominations, agreed to participate and allowed their employees to be surveyed. That represented the largest number of participants yet.

Out of that 64, 40 companies were recognized for their workplace environments.

WorkplaceDynamics offered its survey to 8,637 employees, and 5,732 of those filled out surveys.

WorkplaceDynamics conducts Top Workplace surveys for more than 40 major metro newspapers and last year it surveyed 2.8 million employees at nearly 7,000 workplaces.

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