Polling the ranks to rank the places
The Post-Gazette partnered with WorkplaceDynamics, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm, to determine the region's Top Workplaces.
Beginning in January, the Post-Gazette ran stories and advertisements encouraging employees in the region to nominate their companies as a Top Workplace. WorkplaceDynamics then invited those companies, as well as others organizations in the region, to participate in the program.
Anyone could nominate a company. The only requirement was that the organization employed at least 50 people in the Pittsburgh area. The organization could be public, private, nonprofit or government. The Top Workplaces were selected solely based on the opinions of the experts on this topic - the employees at surveyed companies.
In all, we invited 1,090 companies to participate and surveyed 142 of them. The surveyed firms employ nearly 53,000 people in the Pittsburgh region. More than 32,000 Pittsburgh-area employees received surveys, and more than 22,000 responded, either by paper or online.
The surveys included 22 questions, covering both organizational health and engagement:
• Direction - where the company is headed, its values and leadership
• Execution - how the company is getting to where it aims to go
• Career - opportunities for growth, training
• Conditions - appreciation, meaningfulness, work/life flexibility
• Managers - who care and help their employees
• Pay and benefits - fair compensation
• Engagement - retention, motivation and referral
Most important for Pittsburgh-area employees was their ranking of this statement: "I believe this company is going in the right direction."
Statements about pay and benefits actually were among the least important, mirroring trends that WorkplaceDynamics has seen in other regions. While pay and benefits are important to employees, they are "threshold" considerations. In other words, employees expect a certain level of compensation, but paying them more will not make a bad workplace better.
After the surveys were completed, WorkplaceDynamics ran statistical tests and removed any questionable results. Employers then were categorized into size bands because smaller employers tend to score higher than mid-size employers, and mid-size employers tend to score higher than large employers. The top employers in each size band were then selected as the Top Workplaces in the Pittsburgh area. They are listed on Pages 16-17.
WorkplaceDynamics also determined a list of special awards based on standout company scores on specific survey statements. Those winners are listed on Pages 10-15.
In its work nationwide, WorkplaceDynamics has found that organizational health is the largest single driver of company performance.
If your company is not on the list, please nominate it for next year's project and encourage your firm to take the time to determine whether it is a Top Workplace.
First Published October 25, 2012 12:00 am