Workplace Dynamics, project partner with the Tampa Bay Times, invited 994 Tampa Bay area companies to take part in an examination of the best places to work and then surveyed the 170 that accepted. The surveyed companies employ 57,886 workers in the bay area. • Of those, 52,601 received surveys and 34,928 responded. • The survey breaks down workplaces into three sizes based on the number of locally based employees: large, 500 or more employees; mid-sized, 150-499; and small, 50-149. • The survey company then ranks employers within their size category based solely on the employee responses to the survey statements. The Times didn't choose the winners; the employees of the companies did. • The top employers in each category were then selected as the Top Workplaces. • Full coverage appears in today's Top Workplaces special section.