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How the Top Workplaces survey is done

Ron Borresen | tbt* Cover art for tbt* Top Workplaces 4/11.
Published Apr. 5

How does a company make the Top Workplaces list? By inspiring employees.

"Top Workplaces put the employee at the center of things, and focus on creating the right environment to unleash potential and inspire performance," said Doug Claffey, CEO of Energage, the research partner for Top Workplaces.

This is the 10th year the Tampa Bay Times partnered with Philadelphia-based Energage to determine the area's Top Workplaces. The results are based solely on a scientific employee survey process.

Top Workplaces: See this year's full list of Top Workplaces winners in the small, midsize and large categories.

Starting in September, the Times welcomed anyone to nominate companies as Top Workplaces. Energage also reached out to companies. In all, 1,514 employers in the region were invited to take part in the process. Any employer was eligible, as long as it had at least 50 employees in the Tampa Bay area. Employers could be public, private, nonprofit or governmental. There is no cost to enter the Top Workplaces program.

For this year, 191 organizations agreed to take the survey. Combined, they employ 96,636 people in the Tampa Bay area. Of those employees who received questionnaires, 40,363 responded, either on paper or online. For this year's winners list, 100 Tampa Bay employers earned recognition as Top Workplaces based on the employee feedback.

The employee engagement survey of 24 questions gathers responses regarding issues relating to workplace culture:

• Alignment — where the company is headed, its values, cooperation

• Connection — employees feel appreciated, their work is meaningful

• Effectiveness — doing things efficiently and well, sharing different viewpoints, encouraging new ideas

• My Manager — cares about concerns, helps employees develop

• Engagement — motivation, retention and recruiting

• Leadership — confidence in company leaders

• The Basics — pay, benefits, flexibility, training, expectations

Employees consistently rate issues of "Connection" and "Alignment" most important to them, while statements related to pay and benefits rate less important.

Employers are ranked among groups of similar size to most accurately compare results. Within those size groupings, companies are ranked, and those that score high enough are recognized as Top Workplaces. Energage also determines special award winners based on standout scores on specific survey topics.

If you wonder why a particular company is not on the list, it might be because it chose not to participate in the survey, or because it did not score well enough in the survey process. Sometimes, Energage disqualifies employers based on questionable results detected through statistical tests it runs to ensure organizations are accurately administering the survey.

To participate in the 2020 program, just go to tampabay.com/nominate.

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