Here's how the survey was done
WorkplaceDynamics, project partner with the Tampa Bay Times, invited 1,055 companies to participate in an examination of the best places to work and then surveyed the 176 that accepted. The surveyed companies employ 56,121 people in the Tampa Bay area.
Of those employees, 46,786 received surveys and 30,352 responded, either on paper or online.
The survey breaks down workplaces into three sizes, based on the number of locally based employees: large, 500 or more employees; midsize, 150-499; and small, 50-149.
Why? Because smaller employers tend to score higher than midsize employers, and midsize employers tend to score better than large employers. Ranking workplaces of similar size offers a more apples-to-apples comparison.
The survey company then ranks employers within their size category, based solely on the employee responses to the survey statements. The Tampa Bay Times didn't choose the winners; the employees of the companies did.
The top employers in each category are then selected as the Top Workplaces. WorkplaceDynamics also determines a list of special awards based on standout scores on specific survey statements.
To participate in the Top Workplaces survey, businesses needed to have at least 50 employees working in the Tampa Bay area.