There are many ways to measure the quality of a workplace: wages and benefits, employee turnover, physical amenities like gyms, policies such as flex time and free lunch, and profit-sharing all come to mind.
As the chronicler of life in Connecticut, we at The Courant and FOX CT believe the best way is by asking employees how they feel and what they think.
We started by gathering hundreds of nominations of employers whose workers thought they might be strong candidates for the distinction — 660 organizations in all. To participate, a company, public agency or other organization could be based anyplace but had to have at least a total of 50 employees in Hartford, Middlesex, Tolland, Windham and New London counties.
A smaller number agreed to the rigorous process of having their employees complete confidential surveys administered by WorkplaceDynamics LLP, a research firm in Exton, Pa., on behalf of The Courant and FOX CT. IIn all, WorkplaceDynamics sent surveys to 26,245 employees at participating organizations and 15,117 responded.
The survey comprised 24 statements and employees were asked to grade each one on a scale from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree." Questions covered critical categories of direction ("This company operates by strong values and ethics," and "I have confidence in the leader of this company," for example); conditions ("I have the flexibility I need to balance my work and personal life"); execution; managers; and pay and benefits. Each company was assigned a score based on a formula.
The results of some statements were more closely related than others to how employees felt about their workplaces, overall. For example, "I feel genuinely appreciated by this company" is more than twice as likely to be answered positively at top-ranked companies as "my benefits package is good compared to others in this industry."
The final lists that you see in this magazine and at http://www.courant.com/topworkplaces are all winners.
Employers that were nominated were not charged a fee, and The Courant was not allowed to learn the identity of companies that did not make the list. WorkplaceDynamics has conducted more than 1 million employee surveys and compiled top employer lists for some of the nation's largest media outlets.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun