Top Workplaces 2022

How Baltimore's 100 top workplaces survey was conducted

The Baltimore Sun worked with Philadelphia-based WorkplaceDynamics, an employee survey firm, to determine the region’s top workplaces.
Beginning in June, The Sun ran articles and advertisements encouraging employees in the region to nominate their companies as top workplaces. WorkplaceDynamics then invited those companies, as well as other organizations in the region, to participate in the program.
Anyone could nominate a company. The sole requirement was that the organization employ at least 50 people in the Baltimore metro area. The company could be public, private, nonprofit or governmental.
To pick the top workplaces, WorkplaceDynamics went straight to the experts — the employees.
In total, we invited 930 companies to participate and surveyed 159 of them. 
The surveyed companies employ 41,145 people in the Baltimore metropolitan area. In all, 35,106 Baltimore-area employees received surveys, of whom 21,275 responded, either on paper or online.
The employee survey included 22 questions, covering the topics of:
  • My work: Training, work/life balance
  • My manager: Cares about concerns, helps learn & grow
  • Direction: Where the company is headed, its values and leaders
  • Execution: How the company is getting to where it aims to go
  • Connection: Feeling appreciated and that their work is meaningful
  • Pay and benefits: Fair compensation
  • Engagement: Retention, motivation and referral
Factors like “direction” and “execution” were the most important to Baltimore-area employees with “connection” as the single most important. “Pay and benefits” was least important. While pay and benefits remain important to a point, they are more “table stakes” for top workplaces. Paying more money does not make a bad workplace better.
These factors are not only important to employees, they are also important for company financial performance. A four-year study by WorkplaceDynamics found that public companies with high scores outperformed the S&P 500 by 12 percent a year.
After the surveys were completed, WorkplaceDynamics ran statistical tests to look for any questionable results. It disqualified a small number of employers based on those tests.
Employers were then categorized into size bands because smaller employers tend to score higher than midsize employers, and midsize employers tend to score higher than large employers.
The employers were ranked within their size band based solely on employee responses to the survey statements. The top employers in each size band were then selected as the Top Workplaces in the Baltimore metro area for 2013.
We also determined a list of special awards based on standout scores on specific survey statements.
You may wonder why your employer is not on the list. One possibility is that the company took the survey and scored too low. Another is that it chose not to participate. We hope that next year more Baltimore-area employers take the time to survey their employees and see where they stand.