How Utah’s Top Workplaces are determined

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, founder of Energage, The Salt Lake Tribune’s research partner for Top Workplaces.

This is the sixth year The Tribune has partnered with Philadelphia-based Energage to determine Utah’s Top Workplaces. The results are based solely on a scientific employee survey process.

Starting in March, The Tribune welcomed anyone to nominate companies as Top Workplaces. Energage also reached out to companies. In all, 1,365 employers in the state were invited to take part in the process. Any employer was eligible, as long as it had at least 35 employees in Utah. Employers could be public, private, nonprofit or governmental. There is no cost to enter the Top Workplaces program.

For this year, a record 164 Utah employers agreed to take the survey. Combined, they employ 44,675 workers in the state. Of those employees who received questionnaires, 28,744 responded, either on paper or online. For this year’s winners list, 100 Utah employers earned recognition as Top Workplaces based on the employee feedback.

[Read more: Utah’s top bosses share their winning formulas for leading winning businesses]

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: Supervisor 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. Energage sometimes 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, visit sltrib.com/nominate.

Bob Helbig is the media partnerships director for Energage.