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Employees choose Top Workplaces through survey

Employees choose Top Workplaces through survey

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Top workplaces 2020 logo

Who determines Top Workplaces? The best judges: the employees who work there.

For the seventh year, the Richmond Times-Dispatch has partnered with Philadelphia-based Energage to rank the Top Workplaces in the greater Richmond area.

The process is based on a scientific survey of employees who rate their workplace culture. It also gives company insights about what makes them unique.

“In times of great change, it is more important than ever to maintain a connection among employees,” said Eric Rubino, Energage’s CEO. “When you give your employees a voice, you come together to navigate challenges and shape your path forward based on real-time insights into what works best for your organization.”

The process began in September 2019, when The Times-Dispatch began seeking nominations for companies as Top Workplaces. Energage also reached out to companies in the region.

Throughout the process, 919 employers in the region were invited to have their employees take the survey. Any organization was eligible to participate, provided it had at least 35 employees in the region. Employers could be public, private, nonprofit, or governmental. There is no cost to enter the Top Workplaces program.

Combined, the companies surveyed employed 35,990 people in the region. Of those employees who received questionnaires, 14,870 responded, either on paper or online.

For this year’s winners list, 80 employers earned recognition as Top Workplaces and were ranked based on their employee survey 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, effective meetings;
  • Coaching: managers care about concerns, are helpful, encourage employee development;
  • Connection: employees feel appreciated, work is meaningful, working at full potential, clued in to each other;
  • Engagement: productivity, retention and recruiting;
  • Leadership: confidence in company leaders;
  • Performance: execution, open-mindedness, innovation and clued-in leadership; and
  • The Basics: pay, benefits, flexibility, training and expectations.

Employers that score high enough are recognized as Top Workplaces. Employers are categorized by size, and they are ranked within those size groups, to accurately compare results.

Energage also determines special award winners based on standout scores on specific survey topics.

Did you look over the list and wonder why a particular company was not on it? It might be because it chose not to participate, or because it did not score well enough in the survey process.

Energage occasionally disqualifies employers based on questionable results detected through statistical tests it runs to ensure organizations are accurately administering the survey.

Want your organization to participate in the 2021 program? Just go to to submit a nomination.

Related to this story

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The Times-Dispatch’s seventh annual report on the area’s Top Workplaces reveals the first-, second- and third-place rankings of businesses in each of four size categories — mega, large, midsize and small.

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