The companies were chosen using a proprietary scientific process administered by Quantum Workplace, an Omaha, Neb.-based firm that works with 5,000 workplaces worldwide.
The Best Places to Work program measures more than the “cool stuff” that sometimes gets confused with what really makes a company great. It measures employee engagement across the company, because an engaged work force is far more predictive of a company’s success than any other measure.
Quantum defines “engagement” as the presence of three outcomes among employees:
Discretionary effort — Employees’ willingness to go the extra mile. High discretionary effort means an employee is eager to produce and is slow to make excuses.
Intent to stay — Employees’ expectation they will continue to work for the company.
Advocacy — Employees’ propensity for bragging about their workplace. Do they speak positively about their employer at the July 4th neighborhood barbeque?
Our 13 honorees — among them two transportation and logistics firms, a couple of marketing and design firms, two staffing companies, two IT consulting firms and an active entertainment and events company — have built cultures that leverage those three outcomes.
“Engagement is the byproduct of wildly successful relationships in the workplace,” says Quantum Workplace CEO Greg Harris. “Engaged workplaces enjoy higher productivity, lower turnover, and stronger financial performance.”
The science works like this: Participants were nominated for the program by someone inside — for some it was the CEO, for others, the janitor. All employees of each company were invited to respond to 37 survey items on 6-point scale. The survey asked hard questions about trust in senior leadership, manager effectiveness and career development. Each company was required to reach an employee survey response goal that assured statistical validity.
A security audit was performed to look for data irregularities. Quantum Workplace calculated a score for each company solely based on the survey results. And the companies were organized by size.
The data show that 63 percent of employees in our 13 Chicago honoree companies are engaged. That’s nearly two times the levels seen in average firms.
“But we also learned that 11 percent were disengaged or hostile,” Harris says, “proof that even the best employers can have some sour apples.”
Quantum Workplace administered employee engagement surveys among 49 firms representing firms of all sizes and industries in the Chicago area. This year’s honorees are:
Small companies (10-49 employees)
Marketing and design
Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.
Personal injury law
Information technology staffing
Public affairs and strategic communications
Medium companies (50-149 employees)
Winner: LaSalle Network
American Income Life-LLOYD Agencies
Red Frog Events
Active entertainment and events
Large companies (150+ employees)
Commercial real estate
Transportation Solutions Enterprises
Transportation and logistics
Transportation and logistics