Who is the best?
The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com enlisted WorkplaceDynamics, of Exton, for a third year to ask employees around the region to rate their bosses and companies.
Workers were asked to respond to statements such as "There is not a lot of frustration at my workplace," "New ideas are encouraged at this organization," and "My pay is fair for the work I do."
This time around, many participating companies indicated a clear change for the better in economic conditions and prospects for hiring.
And employees feel busier. Fewer workers - 64 percent, compared with 69 percent a year ago - said they feel the flexibility to balance work and personal life.
Other than that, however, much workplace sentiment moved in a positive direction. For example, a year ago, 55 percent of workers said they felt genuinely appreciated at the office. This year 65 percent said so.
More workers also said this year that they felt confident about their own futures at their companies, and more felt well-informed about important decisions in the workplace.
And even though they felt busier, 68 percent said this year that they would "highly recommend working at this organization" - compared with 63 percent last year.
WorkplaceDynamics invited 1,640 companies with at least 50 employees in the region to participate in the survey. Of those, 152 firms with a total of 75,789 local employees were surveyed.
Of that total employee number, 45,536 received surveys, and 28,383 responded.
Surveys of all employees was encouraged by WorkplaceDynamics, but the required response rate varied depending on employer size. For those with fewer than 85 employees, at least 30 responses were required. Large employers could choose to randomly sample. Employers with between 2,501 and 5,000 local workers were required to distribute surveys to at least 20 percent of those workers, and employers with over 5,000 workers in the region had to distributed at least 1,000 surveys.
After the survey was completed, WorkplaceDynamics ran statistical tests to weed out any questionable results.
The final product of the survey is our list of the top 100 workplaces for 2012, which comprises the 20 highest-ranked large employers, 35 midsize organizations, and 45 small firms.
- Reid Kanaley,
Top Workplaces editor