Culture, balance among virtues of employers on Top Workplaces list


What are the best places to work in Austin?

For the eighth straight year, the Austin American-Statesman is helping to answer that question.

After surveys of more than 24,000 workers at 151 area employers earlier this year, the American-Statesman narrowed the field to the 100 companies worthy of being honored as part of the 2017 Top Workplaces of Greater Austin project.

The surveyed companies employ 41,000 people in the Austin metro area.

The surveys and the selection process were handled by Energage, an Exton, Pa.-based company, with deep experience in employee engagement surveys. Energage was previously known as WorkplaceDynamics, but rebranded to Energage in October.

Energage has collaborated with newspapers around the country on workplace surveys for the past decade.

The company designed and conducted the anonymous surveys, analyzed the results and came up with the list of the top Austin-area employers.

The Statesman solicited nominations, but we do not know which companies did not make the final rankings. That was designed to encourage companies to participate without risking embarrassment if they did not make the final list.

The surveys asked workers to rate their employers in categories such as leadership and direction, ethics and values and how well employees are treated.

Based on the results, it’s clear that Austin workers choose jobs and remain at their companies for more than just a paycheck.

They value the chance to being able to grow their careers, receive valuable mentoring from supervisors and do work that makes a difference in their companies. They also value flexible working schedules and the commitment by their employers to give back to the community.

Energage reported that its survey respondents in Austin were generally more positive about their jobs than in the nation as a whole.

Austin workers surveyed were highly positive to questions such as: “This company enables me to work at my full potential” (72 percent agreed); and “I feel genuinely appreciated at this company” (71 percent agreed).

Here are some examples from anonymous surveys of employees saying what matters most to them:

From an employee at semiconductor company Silicon Laboratories Inc., the first place company among large employers: “I have an opportunity to impact the global business in many ways and a manager who supports creative new approaches to complex problems. Without exception, I work with a team of very driven and talented peers who inspire me to rise to the challenge.”

At startup Aceable Inc. one employee said, “Every person at this company is helpful, supportive, positive and will do anything for anyone else. That sounds hyperbolic, but I never knew such a supporting and loving community could exist within a company.

At another startup, Arrive Logistics, an employee said, “My job is interesting, compelling (money) and a great use of my skill set. I am surrounded by amazing people.”

Methodology:

— Overall, 1,176 Austin area companies (all with at least 50 employees) were nominated by employees, customers or themselves. Of those companies 151 agreed to let Energage survey their employees.

— At least 35 percent of a company’s Austin area employees had to complete the anonymous surveys for the results to be valid.

— Employees were asked to rate their companies in categories such as leadership, direction, workplace environment and pay.

— Energage then used those survey results to rank employers in three categories — small companies with fewer than 150 workers; mid-sized companies with between 150 and 499 workers; and large companies with more than 500 workers.



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