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Publisher’s note: Welcome to the North Bay Business Journal’s 12th Best Places to Work report.

The recipients, who will be recognized at an awards reception Sept. 26, include 21 first-time winners and a total of 100 companies in this annual competition.

In 2006 there were 24 winners. The concept was to recognize exceptional employers and highlight the best workplace practices.

It has been quite a ride since, with the number of winners doubling and then doubling again. This year’s recipients represent nearly 19,000 employees from a broad range of industries. More than 8,100 employee surveys were completed.

Over these 12 years, we have learned that the award is important. But the award itself is only part of Best Places to Work.

The larger, long-term value is in the anonymous feedback of employees. Used expertly, this feedback can tell an organization where it is doing well and where it might improve.

And the designation can be an invaluable tool for employee attraction and retention.

On behalf of our co-hosts, founding underwriter Nelson, along with underwriters Exchange Bank and Kaiser Permanente, as well as our underwriter, Trope Group, congratulations to our winners.

Brad Bollinger
North Bay Business Journal Publisher


How the winners were selected

Companies selected as Best Places to Work in the North Bay were analyzed by the editorial staff of the Business Journal on the basis of several criteria, including the employer application, the survey ratings by employees, the number of responses, size of the company, the breakdown of responses from management and non-management as well as written comments by employees.

In all 100 winners emerged from throughout the North Bay. More than 8,100 employee surveys were submitted.

Nominations for Best Places to Work in the North Bay were sought starting in March. Anyone within a company can nominate their business by completing a simple form. A minimum of 15 employees was required. Nominated companies were then contacted by the Business Journal and invited to submit a company application and to ask employees to complete an online survey.

The survey was set up through Survey Monkey, a widely used online polling service. Companies had about four weeks in June and July to complete the application and survey, for which a minimum number of responses was required, depending on company size.

After an analysis of the employer application and online responses, the winners were selected and announced Aug. 21. Winners will be honored at a reception on Sept. 26.

Employee survey

Employees in the 2017 Best Places to Work survey were asked the following questions in an anonymous online survey.

Please rate the following statements on a scale of 1-5

1 = Never – Strongly disagree

2 = Sometimes – Disagree

3 = Regularly – I neither agree nor disagree

4 = Frequently – Agree

5 = Always – Strongly agree

CREDIBILITY

  • Management keeps me informed about important issues and changes.
  • Actions are taken consistent with the vision and promises of the company.
  • Communications are open and accessible and suggestions are taken seriously.

RESPECT

  • Management involves people in decisions that affect their jobs or work environment.
  • I am offered training and development to further myself professionally.
  • Individuals’ differences and personal lives are acknowledged and respected.
  • I understand the company’s plans for future success.

FAIRNESS

  • There is a fair system for hiring, promotions and assignment of projects.
  • Employees are rewarded equally for their work.
  • My pay rate and benefits compensation are fair for my position in my industry.
  • A process exists for complaints/ suggestions to be addressed without retaliation.

PRIDE

  • I take pride in my individual contribution to the company.
  • I take pride in the work produced by my team/work group.
  • I take pride in my company’s products/ services and standing in the community.
  • The workplace culture encourages innovation and contribution.
  • I would like to be working at this organization one year from today.
  • CAMARADERIE

  • I feel I am able to be myself at work.
  • There is a socially friendly and welcoming atmosphere in the office.
  • My immediate coworkers consistently go the extra mile to achieve great results.
  • I experience a sense of “family” or “team” with my co-workers.
  • ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS

  • What makes your company great?
  • What could be done to improve the workplace at your company?
  • Family Friendliness

  • What makes your organization family friendly?
  • What could your organization do to improve its family friendliness?