Working in close collaboration, CareerBuilder, Republic Media and BestCompaniesAZ—an Arizona-based consulting firm that specializes in identifying, developing and promoting best companies — have produced the second annual CareerBuilder’s Top Companies to Work for in Arizona publication. Filled with a wealth of information, this initiative (the only statewide program of its kind), identifies companies that have achieved top rankings in employer practices, employee engagement and satisfaction scores.

Attracting top talent

“Our goal with Top Companies is to assist in advancing Arizona into the future as a leader in creating quality successful companies,” said John Zidich, Chief Executive Officer and Publisher of The Arizona Republic. “In 2014, we’d like to build upon our successful momentum in making Arizona a best state to work, positively impacting our local economy and attracting the top talent all businesses need to succeed.”

Ryan Mote, Director of Recruitment Sales for Republic Media, said that as the job market becomes more competitive, it’s imperative for employers to set themselves apart from their competitors. “Quality candidates are becoming increasingly selective in where they work,” Mote said. “This program allows us to help local companies showcase the strength of their organizations, while providing information to potential candidates in the Phoenix market that will help them make educated decisions on where to work.”

Denise Gredler, Founder and CEO of BestCompaniesAZ, agreed, adding that as the competition for employees continues to intensify and companies begin to ramp up hiring, being named one of the Top Companies will serve as a positive employer branding, recruitment and retention tool.

Impressive scores

“Last year’s Top Companies set the bar high for great places to work,” said Cami Kaiser, General Manager of Republic Media Custom Publishing and Magazines. “The benchmark they created defined some specific goals for other companies to consider, including offering affordable healthcare options, providing a supportive work environment, being family-friendly and having a diverse workforce. Additionally, offering competitive compensation and perks such as tuition assistance and generous paid time-off were all benefits that employees felt made their company a desirable place to work.” What’s more, Kaiser noted that companies who are making the ‘top’ list for women often included leadership programs specifically designed for women as well as a network of women’s mentoring programs.

Gredler said that in 2013, the first year of Top Companies, 50 companies were recognized as the inaugural Top Companies with an impressive favorable employee engagement score of 92 percent. “This year, the list has grown to 75 companies that all have employee engagement scores at these high levels,” she said. “It’s important to note that national averages are approximately 33 percent, while worldwide average engagement is 13 percent, per Gallup.”

Important partnerships

To produce Top Companies to Work for in Arizona, CareerBuilder, which is published by The Arizona Republic, partnered with BestCompaniesAZ and Best Companies Group, a national research firm that specializes in identifying great places to work.

“Collectively, our companies strongly believe that by identifying and recognizing the exceptional companies that strengthen our local economies, we will help decision makers and employees alike realize that Arizona is a leading state in top jobs,” Kaiser said.

Top Companies Methodology

How the data was ascertained and compiled

Best Companies Group developed an employer questionnaire as well as an employee engagement and satisfaction survey. These two research instruments provided information that became the basis of the data report as well as for selection as a ‘Top Company’.

Research instruments

Part I: Best Companies Group Employer Questionnaire

Employers were requested to complete an employer survey that detailed company policies, practices, benefits and demographics.

Part II: Best Companies Group Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey

Employees were asked to respond to an Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey that involved an in-depth set of 76 statements. On each of these statements, employees were asked to respond on a 1–5 Likert scale of ‘Disagree Strongly’ to ‘Agree Strongly’. The survey also included two open-ended questions and seven demographic questions.

Core focus areas

The Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey was broken down into eight core focus areas:

  1. Leadership and Planning
  2. Culture and Communications
  3. Role Satisfaction
  4. Work Environment
  5. Relationship with Supervisor
  6. Training and Development
  7. Pay and Benefits
  8. Overall Engagement

How does your company measure up?

2014 Top Company winners’ employee survey results average an overall favorable rate of 88 percent and an overall employee engagement score of 91 percent.

— Source: Denise Gredler, Founder and CEO, BestCompaniesAZ, LLC