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About the Top Workplaces Survey

May 01, 2018 08:51PM ● Published by Makayla Gay

By Bob Helbig, Energage


On the road to success, organizations need to know where they are. That’s the motivation behind the annual Top Workplaces survey, which gives employees the chance to rate their workplace.

“Becoming a Top Workplace isn’t something organizations can buy,” said Doug Claffey, CEO of Energage. “It’s an achievement organizations have to work for.”

For the second year, Greenville Business Magazine, Greater Columbia Business Monthly and Charleston Business Magazine partnered with Philadelphia-based Energage, formerly WorkplaceDynamics, the employee research and consulting firm, to determine South Carolina’s Top Workplaces based solely on employee survey feedback.

Starting in October, the magazines welcomed anyone to nominate companies as Top Workplaces. Any employer was eligible, as long as it had at least 35 employees in the state. Employers could be public, private, nonprofit, or governmental. There is no cost to enter the Top Workplaces program.

Combined, the surveyed companies employ 4,583 people in South Carolina. Of those employees who received questionnaires, 3,262 responded, either on paper or online. For 2018, 20 South Carolina employers scored well enough to earn recognition on the Top Workplaces list.  

The employee survey gathers responses on 24 factors covering seven areas, including organizational health factors that measure how well employees are working together toward a common cause:

Alignment – where the company is headed, its values, cooperation

Effectiveness – doing things well, sharing different viewpoints, encouraging new ideas

Connection – employees feel appreciated, their work is meaningful

My Manager – cares about concerns, helps learn and grow

In addition, the survey asks employees about other factors:

Employee Engagement – motivation, retention and referral

Leader – confidence in company leadership

The Basics – pay, benefits, flexibility, training, expectations

Statements relating to “Connection” and “Alignment” are consistently judged most important to employees, while statements about pay and benefits rate least important for workplace satisfaction.

Smaller employers tend to score higher than midsize employers, and midsize employers tend to score higher than large employers. Employers are ranked among groups of similar size to most accurately compare results. Within those size groupings, companies are ranked, and those that score high enough are recognized as Top Workplaces. Energage also determines special award winners based on standout scores on specific areas of the survey.

Why aren’t some companies on the list? Perhaps they chose not to participate or did not score high enough based on the survey results. To ensure organizations are accurately administering the survey, Energage runs statistical tests to look for questionable results. Sometimes, it disqualifies employers based on those tests.

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