Top Workplaces 2021: Employee Reviews Determine the 85 Top Workplaces in Central Florida

During the Covid-19 pandemic, employers took extraordinary measures to meet the needs of their workers and customers. The Workplaces awards, which consider the opinions of company staff, recognize these efforts.

For the third consecutive year, the Orlando Sentinel partnered with Philadelphia-based Energage to rank the Top Workplaces in Central Florida, which, through scientific employee engagement surveys, uniquely determines which companies will receive the award and measures employers’ response to the challenges imposed by the pandemic.

“If COVID has taught us anything, it’s that asking questions and listening to employees is critical to navigating this new world of work,” Eric Rubino, CEO of Energage, told the Orlando Centinel. “More than ever, you have to be more intentional about your culture.”

About the survey:

The employee engagement survey used consists of 24 questions and collects responses on issues related to workplace culture:

  • Alignment: where the company is headed, its values, cooperation, effective meetings.
  • Orientation: Managers care about concerns, are helpful, and encourage employee development.
  • Connection: Employees feel appreciated, work is meaningful, they work at their best, they feel informed.
  • Engagement: Productivity, retention, recruitment.
  • Leadership: Trust in company leaders.
  • Performance: Execution, open-mindedness, innovation, smart leadership.
  • Basics: Salary, benefits, work and personal flexibility, training, expectations.

A total of 1,049 Central Florida companies were invited to participate in the employee engagement survey in February of this year to be considered for the Top Workplaces list. The only requirement was that they had at least 35 employees in Central Florida. No additional distinction was made and participation was free. Employers could be public, private, non-profit or governmental.

Recognized companies:

Collectively, the companies that chose to participate in this year’s program employed 57,816 people and 85 received the Top Workplaces recognition.

Among the largest companies earning Top Workplaces recognition were Leland Management, Inc, Charles Schwab, Addition Financial, Massey Services, Inc, FIS, and AdventHealth Greater Orlando, all with more than 500 workers in Central Florida. For the complete list and to see if your workplace is included among those recognized, you can visit the list’s website.

Energage determines special award winners based on outstanding scores, but may also disqualify them if it detects questionable results in statistical tests done to ensure survey accuracy.

What is employee engagement?

Energage, the partner company that conducts the survey on which the Top Workplaces awards are based, states that “employee engagement is a measure of how strongly employees feel attached to their work and their company.”

“Some people think the best employee engagement strategies include a focus on benefits, a great work environment, and things like “bring the dog to work day.”” says the company on its website. “The truth is that sustainable engagement is all about intrinsic motivation. It’s about internal goals like mastery, autonomy and purpose. External rewards, such as pay and bonuses, only bring short-term benefits.”

For its part, Silicon Valley-based HR specialist CustomInsight defines employee engagement as the “extent to which employees feel passionate about their work, committed to the organization and continuously strive.”

Whereas employee satisfaction measures only the happiness of a company’s workforce, but not the levels of motivation and emotional engagement. Employee happiness can sometimes be reduced to receiving money, but engagement goes beyond activities, games and events, as it directly impacts performance in the workplace. That is why, to better understand employees’ needs, it is necessary to conduct an engagement survey.

A company with an employee engagement strategy and an engaged workforce is more likely to attract new talent.

How to improve employee engagement?

According to Energage, there are 8 ways to make employee engagement in the organization increase.  Some focus on long-term goals, while others are short-term, quick wins for your employees and your company.

  • Live your mission, vision and values.
  • Focus on onboarding.
  • Train employees to succeed in their role & beyond.
  • Recognize and reward your employees.
  • Communicate feedback the right way.
  • Promote healthy work habits.
  • Volunteer as a team & other team activities.
  • Conduct employee engagement surveys

Top Workplaces award winners can showcase the prestigious recognition to their employees and promote their status to the world. This reinforces their brand reputation as an employer and boosts employee pride and morale. 

In addition to recognizing these organizations, according to Energage, the Top Workplaces program also evaluates companies that meet the requirements by sector, as well as critical aspects of cultural excellence that matter to employees and job seekers. Some of these aspects include: Communication, Innovation, Inclusion, Values and Appreciation.

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