Best Employers Engage Workers

March 13, 2013 Updated Mar 13, 2013 at 8:14 AM EDT

By Elizabeth Carey

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March 13, 2013 Updated Mar 13, 2013 at 8:14 AM EDT

This year, 170 companies were nominated for the annual Business First Best Places to Work List. Only 75 made the cut, after a screening process with Quantum Workplace. "There are a lot of ways to measure a good company, but probably one of the the best ways is through the employees themselves," said Business First Editor Jeff Wright. "What do they think of the place they work? How are they treated? Are they valued by their employer?"

Studies show that employee attitudes are stronger at companies that show appreciation for employee efforts and that can impact a company's bottom line. "It's almost like a cliché - a happy employee is a productive employee - but that's what we're seeing here," Wright said. "We've heard that from the winners year in and year out. They get employees involved, involved in making decisions, they are happy and satisfied."

Wright says it's about engaging employees, not always about salaries. "It's not all about money. People say, 'maybe they pay the best.' That's part of it, but not all of it."

Many top companies offer flex time, the newest technology, a team atmosphere and more. Employees say they appreciate open communication and an open door policy. You can read more about the Best Places to Work in this week's Business First.

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