Here's Columbus CEO's methodology behind how we identify the best places to work in Columbus.

Who determines Top Workplaces? The best judges: the employees who work there.

For the eighth year, Columbus CEO has partnered with Philadelphia-based Energage to rank the Columbus region’s Top Workplaces. The process is based on a scientific survey of employees who rate their workplace culture. It also gives company insights about what makes them unique.

“Recruitment and retention are a key focus for every organization today,” says Eric Rubino, CEO of Energage. “The employee engagement survey at the heart of the Top Workplaces program provides the foundation for unearthing unique culture differentiators to recruit and retain the right talent.”

We're honoring 85 companies employees love the most. Here are the 2020 Top Workplaces.

The process began in July 2019, when Columbus CEO invited anyone to nominate companies as Top Workplaces. Energage also reached out to area companies. Throughout the process, 1,097 employers in the region were invited to have their employees take the survey. Any organization was eligible to participate, provided it had at least 50 employees in the region. Employers could be public, private, nonprofit, or governmental. There is no cost to enter the Top Workplaces program.

For the 2020 list, a record 131 employers agreed to take the survey. Combined, they employ 33,645 people in the region. Of those employees who received questionnaires, 21,344 responded, either on paper or online. For this year’s winners list, 85 Columbus-area employers were ranked based on their employee survey feedback.

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The employee engagement survey of 24 questions gathers responses regarding issues relating to workplace culture:

• Alignment: Where the company is headed, its values, cooperation, effective meetings

• Coaching: Managers care about concerns, are helpful, encourage employee development

• Connection: Employees feel appreciated, work is meaningful, working at full potential, clued in to each other

• Engagement: Productivity, retention, recruiting

• Leadership: Confidence in company leaders

• Performance: Execution, open-mindedness, innovation, clued-in leadership

• The Basics: Pay, benefits, flexibility, training, expectations

Want to participate in the 2021 program? Just go to columbusceo.com/nominate to submit a nomination.

Bob Helbig is media partnerships director with Energage.