Employees use survey to rate their workplace

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Metro Atlanta employees want to work for companies with strong values and managers who make it easy for them to do a good job.

Transparency and teamwork are also important in the region’s best places to work. These are among the values that make the 175 Top Workplaces stand out from others.

ExploreCheck out all the Top Workplaces winners for 2021

For the past 11 years, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and its partner, Philadelphia-based Energage, have surveyed Greater Atlanta employees to determine the area’s top workplaces. Energage, an employee research and consulting firm, utilizes a scientific survey process to determine the top large, midsize and small companies.

Employees have an opportunity to rate and comment on their workplaces in the annual survey.

The 244 companies that participated in this year’s free survey represent 56,160 metro Atlanta workers. Of those, 34,031 responded.

Among the 2021 Top Workplaces, employees overwhelmingly note they work for companies with integrity and have managers who care about their concerns and make it easy to do their jobs well.

“Brasfield & Gorrie has done so much to establish respect and trust with clients that I feel confident performing my job,” wrote an employee at the construction firm. “It is great to know that senior management looks out for not only their clients’ best interest but also their employees. It is a hard thing to balance in this industry, but they do it extremely well and with a tremendous amount of integrity.”

Statements such as “This company operates by strong values” (88.5%), and “My manager makes it easier to do my job well” (86.8%), “My manager cares about my concerns” (86.2%), “I have confidence in the leader of this company” (86%) are indicators of positivity among employees.

An employee with Arrow Exterminators wrote: “From the top down in this company, you truly feel appreciated and loved for all the hard work you put in to help make the company successful. …The owners of Arrow truly care about every employee, and you can feel it and see it with their actions.”

The employee engagement survey included 24 questions dealing with workplace culture. Categories include:

· Alignment and Connection – company values, being informed, working at full potential

· Performance – being able to share new ideas, having managers that know what’s going on

· Coaching – being supported and mentored

· Engagement – motivation, retention and recruiting

· Leadership – confidence in company leaders

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

According to this year’s results, statements related to pay and benefits are less important (64.7% and 61.6%, respectively) to job satisfaction.

Employees consistently rank issues of Alignment and Connection as most important to them. They also value Coaching and Engagement, with almost 82% agreeing with the statement, “My manager helps me learn and grow,” and 84% with “This company motivates me to give my very best at work.”

At Credigy, managers are in constant dialogue with other workers, noted an employee at the finance company. “We are constantly checking in with each other, and guidance is seemingly never in short supply. That ongoing communication is critical and shows that my manager is invested in me,” the employee wrote.

This year, 175 companies ranked as Top Workplaces in the Atlanta region, including 59 newcomers. First-timer Cornerstone Christian Academy, a private K-8 school in Peachtree Corners, took first place in the small workplaces category.

Employees said the school’s caring, nurturing environment and the efficiency of management set their workplace apart.

“Communication to faculty and families – procedures and policies – are clearly stated in many ways, making the school feel like a family,” wrote an employee.

Energage surveys employees at participating companies using either paper surveys or an online application. After the survey is complete, statistical testing roots out any questionable results.

The research company conducts Top Workplaces surveys for media in 52 markets and surveyed more than 2 million employees at more than 7,000 organizations in 2019. In its 14 years of operation, Energage has heard from 23 million employees in 70,000 organizations.