Companies on Top Workplaces list took different roads to the same destination: Happy workers

By Barry Harrell

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011

Some are huge corporations with billions of dollars in assets. Others are small startups. There are software makers and restaurants, insurance companies and cleaning services.

The 85 Central Texas employers highlighted in the American-Statesman's 2011 Top Workplaces of Greater Austin special section don't have a lot in common – except that their employees say they are great places to work.

The Top Workplaces of Greater Austin project involved surveys of 15,731 workers from 143 Austin–area employers.

The surveys were conducted by our partner in this project, WorkplaceDynamics LLP, an Exton, Pa.–based company with expertise in employee engagement surveys.

WorkplaceDynamics has done top–workplace projects for newspapers since 2007 and has worked with multiple newspapers around the country. The company designed and conducted the anonymous surveys, analyzed the results and came up with the list of the top 85 Austin–area employers, grouped in three categories based on the number of employees.

The Statesman solicited nominations, but we do not know which companies did not make the rankings. That was designed to encourage companies to participate without risking embarrassment if they didn't make the lists.

WorkplaceDynamics's surveys asked workers to rate their employers on issues such as leadership and direction, ethics and values and how well employees are treated.

Based on the survey results, workers in the Austin area say the things that make their workplaces great go far beyond just a paycheck.

They want to work for companies that value them as people and that value their opinions and ideas.

They want their employers to give them flexibility to balance their family life with their work life.

They want to be part of a dynamic team and be part of a company that is growing and moving forward.

One example is this survey comment from an employee at Cirrus Logic Inc., the No. 1–ranked company among large employers:

"I am not restricted to any one particular type of duty. I can explore different areas and see if I can excel at them," the employee wrote. "I have no set work schedule, so taking my kids to school is much easier and less stressful. ... Cirrus gives me what I need to perform my job in the best way possible."

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