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By the numbers

How top workplaces are identified

On the road to success, organizations need to know where they are. That’s the motivation behind the annual Top Workplaces survey, which gives employees the chance to rate their workplace.

“Becoming a Top Workplace isn’t something organizations can buy,” said Doug Claffey, CEO of Energage. “It’s an achievement organizations have to work for.”

For the seventh year, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has partnered with Philadelphia-based Energage, formerly WorkplaceDynamics, the employee research and consulting firm, to determine the St. Louis area’s Top Workplaces based solely on employee survey feedback.

Starting in January, the Post-Dispatch welcomed anyone to nominate companies as Top Workplaces. In all, 1,286 employers in the region were invited to take the employee survey. Any employer was eligible, as long as it had at least 50 employees in the greater St. Louis area. Employers could be public, private, nonprofit, or governmental. There is no cost to enter the Top Workplaces program.

In all, 209 organizations agreed to take the survey. Combined, they employ 78,753 people in the St. Louis area. Of those employees who received questionnaires, 44,536 responded, either on paper or online. For 2018, 150 St. Louis-area employers scored well enough to earn recognition on the Top Workplaces list.

The employee survey gathers responses on 24 factors covering seven areas, including organizational health factors that measure how well employees are working together toward a common cause:

Alignment: Where the company is headed, its values, cooperation

Effectiveness: Doing things well, sharing different viewpoints, encouraging new ideas

Connection: Employees feel appreciated, their work is meaningful

My Manager: Cares about concerns, helps employees learn and grow

In addition, the survey asks employees about other factors:

Employee Engagement: Motivation, retention and referral

Leader: Confidence in company leadership

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

Statements relating to “Connection” and “Alignment” are consistently judged most important to employees, while statements about pay and benefits rate least important for workplace satisfaction.

Smaller employers tend to score higher than midsize employers, and midsize employers tend to score higher than large employers. Employers are ranked among groups of similar size to most accurately compare results. Within those size groupings, companies are ranked, and those that score high enough are recognized as Top Workplaces. Energage also determines special award winners based on standout scores on specific areas of the survey.

Why aren’t some companies on the list? Perhaps they chose not to participate or did not score high enough based on the survey results. To ensure organizations are accurately administering the survey, Energage runs statistical tests to look for questionable results. Sometimes, it disqualifies employers based on those tests.

To participate in the 2019 program or to nominate an employer, just go to

Survey Results

Workplace satisfaction

The following statements on the employee survey are used to determine which companies are Top Workplaces. The importance value shows how strongly each statement correlates with how employees in Greater St. Louis rate their workplaces. The closer importance is to 100%, the more important the statement is.

I believe this company is going in the right direction


This company enables me to work at my full potential


I feel genuinely appreciated at this company


My job makes me feel like I am part of something meaningful


Senior managers understand what is really happening at this company


This company operates by strong values


This company encourages different points of view


I have confidence in the leader of this company


At this company, we do things efficiently and well


My manager cares about my concerns


Meetings at this company make good use of my time


New ideas are encouraged at this company


Employee health and wellness is a priority at this company


I get the formal training I want for my career


My manager helps me learn and grow


This job has met or exceeded the expectations I had when I started


People with a wide variety of backgrounds do well at this company


I feel well-informed about important decisions at this company


My manager makes it easier to do my job well


There is good inter-departmental cooperation at this company


My pay is fair for the work I do


I have the flexibility I need to balance my work and personal life


My benefits package is good compared to others in this industry