It’s becoming clear that the tightening labor market we all have been feeling may well be here to stay, and perhaps even worsen, as fundamental demographic shifts manifest themselves and labor participation rates continue to be disturbingly low. Jobs are simply harder to fill these days, and all employers are looking for answers as they do their best to retain the talent they already have.
All of which reminds us of the reality that we always understood, that to be competitive in the talent market—or more specifically to be able to attract and retain the best workers—we must focus, perhaps with greater diligence, on employee engagement.
Seven years ago, the Journal of Business, along with some outstanding partners, launched a program that helps employers understand how their employees feel and where the organization stacks up in the competition for talent. It’s called Best Places to Work Inland Northwest.
Since then, we have recognized many employers in the region who have chosen to engage in a research-based survey process of their employees and emerged ranked as Best Places to Work.
Beyond the recognition piece—which we conduct through a special supplement and celebratory event—we have heard from participating employers that going through the program helps them identify what they are doing well and what they need to improve as employers.
Only good can come from that kind of introspection.
To conduct the research, we hire a national research firm that gathers comprehensive information about the employers themselves and then polls their employees, anonymously of course. Participation is free, though employers have the option to buy a detailed report from Workforce Research Group about their employees’ aggregate responses.
Based on those surveys, the firm provides us with a ranking of participating organizations, and we publish that list in a supplement to our Oct. 6 issue. We also plan to celebrate those employers at a live event on Oct. 5.
This is a great opportunity for employers, especially those without big budgets that can be invested in employee engagement. Participating employers are eligible to make the Journal’s list of Best Places to Work, and, if they do, to also use the Best Places logos on their websites and other promotional and recruiting materials.
But the deadline for participating is coming soon—June 3—so you’ll need to act quickly. Signing up is easy, and the research firm will then walk you through the steps, which will take place later in June and into July.
You can sign up at the program’s website, www.bestplacestoworkinlandnw.com. You can also contact me directly if you have questions, at email@example.com.
None of this would be possible without the strong support of our founding major sponsors to the program, Providence Health Care and the Inland Northwest Society for Human Resource Management.
I strongly encourage you to consider participating in this program. Attracting and retaining talent will always be a focus.
Paul Read is the publisher of the Journal of Business.
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