Spokane Journal of Business

How does new talent regard you?


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The warnings are already being whispered here by economists: An upcoming challenge to our region’s growth could well be labor shortages. What does that mean to you? Is your organization perceived as a great place to work? How do you stack up against your competitors in the quest for talent?

Those are compelling questions for the region as a whole, not just when it comes to the individual prosperity of our many fine employers, but in the context of great workplaces as a crucial economic development asset we use to recruit new employers and help current ones grow.

That is why we are excited to announce a new annual program for our region. It’s called Best Places to Work Inland Northwest, and it represents a proven model for helping employers engage with their employees, learn how to improve their workplaces, and celebrate great examples of how it can be done.

We’ve hired a research firm that provides the Best Places to Work program in more than 50 markets to conduct surveys of participating employers and their employees. Participation is free, though employers will have the option of purchasing a detailed report of what their employees had to say.

Based on those surveys, the research firm, Pennsylvania-based Best Companies Group, will provide the Journal with a ranking of the participating organizations, weighted on the data collected in the employer and employee surveys, and the Journal will publish that list, along with other features, in a special supplement on Oct. 6. 

We also plan to hold an awards event that first week of October to celebrate the very best employers in three size categories. Why? Because communities shouldn’t be shy about celebrating what is good, and sharing successful strategies so all can improve.

This is a great opportunity for employers, especially those without big budgets that can be invested in employee engagement. We’ve chosen a reputable research firm to conduct the surveys because we want it done right, and with complete anonymity for employees. Participating employers are eligible to make the Journal’s list of Best Places to Work, and to use the Best Places logos on their websites and in their promotional and recruiting materials, setting themselves apart in the competition for talent.

They also could choose to buy the optional report from Best Companies Group, which will detail, in aggregate, all employee responses, as well as how the organization stacks up against others in the region. 

Employers can sign up now at the program’s website, www.bestplacestoworkinw.com. The surveys will be conducted in June and July.

None of this would be happening without the strong support of two founding major sponsors to the program, Providence Health Care and the Inland Northwest Society for Human Resource Management. Thank you to both, and to the tremendous leaders you have have lent to the planning process.

I strongly encourage you to give some thought to participating in this free program. 

As always, feel free to contact me with questions. 

  • Paul Read

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