Spokane Journal of Business

Publisher’s Notebook: Is your work culture compelling?

Best Places deadline nears …

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Anyone who has done any hiring lately will tell you that the market is tight. Finding and retaining talented employees has become ever more challenging in these days of low unemployment rates and concerning labor participation rates.

All of which requires each of us to ask ourselves whether our workplace is attractive. Whether our organizational culture stands up competitively with the cultures of those who might win over an employee or potential employee we want. Whether our employee engagement story is compelling.

Those are difficult questions to answer, but four years ago, the Journal of Business, along with some outstanding partners and sponsors, set out to bring a program here that helps employers understand where they stack up in the competition for such talent. It’s called Best Places to Work Inland Northwest. In the past three program years, we have recognized dozens of employers here who engaged in a research-based survey process of their staffs and emerged ranked as Best Places to Work.

Beyond the recognition piece, we have heard from participating employers that going through the program helps them learn how their employees feel and how they rank among their peers here. Only good can come from that kind of knowledge.

To conduct the research, we hire a national research firm that provides the program in more than 50 markets, conducting surveys both of employers themselves and their employees. Participation is free, though employers have the option to buy a detailed report about their employees’ 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. 10 issue. We also will celebrate those employers at a breakfast event on Oct. 9.

This is a great opportunity for employers, especially those without big budgets to invest in employee engagement. We chose a reputable 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, if they do, to also use the Best Places logos on their websites and other 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, employee response data, as well as how the organization stacks up against others in the region.

But, and this is important, the deadline for participating is coming soon—May 31—so you will need to act quickly if you want to participate. Signing up is easy and the research firm will then walk you through the steps, which will take place later in June and through July. You can sign up at the program’s website, www.bestplacestoworkinw.com. You also can contact me directly if you have questions, at publisher@spokanejournal.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.


Paul Read is the publisher of the Journal of Business. He can be reached
at publisher@spokanejournal.com.

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