Honoring the Best of the Best

OK, the list is out. Seventy organizations are being recognized as the 2011 Best Places to Work in Indiana. But what you want to know is which ones top the small/medium and large categories.

Well, I am one of the fortunate few to know. After all, we have to plan and execute our usual in-depth BizVoice magazine coverage over the next seven weeks or so. It’s a great opportunity for our team to learn what makes some of these companies tick — and why their employees truly appreciate the workplace environments that have been created.

Software Engineering Professionals and Centier Bank led the way in 2010. Here’s the BizVoice coverage, and you can check out prior years (back to the program’s debut in 2006) in each May-June edition of our archives.

Now, for 2011, the top winners (we say "top" because all that make the cut are winners) … will be unveiled May 5 at the awards dinner at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. It will be another great, great night. Don’t believe me? Here’s the 2010 video.

Making a Mentoring Difference

Mentoring is a simple yet transformative relationship that advances individuals both personally and professionally. The inaugural Inspire: Power of Mentoring Awards will celebrate the efforts of seven individuals and one organization for their use of mentoring to inspire excellence. Each selected Mentor of Excellence will receive an award, media recognition and public recognition at Inspire 2010, which will be held at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, on February 24 at 11:30 a.m. 

Award categories are in the following industry categories:

  • Accounting, Banking & Financial Services
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Health & Health Sciences
  • Education
  • Technology
  • Athletics

In addition to the industry mentors, one Community Mentor of Excellence and one Organization of Excellence will be selected.

The selection committee chairs are:

  • Randy Reichmann, Old National Bank
  • Dave Becker, First Internet Bank
  • Rob Hillman, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana
  • David Shane, LDI, Ltd.
  • Jim Jay, TechPoint
  • Tully Bevilaqua, Indiana Fever
  • December Warren, IYI’s Indiana Mentoring Partnership
  • Roland Dorson, Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce

 You can fill out a quick and easy nomination form here (the deadline for nominations is January 31) and visit College Mentors for Kids for sponsorship and ticket information. 

You Can’t Be the Best If You Don’t Play the Game

So you’ve heard about this Best Places to Work in Indiana thing, but you’re not sure your company should register to participate. The deadline for the 2010 program is Friday (that’s just to apply, the questionnaire and surveys come later, so you have time); thus, let me give you a few reasons to help you make up your mind.

  • Everybody wins. No, it’s not the "we won’t keep score in the soccer game but give everyone a trophy mentality," but all companies that participate benefit from the professional analysis and the direct (and anonymous) comments from your employees. If you don’t qualify for the BPTW list, the feedback may not be rosy. But then you can take what you learn and improve — isn’t that what business and developing a strong workplace culture are all about
  • If you do win — in the form of being named one of the Best Places to Work — the awards event is simply a blast. Megaphones, maracas, cowbells and tamborines have taken turns as the featured noisemakers at a fast-moving celebration at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. It’s an awards dinner you will always remember
  • Those honorees also receive some pretty cool statewide recognition through BizVoice magazine. Check out the coverage from earlier this year, along with previous May-June issues

A young, fast-growing company contacted me recently for more details and was far from disheartened when told an organization has to have a minimum of 25 Indiana employees (not my rule, but a needed one to ensure integrity with the survey process). The reaction: "we’ll be at 25 soon" and ready to enter future programs.

All of the details are here. Apply, invest in your company and reap the rewards. You won’t be sorry.

Best of the Best (Places to Work)

Two companies that share an industry (construction) also shared top honors at the fourth Best Places to Work in Indiana event. Performance Services, Inc. (PSI) and Shiel Sexton were ranked No. 1 in the small/medium and large company categories, respectively.

What makes them (and the other 68 companies that were recognized Tuesday night with more than 800 people in attendance at the beautiful Indiana Roof Ballroom) special? Leadership brings in good people, gives them the tools to do their job and stays out of their way. BizVoice magazine has the stories on both companies — PSI and Shiel.

More than 20 states and a number of larger cities now have Best Places to Work programs coordinated by Best Companies Group (BCG). Indiana businesses rank in the top 10 in employee satisfaction among that group, according to Peter Burke, BCG president and one of the presenters at the event. He travels the country, attending and participating in various awards celebrations, and touts the Indiana program as one of the finest. Kudos to many on the Indiana Chamber staff, program partners and sponsors who make it possible.

Still not sure what the Best Places to Work program is or wondering why isn’t my company involved in that? Check out the details. Registration for 2010 will begin this summer.

Note: You can see how all 70 companies stacked up here.

“Best Places to Work” Deadline Approaching

Time is running out for companies to apply for the annual competition naming the “Best Places to Work in Indiana.” Registrations will be accepted until Friday, December 5, for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce program honoring the top companies in the state as determined through employer reports and comprehensive employee surveys.

The 2009 winners will be selected from two categories: small to medium-sized companies of between 25 and 249 employees, and large-sized companies consisting of 250 or more employees. (Out-of-state parent companies are eligible to participate if at least 25 full-time employees are in Indiana.)

The Best Companies Group, which has overseen similar programs in other states, is responsible for the selection process. The basis for this initiative is Fortune magazine’s noted “100 Best Companies to Work for in America.”

All participating companies will receive an in-depth evaluation identifying strengths and weaknesses according to their employees.

Best Places to Work Awards Honor Indiana Businesses who put Employees First

The Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indy was a worthy venue Wednesday night for the Best Places to Work Awards. Schmidt Associates and Edward Jones topped the list, being named the best places to work in their respective categories. However, a plethora of Indiana businesses of varied sizes were awarded at the gala, which featured a delicious dinner and a whole lotta maraca shaking.

Additionally, attendees were privy to the release of the May/June 2008 edition of BizVoice magazine following the dinner, which includes the final placing and several articles about recognized companies.

And if you’d like for your business to throw its hat in the ring for next year, click here to learn more information about the program and application process.