QAfter I register my company to participate, what happens next and when?
APlease refer to the Timeline for a detailed list of important dates and deadlines for the program. All registered companies will be notified regularly via email of upcoming deadlines. We would highly recommend that you white-list
so that the email address will be an approved sender. You may also want to regularly check your spam or junk folder to make sure that important updates are not missed. It is of vital importance that you read all communications, updates and instructions thoroughly.
QWe have several companies operating in Alabama under one parent holding company. Each company has its own EIN and each has its own set of benefits and working environments. Do I need to register each company?
AYes. Since each company is its own entity with its own benefits and working environment, we will treat each company as a separate employer and send each location a separate set of surveys, etc. Each subsidiary company must have at least 15 full- and part-time permanent employees working in Alabama to be eligible.
QWe have several offices/facilities in the state of Alabama that operate using the same EIN and same set of employee benefits and procedures. Should I register each company separately?
ANo. If you are one company with multiple locations, facilities, factories, stores, etc., you should submit only one registration for all locations. We will then conduct a survey of employees that are randomly selected from the various business units that you operate in Alabama, up to a total of 400 employees.
Special exceptions for hotels: We understand that hotels have unique ownership and management scenarios. Therefore, hotels may enter as individual locations. However, the number of US employees that you will report will be the number of employees who work for the same company your employees do. In most scenarios, the company used to determine the US employee count will be the company whose name appears on the employees' paychecks and from whom the employees derive their employee benefits. If you have questions about this, please contact us.
QMy company has employees working in the state of Alabama but we do not have a physical office location. Are we eligible to participate?
AYes, as long as you have employees working in the state and are able to provide an in-state mailing address for your business, you are eligible to participate. Only employees working in or directly reporting into the state are eligible to participate in the survey.
QOur company has employees that work for our operations within the program area but technically do not reside nor perform the majority of their duties within the program area. Are they eligible to participate in the survey process?
AFor remote employees to be eligible to participate, the individuals must report directly into the state of Alabama. If the remote employees report to a remote regional manager, the employees would not be eligible to take part in the survey process. However, the regional managers are eligible to participate if they report directly to the office within the state of Alabama.
If you are uncertain about any employee’s eligibility to participate in the survey we encourage you to contact Best Companies Group for a final determination, as surveying ineligible employees may lead to disqualification from the competition.
QWe are a personnel placement company with associates who are technically our employees, but they work for other companies. Are we still eligible to participate?
A Yes. However, only "in-house" employees will be counted and surveyed. The employees who are "placed" with other companies are not counted and will not be surveyed. There must be a minimum of 15 "in-house" employees to be eligible.
QOur company employs seasonal, temporary, per diem and independent contractor employees. Should they be included in the survey?
A No. Seasonal, temporary, per diem, independent contractors, interns, volunteers or consultants should not be included in the survey process. We only want to survey the permanent full- and part-time employees.
AIf you have 250 or fewer employees in your company, then the answer is Yes! If you employ more than 250 associates in Alabama, a random sample of up to 400 employees will be asked to complete the survey. Please see the Assessment Process for more information.
QWe have more than 250 associates to be surveyed. Who decides which employees will receive the surveys and how they are distributed? Do we have to give you a list of who is being surveyed?
A The random selection will be conducted by Best Companies Group for the online survey process. Companies choosing the online survey process will be asked to upload a list of all employee email addresses into an online portal. Best Companies Group will then randomly select the appropriate amount of employees (based on company size) to receive the survey. Companies will be asked to upload the employee email addresses via an online upload portal sent shortly after registration has closed. Companies choosing the paper survey process will be required to tell Best Companies Group how they conducted the random selection of their employee population. Please see the Timeline for dates surrounding the portal.
AYes. All employees will be asked to complete a survey unless the company has more than 250 employees. In companies employing over 250 associates, a random sample will be chosen, and even then, managers are not excluded. Employees from all job levels should be included in the survey process - from founders, partners, and executive management to line-level employees.
QHow long will it take to complete the employer questionnaire (EQ)? Will it require a lot of research?
A The employer questionnaire may take between 8-10 hours to complete, depending upon how easy it is to retrieve your company's information regarding company policies, practices and demographics. Some research may be necessary. The EQ is completed and submitted online. A list of questions can be found on the Survey & Report Samples page. You may begin gathering the information requested on the EQ prior to the survey start date. That way when the actual invitation is sent, you can simply enter the requested information online.
A Best Companies Group will send your company a box of paper surveys and postage-paid return envelopes that must be distributed to employees. Employees complete the survey, place it in the envelope, seal it and then drop the completed surveys in the US mail. Completed surveys are mailed back to our processing facility by each employee.
QWhat does the employee do with the paper survey once it's completed? Will the return envelopes be postage-paid?
A The employee will put his or her completed survey in an envelope (provided), seal it and place the envelope in the US postal mail back to our processing facility. The return envelopes are postage-paid.
QWhat if not all of the employees complete and return the surveys? Is there a minimum response rate?
A We are looking for a response rate of approximately 65% or greater. Therefore, it is not absolutely necessary that all who receive a survey fill it out. While companies who have not reached 65% may still be considered, response rates are taken into account during the analysis process. The higher the response rate the more representative it will be of your company as a whole and the more valuable your company’s data will be at the end of the process.
Companies with 15-24 employees must have an 80% (or better) response rate from their employees filling out the survey to be considered for the list.
A To conduct the online survey process, companies submit a list of employee email addresses. Employees are then directly sent an email invitation containing unique access information from Best Companies Group. The invitation directs employees to a unique Web page where they can submit their confidential responses. We can only send email invitations to company email accounts.
QNot all of our employees have email addresses. Can we still utilize the online survey?
A Yes! The online survey process can still be utilized, as long as most employees (70% or more) Yes! You can still use the online survey provided that at least 70% of your employees have company email. If you have some employees without email addresses, they will still be included in the survey. We can provide access codes for those employees, if they represent 30% or less of your employee population. Click to learn more about Access Codes.
In order to maintain the integrity of the survey process, if fewer than 70% of your employees have company email addresses, you will have to utilize the paper survey process.
QI am concerned about the confidentiality of the survey responses.
AWe will make every effort to maintain the anonymity of the employees completing the survey as well as protect the summarized data of all participating companies. Please note that in order to maintain respondent anonymity, we do not report any response data for fewer than five (5) individuals in any one demographic category on the Employee Demographic Report. Please see our Statement of Confidentiality for more information.
QCan the job role and department demographics on the employee survey be customized to more closely align with our organization?
AYes, for a fee, the job role and department demographic categories can be customized. Please call Best Companies Group for more information or select the “Customization” option on the registration form and someone will contact you with more information. What's this?
QWhat information is included in the Employee Feedback Report and when will we receive it?
A The Employee Feedback Report comes in a folder and will contain large spreadsheets detailing and summarizing your employees' responses to the 78 survey questions (in percentage form). It will also include detailed instructions on how to interpret the results. The reports will be mailed to each company shortly after the companies are notified whether or not they made the list. Companies will also receive the responses from the two open-ended questions on the survey. These comments will be transcribed exactly as submitted by employees. State benchmarking is also included so companies can compare themselves to the "Best Companies to Work for in Alabama" list-making companies. The benchmarking portions will be sent after the publication date. If you would like to see samples of the report content, please see the Employee Feedback Report page.
QWhen will we find out if our company made the list and where we rank?
AYou will receive a notification letter informing you as to whether or not your company has made the list. If you make the list, you will find out where you rank either at the gala awards event or in the special publication. See the Timeline for more details.
QA portion of our employees do not speak English. Do you offer employee surveys in alternate languages?
A We do offer employee surveys in a variety of additional languages! There will be an additional $195 fee to cover the cost of translation (flat rate) per language. If your company needs an additional language please select the "Languages" button on the registration form. Spanish surveys are available online.
Q How will my company be notified throughout the survey process? Will I receive regular updates?
A Yes, you will receive periodic updates regarding the survey timeline. However, we do recommend that your company place the dates that we send to you in your calendars. Best Companies Group primarily works through email. It is important that you read all instructions and details sent to you from Best Companies Group.
**We would highly recommend that you white-list
so that the email address will be an approved sender. You may also want to regularly check your spam or junk folder to make sure that important updates are not missed.
QDoes Best Companies Group have any other programs or conduct any other surveys or services?
A Yes! Best Companies Group is identifying and recognizing great workplaces on national, state, regional and industry stages. For a complete list of programs or to learn more about our additional services, please visit www.BestCompaniesGroup.com.