Where is a good place to work in Chicago? Sadly, with the economy in the condition that it is, any business offering a paycheck could be considered a good place to work.
So how did Crain's come up with its "Best Places to Work" list?
Nearly 100 companies, each with more than 100 employees (as of September 30, 2008), completed two surveys. The employers' section focused on wages, promotions, and benefits, while the employees' portion dealt with fairness, vacation time, and relationships with management and co-workers.
Unfortunately, as a sign of the times, several companies on the list announced staff cuts after the surveys were completed in November. But experts say investing in employee development now, even during hard times, can benefit companies when the economy bounces back.
"The relationship between employees and the company is formed and changed in unique ways when people are at risk," said William Macey, CEO of Valtera Corp., the employee and human resources consultancy that conducted the surveys. "Those organizations that squander the opportunity or damage their employment brands will find themselves at a significant disadvantage in the marketplace when the economy emerges."
Transwestern, a commercial real estate firm, topped the list and encourages employees to seek training, reimbursing them for classes. In 2007, two-thirds of its employees were enrolled in an external training program.
The entire list and full details on each company can be viewed at Crain's website.