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Best Places to Work offer tips for talent retention

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Talent retention has become one of the most significant challenges for employers of all sizes, particularly as this state's and America's workforce ages and more Baby Boomers head toward retirement.

That's why it's more important than ever to have a workplace that is able to attract and retain the best and brightest.

How do you gain a competitive advantage? Well, the winners of HBJ's Best Places to Work in Connecticut can give you some clues.

Today, we are revealing our 2019 Best Places to Work rankings, and if you read winners' company profiles you'll better understand the culture and types of benefits and perks that engender employee loyalty and appreciation.

Our winners are vetted and chosen by the Best Companies Group, a third-party research firm based out of Harrisburg, Penn. You can read more about them below, but each year, along with the list of winners, they provide survey results that show some of the perks most commonly offered by the companies that make our Best Places to Work list. Of the 41 companies that qualified for this year's competition, the survey found:

• 85 percent match employee contributions to an employee's retirement savings plan account;

• 76 percent pay at least 75 percent of their employees' health insurance premiums;

• 73 percent allow employees additional paid time off for community service activities/volunteer work;

• 76 percent offer workplace flexibility, including telecommuting options;

• 88 percent provide fitness and/or wellness programs or benefits as well as cafeteria or meal subsidies, free daily snacks or beverages.

Beyond the perks, our Best Places to Work also had employees who prized their work environment. Of the employees surveyed from this year's winning companies:

• 92 percent said they were satisfied with their employer;

• 87 percent said they look forward to going to work each day;

• 92 percent said they are proud of where they work;

• 78 percent said they receive fair pay for the work they perform.

So, after reading that, how does your company stack up? As much as this special section aims to celebrate this year's group of winners (which we did recently at Farmington Gardens in Farmington), it's also meant to be a training tool for other employers, to learn new ways to create an engaged workforce.

At the end of the day, no matter what industry you're in, workers are the most important asset to any company. The employer's challenge is to retain the best and brightest, and as you read the profiles in the pages that follow, competition for talent is intense.

Greg Bordonaro | Editor

How the ranking process works:

The Best Places to Work in Connecticut program was created by the Hartford Business Journal and Best Companies Group to identify and recognize best places to work in the state of Connecticut. The program is managed by Best Companies Group, a third-party research firm that manages similar programs all over the United States and in Canada.

The Best Places to Work in Connecticut program was open to all public or privately-held organizations, either for-profit or not-for-profit.

To be eligible for consideration, companies must have had a total of 15 or more employees working in the state of Connecticut. Companies with headquarters in another state, but with 15 or more employees working in Connecticut, were also eligible.

Participation in this program required organizations to go through a workplace assessment process, which included surveying their employees, as well as taking an inventory of the company benefits, policies and offerings.

The information was processed and analyzed by Best Companies Group and then used to determine the Best Places to Work in Connecticut.

All participating companies went through a two-part workplace assessment process. Part one of the assessment (worth 25 percent of the evaluation) consisted of an employer questionnaire about benefits, policies, practices, and other general information.

Part two of the assessment (75 percent of the evaluation) consisted of a 72-question, confidential employee engagement and satisfaction survey.

This comprehensive, two-part assessment allowed the workplace experts at Best Companies Group to perform an in-depth analysis of each company's strengths and weaknesses and ultimately determine which companies deserved to make the list.

Companies received the in-depth employee feedback report, which showed the percent of positive responses for each of the 72 questions, along with the percent of positive responses within seven demographic categories (gender, age, ethnicity, duration of employment, full- or part-time status, job role, and department).

Companies received state benchmarking reports in which they could compare themselves against list-making companies and all participating companies.

More information about Best Companies Group is available at

Information on the Best Places to Work in Connecticut program can be found at

Winners — Small/Medium Companies

Winner: The Walker Group

Ranked 2nd: Nicola | Yester

Ranked 3rd: Saisystems International

Ranked 4th: Connecticut Wealth Management LLC

Ranked 5th: Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity

Ranked 6th: IT Direct

Ranked 7th: Preferred Brands International Inc.

Ranked 8th: Charles IT 

Ranked 9th: CME Associates Inc.

Ranked 10th: Motorlease

Ranked 11th: Schimenti Construction Company

Ranked 12th: Seasons Federal Credit Union

Winners — Large Companies

Winner: Shawmut Design and Construction

Ranked 2nd: Edward Jones

Ranked 3rd: Consigli Construction Co. Inc.

Ranked 4th: Hinckley Allen

Ranked 5th: Barnum Financial Group

Ranked 6th: Citrin Cooperman & Co. LLP

Ranked 7th: Inspira Marketing Group

Ranked 8th: OneDigital Health and Benefits

Ranked 9th: CDW Government LLC

Ranked 10th: The Lockwood Group

Ranked 11th: Burns & McDonnell

Ranked 12th: Comcast — Western New England Region 

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