Workers may not always respond honestly if concerns about keeping their jobs are a factor. Applying for the Best Places to Work in Indiana program, however, presents the perfect chance to receive forthcoming employee responses.

The program's selection process includes anonymous employee surveys covering multiple aspects of the workplace. Employers receive the results along with the opportunity to be chosen as a Best Place to Work. Winning companies are recognized in BizVoice magazine and honored at the Best Places to Work awards ceremony.

The program, which began in 2006, is coordinated by the Best Companies Group, which hosts competitions in a number of other states. Nominated companies are placed in four categories: small, medium, large and major - based on the number of Indiana employees.

We caught up with three companies - Horseshoe Casino Hammond; Allegient, LLC; and Apex Benefits - that have been named a Best Place to Work on multiple occasions to see how the program has impacted their organizations.

"Being a Best Place to Work is much more than displaying an award in an entranceway," asserts Dawn Reynolds-Pettit, regional vice president of human resources at Horseshoe Casino Hammond. "I know people take notice when you are among the best of the best, and it gives our employees a sense of pride knowing they work for an organization that consistently steps up its game year after year."

Margaret Mitchell, director of human resources at Allegient, also comments on the benefits the program has provided from an employee morale standpoint. "It's a good unifier for our organization to be appreciated for all that we do for our employees and to be recognized throughout the state for all the benefits we provide to our employees. (Additionally) clients are able to see that we’re listed as a Best Place to Work, and it helps us attract other good clients."

Rebecca Sterchi, director of the human resources consulting practice at Apex Benefits, acknowledges the transformative effects the program has had for the company. "Once we get feedback, we communicate the responses to the staff and focus both on our strengths and areas that need improvement. We change policies as a result."

Applications for the 2015 program are available now through November 21. Simply applying is an opportunity to improve your organization. The program presents the chance to receive crucial information about employee satisfaction. The anonymous surveys provide insight into company policies that may require alteration to ensure the organization’s future success.

In the Best Places to Work program, everyone comes out on the positive side of the equation. All companies benefit and that makes our state the big winner.

Tom Schuman is vice president of communications with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

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