Share Your ‘Best Places’ Story

If you’ve ever been stuck in a terrible working environment, you know a good one when you find it. The difference could not be more obvious – not only how the employer treats employees, but how happy co-workers are to be working together to accomplish a singular mission.

Since the Indiana Chamber of Commerce hosts the Best Places to Work in Indiana program, we are obviously not putting ourselves in the race to be named one of the top workplaces in the state. We love shining the light on the companies that are true difference-makers in their industries; those that are innovating and making Indiana a better place for not only the products or services they provide, but for their employees to live, work and play.

Each year we highlight many of the companies on the Best Places list in BizVoice magazine. Through interviews and interactions with employers and employees, one of the themes that is evident is the personal connections happening at these companies. Employees are more than just a number. More than just a workforce.

To shine the spotlight even brighter, we’re going to be sharing some of our personal stories with you over the next three weeks as we gear up for the Best Places to Work in Indiana celebration on the evening of May 3. (You can go ahead and reserve tables or tickets here.)

And we want you to share your stories with us and with our followers on social media. If you’re interested in sharing why your workplace is special to you, please take a short video of yourself, tag us @IndianaChamber and use the hashtag #BPTWIN in your posts. We’ll retweet and share those so others can see what makes your company a great place to work.

As an example, here’s my story about why I’ve been proud to work at the Indiana Chamber for the last seven years.

Keep an eye out for more and we can’t wait to hear from you!

Don’t forget to register for the Best Places to Work in Indiana event on May 3. Find more information at www.indianachamber.com/specialevents

Record 125 Companies Named Best Places to Work in Indiana

Best Places to Work in Indiana

A record number of Hoosier companies – 125 in total – have been named to the 2018 Best Places to Work in Indiana list.

“We have many tremendous employers in the state, so it’s great to see more and more companies take part in this effort to evaluate their workplace cultures and gain the recognition they deserve,” offers Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar.”

“These organizations come from a wide variety of industries yet they all have a common thread. They continually demonstrate to their employees through their culture, communication, career opportunities, benefits and more how much they value their contributions.”

Read the press release here.

The actual rankings for the companies will be unveiled at a May 3 awards dinner at the Indiana Convention Center (Sagamore Ballroom) in downtown Indianapolis. Individual tickets and tables of 10 are available at www.indianachamber.com/specialevents.

Companies were determined through employer reports and comprehensive employee surveys. The Best Companies Group, which handled the selection process, oversees similar programs in 25 other states.

Winners were selected from four categories: small companies of between 15 and 74 U.S. employees; medium companies of between 75 and 249 U.S. employees; large companies of between 250 and 999 U.S. employees; and major companies with 1,000 or more U.S. employees. Out-of-state parent companies were eligible to participate if at least 15 full-time employees are in Indiana.

All companies that participated in the 2018 Best Places to Work program receive an in-depth evaluation identifying strengths and weaknesses according to their employees. In turn, this report can be used in developing or enhancing employee retention and recruitment programs.

Organizations on this year’s list that have displayed sustained excellence during the program’s 13-year history receive additional recognition.

Hall of Fame companies are those that have been named a Best Place to Work in Indiana at least 60% of the time in the program’s history; a total of 19 organizations on the 2018 list meet that criteria. Two companies – Edward Jones and Katz, Sapper & Miller – have made the Best Places to Work list all 13 years of the program.

For more information on the Best Places to Work program, go to www.bestplacestoworkIN.com.

The 2018 Best Places to Work in Indiana companies listed in alphabetical order, no ranking:

*Hall of Fame companies

Small Companies (15-74 U.S. employees) (57)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

Accutech Systems / Muncie
* Apex Benefits / Indianapolis
Bedel Financial Consulting, Inc.  / Indianapolis
Big City Cars / Fort Wayne
BLASTmedia / Fishers
Bloomerang / Indianapolis
BlueSky Technology Partners / Noblesville
Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) / Indianapolis
Brite Systems / Indianapolis
CENTURY 21 Scheetz / Multiple locations
CleanSlate Technology Group / Carmel
ClearObject, Inc. / Fishers
Clinical Architecture / Carmel
Community First Bank of Indiana / Kokomo
* Cripe / Indianapolis
DK Pierce and Associates / Zionsville
eimagine / Indianapolis
* FirstPerson / Indianapolis
General Insurance Services / Michigan City
Goelzer Investment Management, Inc. / Indianapolis
Greenlight Guru / Indianapolis
Grote Automotive / Fort Wayne
Guidon Design / Indianapolis
Hamilton County Tourism / Carmel
Hanapin Marketing / Bloomington
* Indesign, LLC / Indianapolis
Inovateus Solar LLC / South Bend
Insurance Management Group / Marion
JA Benefits, LLC / Bedford
Jackson Systems / Indianapolis
Lakeside Wealth Management / Chesterton
Leaf Software Solutions / Carmel
LHD Benefit Advisors / Indianapolis
mAccounting, LLC / Indianapolis
Magnum Logistics / Plainfield
Merritt Contracting / Lebanon
netlogx LLC / Indianapolis
Nix Companies / Poseyville
OfficeWorks / Indianapolis
OrthoPediatrics / Warsaw
Peepers by PeeperSpecs / Michigan City
Pondurance / Indianapolis
Probo Medical / Fishers
Public Safety Medical / Indianapolis
RESOURCE Commercial Real Estate / Indianapolis
RQAW  / Indianapolis
Sharpen Technologies Inc. / Indianapolis
Sigstr / Indianapolis
Springbuk / Indianapolis
T&W Corporation / Indianapolis
That’s Good HR / Indianapolis
The Garrett Companies / Greenwood
The Skillman Corporation / Indianapolis
University High School of Indiana / Carmel
Visit Indy / Indianapolis
VOSS Automotive / Fort Wayne
Wessler Engineering / Indianapolis

Medium Companies (75-249 U.S. employees) (30)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

American College of Education / Indianapolis
Blue Horseshoe / Carmel
Butler, Fairman & Seufert, Inc. / Indianapolis
CREA, LLC / Indianapolis
* E-gineering / Indianapolis
* Elements Financial Federal Credit Union / Indianapolis
Emarsys North America / Indianapolis
Envelop Group / Indianapolis
ESCO Communications / Indianapolis
First Internet Bank / Fishers
Formstack / Indianapolis
Fort Wayne Rescue Mission Ministries, Inc (DBA The Rescue Mission) / Fort Wayne
Gregory & Appel Insurance / Indianapolis
HWC Engineering, Inc. / Indianapolis
IDSolutions / Noblesville
J.C. Hart Company, Inc. / Carmel
Lessonly / Indianapolis
Merchants Bank of Indiana and PR Mortgage & Investments / Carmel
Midwest Mole / Greenfield
Morales Group, Inc. / Indianapolis
Moser Consulting / Indianapolis
Oak Street Funding LLC / Indianapolis
Parkview Wabash Hospital / Wabash
Peoples Bank SB / Munster
* Schmidt Associates, Inc. / Indianapolis
* Software Engineering Professionals (SEP) / Carmel
United Consulting Engineers / Indianapolis
United Way of Central Indiana / Indianapolis
Visiting Nurse and Hospice of the Wabash Valley / Terre Haute
Weddle Bros. Construction Co., Inc. / Bloomington

Large Companies (250-999 U.S. employees) (25)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

Aluminum Trailer Company / Nappanee
American Structurepoint, Inc. / Indianapolis
Appirio, A Wipro Company / Indianapolis
Bastian Solutions / Indianapolis
Blue 449 / Indianapolis
* Blue & Co., LLC / Carmel
* Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company / Fort Wayne
Carbonite / Indianapolis
* Centier Bank / Merrillville
* FORUM Credit Union / Fishers
Hylant / Multiple locations
IPMG / West Lafayette
* Katz, Sapper & Miller / Indianapolis
Kemper CPA Group LLP / Multiple locations
* Monarch Beverage / Indianapolis
MutualBank / Muncie
Onebridge / Indianapolis
Ontario Systems / Muncie
Pacers Sports & Entertainment / Indianapolis
Parkview Huntington Hospital / Huntington
Parkview Noble Hospital / Kendallville
Parkview Whitley Hospital / Columbia City
Sikich / Indianapolis
The Kendall Group / Fort Wayne
* WestPoint Financial Group / Indianapolis

Major Companies (1,000+ U.S. employees) (13)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

Aerotek / Multiple locations
Ameristar Casino + Hotel East Chicago / East Chicago
* Capital Group / Carmel
CareSource / Indianapolis
Colliers International / Indianapolis
Comcast Corporation / Indianapolis
* Edward Jones / Multiple locations
First Merchants Bank / Muncie
* Horseshoe Casino / Hammond
Kronos Incorporated / Indianapolis
Perficient / Carmel
* Salesforce / Indianapolis
Total Quality Logistics / Indianapolis

It Was a Very Good Year

Out with the old and in with the new?

Not at the Indiana Chamber, where each year brings a mix of familiar membership offerings and additional opportunities to maximize your investment. All businesses – and their needs – are different. That’s why you can choose from a multitude of resources and benefits.

Revisit 2017 with a brief (though not comprehensive) recap of highlights:

  • Legislative advocacy: The Chamber’s policy work in 2017 yielded a return on investment of $1.575 billion for Hoosier businesses (or $587 per employee). Among many legislative victories were a long-term road funding plan, expanding the state’s pre-kindergarten program, and several technology and innovation advances.
  • Preparing for 2018: The second annual Indiana Technology & Innovation Policy Summit on December 1 set the stage for the upcoming General Assembly
  •  session. Discussions centered on enhancing the state’s tax and business climate, software-as-a-service, certified technology parks, expanding investment capital, autonomous vehicles and data centers.
  • Indiana Vision 2025: The Chamber’s long-range economic development plan includes a biannual Report Card comparing the 50 states in 62 metrics related to 36 goals (grouped by four drivers: Outstanding Talent, Attractive Business Climate, Superior Infrastructure, and Dynamic and Creative Culture). The Chamber conducted 11 statewide regional forums – expanding the conversations to even more areas than in the past – to discuss the results, obtain local analysis and share best practices.

Business Education and Events: Did you take advantage of the 50-plus training opportunities or variety of regulatory compliance guides? Many members turn to these resources to ensure their staff is trained and protect their business from non-compliance fines!

Ann Compton

Annual gatherings collectively draw thousands. Among them were the Safety and Health Conference and Expo (the largest event of its kind in the state), Human Resources Conference and Expo and Legislative Dinner (former ABC News White House correspondent Ann Compton shared personal stories and an optimistic perspective about our country’s future).

An extraordinary 100 workplaces celebrated their success at the 2017 Best Places to Work in Indiana Awards Dinner. Mark your calendar for the 13th annual event on May 3, 2018!

NFL legend Peyton Manning entertained 2,000-plus attendees at the Chamber’s 28th Annual Awards Dinner on November 7. Register today for the 29th Annual Awards Dinner on November 13.

Stretch

Affiliate programs: The Wellness Council of Indiana recognized 19 organizations with AchieveWell designations (part of a comprehensive assessment and evaluation) and continued to grow its Indiana Healthy Community Initiative.

Indiana INTERNnet, a free high-tech and high-touch internship matching service, filled 909 internships (up from 726 last year!) and broadened its focus with a pilot program aimed at high school students. The annual IMPACT Awards luncheon, which recognizes internship excellence, drew a record number of nominations for its February 2018 celebration.

Indiana Chamber web site

Inside the Chamber: Our new web site is more streamlined and user friendly. In addition, the site is responsive – you can access on your tablet or smart phone any page or post you can view on your desktop. Another highlight is the Member Benefits page, now organized in four key areas: advocacy, compliance and information, savings and visibility.

The EchoChamber podcast features informal discussions with Indiana leaders in business, education, technology, politics and much more. Most recently, Blair Milo, Indiana’s first Secretary of Career Connections and Talent, discusses state efforts to meet employer needs. Stay tuned for what’s coming and check out the archives.

Wrap up the year by celebrating Indiana’s manufacturing legacy in the January-February issue of BizVoice® magazine. We’ll feature companies and stories from across the state as we explore “Manufacturing: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” It will be available online and in the mail the last week of December.

Talented Employees Seek Out the Best (Places to Work in Indiana)

Job seekers use many tools for finding employment. And talented employees who know they deserve to work for the best companies around are using the Best Places to Work in Indiana list to enhance their searches.

Using comprehensive employee surveys and employer reports as the determination for inclusion in the list, the Best Places to Work in Indiana program promotes and celebrates the top employers in the state of Indiana.

Our Tom Schuman gives a two-minute look at a few benefits of participating, including how the “Best Places to Work in Indiana” designation can enhance your search for talented employees.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 program at www.bestplacestoworkin.com. Don’t wait long; the deadline to apply is Friday, November 17.

Company Philanthropy: How Important Is It to Workers?

A press release from OfficeTeam touts that 42% of job seeks want to work for companies that give back to the community. I’m surprised the number isn’t higher.

Companies in the Best Places to Work in Indiana program often tout their giving programs and employees cite that caring nature.

Here are the details:

Workers were asked, “To what extent does a company’s participation in charitable activities influence your decision to work there?” The responses:

 

  • A great deal: 17%
  • Somewhat: 25%
  • Not at all: 56%
  • Don’t know: 2%

“Although not everyone cares about working for companies that give back to the community, the segment of the workforce that values corporate altruism can’t be ignored,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Philanthropy programs can be a selling point when recruiting candidates and also help improve employee retention. Organizations can increase team morale and participation in charitable activities by aligning with causes that resonate with staff.”

OfficeTeam identifies five ways to incorporate philanthropic activities into your company’s workplace:

1. Give back. Organize a clothing, toy or food drive that benefits a nonprofit organization.

2. Get involved. Provide the opportunity for employees to volunteer as a group at a soup kitchen or beach cleanup. This doubles as a great team-building activity.

3. Show your support. Sponsor, host or participate in a charity event such as an auction or 5K run.

4. Chip in. Donate to causes that matter most to employees, such as disaster-relief efforts or local schools.

5. Match it. Consider offering a matching-gifts program that supplements workers’ charitable contributions or activities.

Throwback Thursday: Senior Staffers Still Going Strong a Decade Later

I recently came upon the Indiana Chamber’s 2003 Annual Report. In reviewing our old products, a snapshot of our web site at the time and the overall design elements in our marketing materials, I discovered a lot can change in 10 years.

However, what struck me most was what hasn’t. On this page featuring our senior staff leaders at the time, you see Darla Barnett (CFO), Jennifer Elkin (Senior VP), Mark Lawrance (Senior VP) and Jim Wagner (Director of Business Development). What’s quite intriguing is that all of those people are STILL on the Chamber staff in 2013. (The page also lists our former VP of Labor Relations George Raymond as the fifth senior staff member — who just retired from the Chamber last year.)

Hopefully this speaks to our workplace culture that our most experienced employees are with us for the long haul, and it’s a pleasure to work in their company.

And speaking of workplace culture, we look forward to honoring other Indiana companies for their efforts at the 9th Annual Best Places to Work in Indiana Awards Dinner on May 1.

New Role for Our Heroes

Several other Chamber staff and I learned more recently about the American Jobs for America's Heroes campaign. With our upcoming business and military tribute at the 24th Annual Awards Dinner, there is no better time to share some of the details:

Hiring National Guard members is a win-win for your company, your community and veterans and their families.  The nonprofit American Jobs for America’s Heroes campaign gives you free, direct access to highly trained National Guard members who are transitioning to civilian jobs.

“Hiring Guard members is a win for employers because they bring tremendous skills and teamwork values to the workplace – they’re very results-oriented and creative in achieving their objectives,” said Steve Nowlan, campaign director.  “Keeping Guard units strong helps our communities.  We all depend on the Guard to help during disasters and to defend our country."

Employers also benefit because the National Guard trains in 107 occupational specialties, making the men and women of the National Guard among the most highly qualified employment candidates in America.  Guard members are focused on continuous learning and improvement so they excel in advanced job training.

Learn about the success Total Quality Logistics (its Indianapolis operation was named a 2013 Best Places to Work) has had in hiring Guard members.  http://www.CenterForAmerica.org/tql.pdf

In this campaign, your free job postings flow directly to National Guard employment counselors in the states who work one-on-one with Guard candidates to match them to your job requirements.  These counselors help you understand how military training and experience translates to your civilian requirements.

You can watch a five-minute video about the campaign – www.CenterForAmerica.org/video.html — and then visit the web site at www.CenterForAmerica.org to register online.  A campaign counselor will contact you to set up your posting and answer questions.  All services are free.  More than 935 employers are already participating.

Questions?  Contact: Steve Nowlan, Center for America, 201-513-0379 or SNowlan@CenterForAmerica.org.

The 2013 Best Places to Work in Indiana Are …

We're in the process of putting the finishing touches on the Best Places to Work issue of BizVoice magazine. What can I tell you that won't spoil the secret of where the 100 companies on the list are ranked in each of the four categories?

  • The 100 companies are a record, topping the 70 honored in each of the last two years. There's room for plenty more. If you apply and meet the Best Companies Group criteria in your benefit offerings — and more importantly in the eyes of your employees — you can join the fun
  • There are four categories, based on number of U.S. employees, in 2013 (and in ensuing years)

But you knew that already. What will you be able to read in this BizVoice?

  • Info about all 100 winners
  • In-depth profiles of the top three in each category
  • Columns from five honorees on what it means to be a Best Place to Work and how their organization has benefitted from previous recognition
  • Employees from 10 more businesses on the list, telling what they enjoy most about coming to work every day and which company perk is their favorite
  • A roundtable discussion with four companies that did not make the list in 2012
  • How some try to deal with "turning off the technology" and creating an even stronger work-life balance
  • Summary results from both the employer questionnaire and employee survey

For the rest, you will have to wait for the May 2 awards dinner at the JW Marriott, when 1,200 friends join us for a true Indiana business celebration. BizVoice will be online late that evening with the print edition on the way to your mailbox.

And if you're wondering why your company wasn't included — it probably didn't apply. The applications for 2014 begin in August. Learn more.

Top Companies Rank Top Goals

Two of the many Indiana Chamber programs/initiatives that we are proud of are the Best Places to Work in Indiana program and our Indiana Vision 2025 economic development plan.

We combined the two in a strictly unscientific survey, asking the Best Places applicants to prioritize five of the Indiana Vision 2025 goals. There are no right or wrong answers, of course, but it's interesting to see how these top organizations rank some of the strategies that will help move our state forward.

The five goals and the average rank (1 being most important, 5 least important):

  • Develop entrepreneurship and aggressively promote business start-ups through education, networking, investment and financial support: 2.3
  • Diversify Indiana's energy mix with an emphasis on clean coal, nuclear power and renewables: 4.2
  • Enact comprehensive local government refrom at the state and local levels to increase efficiency and effctiveness in delivery of services: 3.4
  • Increase to 90% the proportion of Indiana students who graduate from high school ready for college and/or career training: 2.1
  • Increase to 60% the proportion of Indiana residents with high quality postsecondary credentials: 3.0

Work is ongoing on all the Indiana Vision 2025 goals. The 2013 Best Places to Work program will culminate with the May 2 awards dinner. Rankings will be revealed at that event and BizVoice magazine will profile the 100 winners.

It’s All About Becoming Better

Awards and rankings earn a great deal of attention when the subject is the annual Best Places to Work in Indiana program. No one can argue with the fact that recognition is nice, but the real core of BPTW is helping create the best possible workplaces. The true winners when that happens — employees, the organizations they work for and everyone connected to that operation.

This blog post from Tim Leman of Gibson celebrates the company's first-time BPTW ranking but also captures the essence of BPTW and shows that his team was on the right track long before this recent honor.

Among the sound advice from Leman and Gibson:

Disclose your shortcomings to your employees and don’t make excuses for them

  • Acknowledge that you can be better as an organization
  • Let your guard down and truly look to see things from a new perspective
  • Decide to address the issues
  • Show you’re serious by following through and very purposely making it a part of everything you do
  • Keep desiring to improve and communicate your progress to your people

Congratulations to all the Best Places winners and participants. Gibson, by the way, is ranked No. xx (I can't tell you that; you have to be there at the May 2 awards dinner to celebrate with all 100 companies on the list for 2013.

Thinking about applying for 2014? Learn more from Best Companies Group.