This list of the Best Places to Work in Chattanooga was months in the making and came together during two distinct eras: BC-19 (before COVID-19) and AC-19 (after COVID-19). But while this list and these profiles of extraordinary employers were assembled under two distinct realities, the central theme still holds.
As they weather the unprecedented storm this pandemic has unleashed, these companies have been hit in a variety of ways and to varying degrees. For some, it has meant even more demand for what they do, and a truckload of extra work for their teams. For one, Vision Hospitality, it has meant an abrupt, industry-crushing slowdown that forced agonizing decisions to furlough employees. But for all of them, it has meant leaning on the culture that landed them on this list in the first place.
"When all this is over, and it will be over, at HullCo we will look back and see that we got stronger and became better," says Matt Hullander, the second-generation owner of HullCo, which has shifted its business model to push through this pandemic.
To make this list, local employers had to work through an exhaustive survey process run by the Best Companies Group, which was founded 16 years ago by Peter Burke. Since its inception, Best Companies Group has established over 70 Best Places to Work programs throughout the United States and internationally. Prior to starting Best Companies Group, Burke spent seven years as the associate publisher for the Central Penn Business Journal in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
"Our hope is to create super-credible lists with a minimum standard of excellence no matter how many companies enter," Burke says.
Employee benchmark results
Employee benchmark results" align="left">The following percentage of employees at Best Places to Work companies agree or strongly agree with positive statements about these topics in their workplaces
* Leadership and Planning - 92%
* Corporate Culture and Communications - 92%
* Role Satisfaction - 94%
* Work Environment - 94%
* Relationship With Supervisor - 94%
* Training, Development and Resources - 90%
* Pay and Benefits - 90%
* Overall Engagement - 94%
For one part of the survey, which launched in the fall of 2019, employers answered a list of 70 questions on everything from the demographics of their workforce to their benefits and community involvement. That element of the survey counts for 25% of the company's overall score.
For the second part, Best Companies Group surveyed employees, who submitted anonymous answers to a host of questions about their work environment and their overall engagement. That element of the survey counts for 75% of the company's overall score — which means employees call the shots on these results.
To make the cut, employers have to achieve both objectively high results on the survey, and have enough employees take the survey to make the results meaningful. It's not easy to clear that bar, and the 11 companies on this list delivered some impressive numbers.
For example, 91% of employees at these companies look forward to going to work, and 96% are proud to work for their employer. When times are tough — and they are certainly tough now — the leadership and teamwork that create Best Places to Work matter more than ever.