The results are in for the ninth annual Best Places to Work in Kentucky competition.
Seventy-three companies were honored, but their rankings have not yet been released. Those will be announced April 16 at an awards dinner at the Lexington Center.
Organizers said interest in the program grew again this year but that it's about more than just receiving an award.
"The reason we created this was we wanted to give employers a modestly inexpensive program that could get them recognized for the work they're doing in satisfying their employees, and if they're not, give them tools to help them improve and see what they can do," said Jim Ford, vice president of business education for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber organizes the program annually with the Kentucky Society for Human Resource Management.
The assessment is performed by Best Companies Group, a firm that conducts research for 40 similar programs, including statewide offerings in 23 states, president and co-founder Peter Burke said.
The program is divided into two categories: small and medium businesses, with 25 to 249 U.S. employees, and large businesses, with 250 or more U.S. employees. Small and medium businesses are required to pay $990 to participate, and large companies pay $1,270.
Businesses with fewer than 25 employees cannot participate because of concerns about small sample sizes for the surveys involved, Burke said.
Each company's assessment is weighted such that 25 percent is based on a review of a survey filled out by the company's leadership about its policies. The remaining 75 percent is based on a confidential survey of employees covering categories ranging from leadership and planning to relationships with supervisors, Burke said.
"The philosophy really is if you want to know if it's a great place to work, ask the employees," Burke said.
A minimum threshold is set for what establishes a best place to work, and only those companies rising above that level receive the award. The names of companies below that threshold are not disclosed.
"We're not just ranking the best of who apply," Burke said.
To offer an idea of what kind of results are needed for a company to be honored, Burke said survey results for last year's winners showed an average of 92 percent of employees responding positively to questions.
Ford emphasized that the results can be a teaching tool for companies.
"You get an incredible list of results after the program that is a composite of all the information that your employees have answered on these surveys," he said.
BEST PLACES TO WORK IN KENTUCKY
SMALL AND MEDIUM COMPANIES
Those with 25 to 249 U.S. employees.
Lexington: Alure Salon and Day Spa; Benefit Insurance Marketing; Creative Lodging Solutions; Integrity IT; Sturgill, Turner, Barker & Moloney PLLC; and Tenmast Software.
Louisville: Fellon-McCord; Greater Louisville Inc.; KESA: The Kentucky Workers' Compensation Fund; Learning House; Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau; Luckett & Farley; River Road Asset Management LLC; Strategic Marketing; and WDRB/WMYO Television.
Multiple cities: Air Hydro Power; ARGI Financial Group; Associations International; Clark Material Handling Co.; Dean Dorton Allen Ford PLLC; Kentucky Bank; Mountjoy Chilton Medley LLP; Nephrology Associates of Kentuckiana PSC; MassMutual Financial Group: Assurance Financial Group LLC; Park Community Federal Credit Union; People Plus Inc.; Peoples Exchange Bank; Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical College; Symbiotix Inc.; and Traditional Bank.
Other cities: Connected Nation, Bowling Green; The Heritage Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility, Corbin; Hospice of Hope Inc., Maysville.
Those with more than 250 U.S. employees
Lexington: Allconnect, Baptist Health Lexington, Big Ass Fans and Exceptional Living Centers.
Louisville: Baptist Health Louisville; Genentech; Hosparus Inc.; ISCO Industries Inc.; NPAS, a subsidiary of Parallon Business Solutions; ORR Safety; Stantec; and Trilogy Health Services LLC.
Multiple cities: Blue & Co. LLC; Central Bank; Crowe Horwath LLP; Farm Credit Mid-America; First Federal Savings Bank; Harshaw Trane; Heritage Bank; Hilliard Lyons; Independence Bank; iPay Solutions; Kentucky Orthopedic Rehab Team (KORT); Masonic Homes of Kentucky Inc.; Neace Lukens; Pikeville Medical Center; Republic Bank; Somerset Community College; Stites and Harbison PLLC; Total Quality Logistics; and Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP.
Other cities: Bottom Line Systems Inc., Crescent Springs; Harrison Memorial Hospital, Cynthiana; Frankfort Regional Medical Center; Corning Inc., Harrodsburg; Baptist Health LaGrange; Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center, Leitchfield; Computer Services Inc., Paducah; Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., Radcliff; and Edward Jones, Winchester.
To learn more about the Best Places to Work in Kentucky program and the April 16 awards dinner, go to Bestplacestoworkky.com.
Scott Sloan: (859) 231-1447. Twitter: @HeraldLeaderBiz.