Q After I register my company to participate, what happens next and when?
A Please refer to the Timeline for a detailed list of important dates and deadlines for the program. All registered companies will be notified regularly via email of upcoming deadlines. We would highly recommend that you white-list
so that the email address will be an approved sender. You may also want to regularly check your spam or junk folder to make sure that important updates are not missed. It is of vital importance that you read all communications, updates and instructions thoroughly.
Q We have several companies operating in Orange County under one parent holding company. Each company has its own EIN (Employer Identification Number) and each has its own set of benefits and working environments. Do I need to register each company?
A Yes. Since each company is its own entity with its own benefits and working environment, we will treat each company as a separate employer and send each location a separate set of surveys, etc. Each subsidiary company must have at least 15 full- and part-time permanent employees to be eligible.
Q We have several offices/facilities in Orange County that operate using the same EIN and same set of employee benefits and procedures. Should I register each company separately?
A No. If you are one company with multiple locations, facilities, factories, stores, etc., you should submit only one registration for all locations. We will then conduct a survey of employees that are randomly selected from the various business units that you operate in Orange County, up to a total of 400 employees.
Special exception for hotels: We understand that hotels have unique ownership and management scenarios. Therefore, hotels may enter as individual locations. However, the number of US employees that you will report will be the number of employees who work for the same company your employees do. In most scenarios, the company used to determine the US employee count will be the company whose name appears on the employees' paychecks and from whom the employees derive their employee benefits. If you have questions about this, please contact us.
Q Our company has employees throughout California. Will I need to survey all employees throughout the state?
A No, only those individuals employed in Orange County will be surveyed. If you employ more than 250 employees throughout the county, a random sample of all employees will be asked to complete a survey.
QMy company has employees working in Orange County, but we do not have a physical office location in the county. Are we eligible to participate?
A Yes, as long as you have employees working in Orange County and are able to provide an in-county mailing address for your business, you are eligible to participate. Only employees working in or directly reporting into Orange County are eligible to participate in the survey.
QOur company has employees that work for our operations within Orange County but technically do not reside nor perform the majority of their duties in Orange County. Are they eligible to participate in the survey process?
A For remote employees to be eligible to participate, the
individuals must report directly into Orange County. If the
remote employees report to a remote regional manager, the employees
would not be eligible to take part in the survey process. However, the
regional managers are eligible to participate if they report directly to
the office within Orange County.
If you are uncertain about any employee’s eligibility to participate in the survey we encourage you to contact Best Companies Group for a final determination, as surveying ineligible employees may lead to disqualification from the competition.
Q We are a personnel placement company with associates who are technically our employees, but they work for other companies. Are we still eligible to participate?
A Yes. However only those "in-house" employees will be counted and surveyed. The employees who are "placed" with other companies are not counted and will not be surveyed. There must be a minimum of 15 "in-house" employees to be eligible.
Q Our company employs seasonal, temporary, per diem and independent contractor employees. Should they be included in the survey?
A No. Seasonal, temporary, PRN, per diem, 1099 employees, independent contractors, non-employee real estate agents, interns, volunteers or consultants should not be included in the employee counts or in the survey process. For staffing companies, employees that are placed with other organizations are not eligible. We only want to count and survey the permanent full- and part-time employees.
A No. Participation in the "Best Places to Work in Orange County" program is absolutely free for the online survey process. If your company should need paper surveys for your employee base, there is a nominal paper survey fee to cover printing, shipping and processing. Please see the Assessment Process for the paper fees and to determine if your company is eligible for the free online process.
Q Should the paper survey fee, report fee or survey translation fee be submitted with our registration?
A If you company chooses to purchase the Employee Feedback Report, needs survey translation or paper surveys, you may either pay online with a credit card at the time of registration, or you may choose to receive an invoice following your registration.
A If you have 250 or fewer employees in your company, then the answer is yes. If you employ more than 250 associates throughout Orange County, a random sample of up to 400 employees will be asked to complete the survey. Please see the Assessment Process for more information. Best Companies Group does offer the option to survey more employees than the random sample calculated and/or include additional employees in the survey process who work in locations outside of the program area (Orange County). Please contact Best Companies Group for details and pricing and see the Timeline for the deadline to submit your request.
Q We have more than 250 associates to be surveyed. Who decides which employees will receive the survey and how they are distributed? Do we have to give you a list of who is being surveyed?
A The random selection will be conducted by Best Companies Group for the online survey process. Companies choosing the online survey process will be asked to upload a list of all employee email addresses into an online portal. Best Companies Group will then randomly select the appropriate amount of employees (based on company size) to receive the survey. Companies will be asked to upload the employee email addresses via an online upload portal sent shortly after registration has closed. Companies choosing the paper survey process will be required to tell Best Companies Group how they conducted the random selection of their employee population. Please see the Timeline for dates surrounding the portal.
A Yes. All employees will be asked to complete a survey unless the company has more than 250 employees. At companies employing over 250 associates, a random sample will be chosen, and even then, managers are not excluded. Employees from all job levels should be included in the survey process - including founders, partners, and executive management to line-level employees.
Q How long will it take to complete the employer questionnaire (EQ)? Will it require a lot of research?
A The employer questionnaire may take between 8-10 hours to complete, depending upon how easy it is to retrieve your company's information regarding policies, practices and demographics. Some research may be necessary. The EQ is completed and submitted online. A list of questions can be found on the Survey & Report Samples page. You may begin gathering the information requested on the EQ prior to the survey start date. That way when the actual invitation is sent, you can simply enter the requested information online.
A Best Companies Group will send your company a box of paper surveys and postage-paid return envelopes that must be distributed to employees. Employees complete the survey, place it in the envelope, seal it and then drop the completed surveys in the US mail. Completed surveys are mailed back to our processing facility by each employee.
Q What if not all of the employees complete and return the surveys? Is there a minimum response rate?
A We are looking for a response rate of approximately 65% or greater. Therefore, it is not absolutely necessary that all who receive a survey fill it out. While companies who have not reached 65% may still be considered, response rates are taken into account during the analysis process. The higher the response rate the more representative it will be of your company as a whole and the more valuable your company's data will be at the end of the process.
Companies having 15-24 employees must have an 80% (or better) response rate from their employees filling out the survey.
A To conduct the online survey process, companies submit a list of employee email addresses. Best Companies Group will perform the random selection of survey recipients for companies having over 250 employees. Employees are then directly sent an individual survey invitation via email containing unique access information from Best Companies Group. The invitation directs employees to a unique Web page where they can submit their confidential responses. We prefer to only send email invitations to company email accounts.
Q Not all of our employees have company email addresses. Can we still utilize the online survey?
A Yes! You can still use the online survey provided that at least 70% of your employees have their own email address (company accounts or personal accounts). If you have some employees without email addresses, they will still be included in the survey. We can provide access codes for those employees, if they represent 30% or less of your employee population. Click to learn more about Access Codes. Employees receiving access codes will need to be able to access the Internet at work. In this situation, it is recommended that the company set up a computer station/kiosk for those employees without email to take the survey, as the online survey can only be used if employees have Internet access. Best Companies Group will then provide the organization with enough unique access codes for employees without email addresses (less than 30%, if applicable), so that they can complete the survey online.
In order to maintain the integrity of the survey process, if fewer than 70% of your employees have email addresses, you will have to utilize the paper survey process.
Q I am concerned about the confidentiality of the survey responses.
A We will make every effort to maintain the anonymity of the employees completing the survey as well as protect the summarized data of all participating companies. Please note that in order to maintain respondent anonymity, we do not report any response data for fewer than five (5) individuals in any one demographic category on the Employee Demographic Report (if purchased). Please see our Statement of Confidentiality for more information.
Q Can the job role and department demographics on the employee survey be customized to more closely align with our organization?
A Yes, for a fee, the job role and department demographic categories can be customized. Please call Best Companies Group for more information, click here or select the "Customization" option on the registration form and you will be contacted with more information. What's this? Please see the Timeline for the deadline to request the optional employee survey customization.
Q What information is included in the Employee Feedback Report and when will we receive it? What is the benefit of purchasing this report?
A Purchasing the Employee Feedback Report will allow you to gain valuable insight into what your employees are thinking. The Employee Feedback Report is sent electronically and will contain large spreadsheets detailing and summarizing your employees' responses (percentages) to the 78 survey questions as well as the employee comments. It will also include detailed instructions on how to interpret the results. The reports will be emailed to each company that purchases the report shortly after the companies are notified whether or not they have made the list. County benchmarking is also included so companies can compare themselves to the "Best Places to Work in Orange County" list-making and non list-making participants. The benchmarking portions will be sent after the rankings are revealed. If you would like to see samples of the report content, please see the Employee Feedback Report page.
A The benchmarking (part of the purchased Employee Feedback Report) contains the averages of the employee responses from the companies making the "Best Places to Work in Orange County" list as well as the non list-making companies. This information will allow your company to compare itself to the "Best Places to Work in Orange County."
Q How do I order my company's Employee Feedback Report?
A An Employee Feedback Report can only be ordered once you have registered to participate in the "Best Places to Work in Orange County" program. To register click here. If you have already registered please call Best Companies Group toll free at (877) 455-2159 or visit the Order Your Reports link.
Q When will we find out if our company made the list and where we rank?
A You will receive a notification email informing your company whether or not you made the list. If you make the list, you will find out where you rank in the special publication produced by the Orange County Business Journal. See the Timeline for more details.
Q A portion of our employees do not speak English. Do you offer employee surveys in alternate languages?
A We do offer employee surveys in a variety of additional languages. There will be an additional $195 fee to cover the cost of translation (flat rate) per language. If your company needs an additional language please select the "Languages" option on the registration form. Please see the Timeline for the deadline to request alternate language surveys.
Q How will my company be notified throughout the survey process? Will I receive regular updates?
A Yes, you will receive periodic updates regarding the survey timeline. However, we do recommend that your company place the dates that we send to you in your calendars. Best Companies Group primarily works through email. It is important that you read all instructions and details sent to you from Best Companies Group.
**We would highly recommend that you white-list
so that the email address will be an approved sender. You may also want to regularly check your spam or junk folder to make sure that important updates are not missed.
Q What if my company registers for the program and then needs to withdraw? Is it possible to be removed from the process?
A All companies that submit a registration form are considered active participants in the "Best Places to Work in Orange County" program. If your company wishes to withdraw from the survey process, Best Companies Group must be notified immediately. Once the survey process has begun (after March 17, 2017), a $250 withdrawal fee will be applied in addition to the total fees incurred for any special requests (customization orders, language translations, paper survey processing, etc.). Please contact a Best Companies Group representative to withdraw from the process.
Q Does Best Companies Group have any other programs or conduct any other surveys or services?
A Yes. Best Companies Group is identifying and recognizing great workplaces on national, state, regional and industry stages. For a complete list of programs or to learn more about our additional services, please visit www.BestCompaniesGroup.com.