By Jackie Hanson
This is the fifth time that Guam Business has published Best Companies to Work For since 2004. Included in this year’s Best Companies to Work For are 20 companies that were eager to solicit the opinions of their employees through anonymous surveys regarding their satisfaction with the company.
Ultimately, this feature is a testament of which companies are looking to evaluate themselves and become even better by attracting the best people.
The survey asked employees to rate their agreement on a five-point scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree on 15 statements in the categories of Attraction and Retention, Communication, Working Environment, Leadership, and Performance Management and Recognition as well as two open-ended questions about what they liked most about their company and where their company could better suit their needs.
Of all 15 statements related to workplace satisfaction, the one that yielded the least amount of assurance among all employees was “I think I am paid fairly compared with people in other companies who hold same job.” The second and third lowest scores were on receiving regular performance evaluations and training and development opportunities.
The human resources managers of each company, or in some cases, the general manager, also took a survey on the same topics from the company’s perspective, and all seemed to indicate strong confidence in their competitiveness as employers. While none of the averages in any category dropped below 4.0, or “Agree,” the HR managers, too, gave their lowest ratings in the areas of providing regular performance evaluations and training opportunities. The third lowest average score was regarding the managers being trained and qualified in their positions.
Highest among employee responses were the three statements related to working environment — feelings of safety and having adequate space, comfort and supplies.
The companies’ management mirrored this, reporting the most confidence in their ability to provide a safe work environment. This was followed by confidence in providing employees opportunities to talk to the CEO or president and avenues to express concerns and encouragement in doing so. The managers of top employee-ranked companies said:
- “We have a very informal work environment that encourages open discussion at all levels.”
- “Rather than taking advantage of supervisory training opportunities, we believe in developing our corporate culture around teamwork. We operate in teams and help other teams when needed. This dynamic allows everyone to embrace the value of learning and supporting each other, which is an important building block of leadership.”
- “We have dedicated recruiting resources inside the company to source the talent needed. We offer challenging work. We offer superior benefits as compared to our peers. We treat our members (employees) with respect and give them a voice in our firm.”
We also asked the HR managers to share what benefits their companies provided. Most commonly provided among the 20 companies are an employer-contributed retirement plan or 401(k), health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance and short- and long-term disability. Not as commonly offered were profit sharing, gym memberships, cell phone plans, apprenticeships and continuing education benefits.
The average number of holidays offered among the 20 companies was 10, ranging from six to 19 with paid vacation days ranging from five to 25 based on longevity with the company.
The top five employee-rated companies all offer health, dental and life insurance, and three of the five offered vision as well. All but one of the top five offers a 401(k) and some form of disability insurance. The top five observe between eight and 11 holidays and all offer paid vacation in hours as opposed to days, ranging from a minimum of 80 hours to 300. It is also worth noting that half of the companies that reported offering tuition assistance or reimbursement were in the top five employee-rated.
Employees who were satisfied with their place of employment in describing their companies commonly used the terms “family-oriented,” “teamwork,” “flexibility” with individual situations and alluded to enjoying the people they worked with, being on a team that was “committed” and “dedicated” and appreciation for a diverse and generous benefits package.
- “The management is beyond awesome. They understand the members’ needs and are very compassionate.”
- “One specific thing about my company is teamwork. When a certain project needs to be done, we all join in and help out as much as we can. Teamwork makes our company great.”
- “The family environment and how they take care of their employees. They’re very understanding and are willing to work with individual situations.”
Common areas employees suggested their companies consider improving were benefits and salary, incentives for those with stronger work ethic, hiring additional help within their departments, better communication regarding changes that affect their departments and opportunities for vertical growth, training and certifications. Certain larger companies received several requests for child care facilities, and depending on the company’s line of work, several employees mentioned the need for better equipment.
Benefits offered by GBM’s Best Companies to Work For
- 401(k) – 90%
- Health insurance – 95%
- Dental insurance – 70%
- Life insurance – 70%
- Maternity leave – 60%
- Short/long-term disability insurance – 40%
- Employee discounts at company – 35%
- Bereavement leave – 35%
- Tuition assistance – 30%
- Vision insurance – 25%
- Health and wellness program – 25%
- Supplemental medical insurance – 25%
- Supplemental life insurance – 20%
- Military leave – 20%
- Jury duty leave – 20%
- Cell phone plans – 15%
- Gas reimbursement – 15%
- Auto insurance – 10%
- Travel insurance – 10%
- Continuing education – 10%
- Apprenticeships – 10%
- Profit sharing – 5%