How to Participate

The 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™ program is in many cities throughout the United States. The competition is the nation’s most premier awards competition and gala that is not only challenging but creates meaningful impact. Companies that have participated in this program have found meaningful change that improves the company as a whole as well as with financial costs, operations and efficiencies. Participating companies go through a rigorous two-part survey process. The process is designed to gather detailed information about each participating company. Step one, the employer completes a questionnaire and step two, employees of the company complete an employee engagement survey. By elevating the bar of excellence each year the program not only make companies perform better, but makes the region a better place to live and work. Winning companies receive valuable media recognition, access to critical statistics and analysis to help create positive change. Winning companies are also honored at an annual symposium and awards gala which includes maximum networking opportunities, exhibit gallery and best practice educational sessions. To participate or to learn more about the program, see the detailed step by step process below.

Nominations are accepted through the 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™ website, by calling the Best and Brightest office or by sending an email to Participating companies are asked to follow a detailed schedule/timeline for each step of the process. The 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™ staff members are the main customer service point of contact throughout the process to ensure efficiency.

  1. Companies nominate by visiting the website, by calling our office or by sending an email to After the nomination is accepted by the board of directors, companies are sent detailed instructions.
  2. Assemble and submit an employee roster for the Employee Engagement Survey process. The Employee Engagement Survey (ee survey) consists of approximately 62 questions pertaining to the workplace environment and 2 open-ended questions. The Employee Engagement Survey may be completed online or by the traditional paper method.
  3. Complete the Company HR Survey. The questionnaire is where important information is obtained about company policies, culture, and practices to ensure the data aligns with employee responses. This survey must be completed to be considered in the selection process.
  4. The analysis is administered by IIT’s Center for Research & Service who sorts and interprets the data, determines the listing and produces Assessment Reports for feedback. The list is determined by a point system received from both surveys.
  5. All nominees will be notified by phone, email and postal mail of their status and will receive a complimentary assessment report for additional feedback.
  6. Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™ winners will be highlights in a phenomenal media campaign and invited to a special symposium and awards gala to celebrate the achievement.
  7. In addition to the 101 honor, winners of the coveted elite awards are unveiled during the event. The judges look for unique and creative thought processes with support from senior management and policy makers. In addition, they search for above-average programs, services, and solutions for employees given their work environment. Adaptations to various new factors in the marketplace are weighed. The companies receiving the highest points in each best practice category are selected as Elite Winners. The company scoring the highest overall points will receive the "Best of the Best" award honor. Below are the categories for the prestigious elite award:

Compensation, Benefits and Employee Solutions

The competitiveness of compensation and benefits relative to comparable organizations as well as the ability to provide unique, creative and customize solutions to employees.

Employee Enrichment, Engagement and Retention

Extent to which employees are meaningfully and personally connected to their work and their company that drives retention. As well as the extent to which a company understands and adapts to the individual needs of their employees by looking at the employee as a whole, not just the work environment

Employee Education and Development

Extent to which an organization encourages, supports and creates a learning environment with the focus on career development.

Recruitment, Selection and Orientation

The extent to which employees are recruited using multiple methods and systematic process to select the best fit for culture and performance while ensuring a quality on-boarding orientation experience.

Employee Achievement and Recognition

Extent to which an organization recognizes and rewards individual employee achievements and outstanding performance by individuals, teams and as an organization.

Communication and Shared Vision

The effective exchange of information from senior leaders to employees and the extent to which employees are given a platform to communicate opinions, ideas, issues and concerns.

Diversity and Inclusion

Extent to which the organization recognizes and rewards achievements and outstanding performance, and works to retain their best and brightest employees.

Recruitment and Selection

Extent to which an organization is open and inclusive to people of differing human qualities, promotes a tolerant work environment, and considers multiculturalism to be a competitive advantage.

Work-Life Balance

Extent to which the organization and it’s management recognize the need for personal balance as an employee by implementing programs to accommodate such needs.

Community Initiatives

Extent to which the organization is committed to improving the local community while providing the encouragement and time for employees to participate in a meaningful way.

Strategic Company Performance

The extent to which the human resources team collaborates to drive company performance with c-suite executives in a proactive and meaningful way.

Small Business

Recognizes exemplary performance and innovation in companies of less than 100 employees that demonstrate the true spirit of enterprise in their business practices.

Best of the Best

The overall winner is a company that excels in every category and scores significantly high in all areas of human resource practices. This company ensures that everything that is done through their mission, vision, values, culture and leadership speaks to high regard for making the company an employer of choice. The overall winner is awarded the “Best of the Best” honor.

If you would like information regarding other event opportunities, please contact our offices at 866.321.1822 or e-mail us at info@101bestandbrightest