In a survey of more than 43,500 employees from organizations from all for-profit and not-for-profit business sectors, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution named Brenau University among metropolitan Atlanta’s top 100 workplaces for 2012 – and one of the top 30 mid-size workplaces in the 20-county region.
The survey results, which segmented by the size of the workforce more than 1,000 organizations, ranked Brenau and its 321 employees among the top 30 midsize organizations in the 125- to 500-employee category. Others in the midsize group included Booz Allen Hamilton, Invesco Ltd., Northpoint Ministries and Microsoft’s Atlanta-based operations.
“The companies included in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Top Workplaces list were selected based on a survey of employees measuring such qualities as company leadership, compensation and training, workplace flexibility and diversity,” said Amy Glennon, publisher of the newspaper.
Brenau joined Clayton State University in the large organizations category as the only two higher education institutions on the top 100 list. Brenau broke into the survey for the first time this year at #29, flanked in the mid-size grouping by one of Atlanta’s top law firms, Southern Asbill & Brennan, at #28, and by #30 Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta.
“This honor underscores what we at the university have known for years; that Brenau is a great place to work,” said Brenau President Ed Schrader. “Our employees at all levels respect one another and trust one another to work toward the common goals of serving our students and fulfilling the Brenau mission to become one of the greatest universities of our time.”
Although Brenau has fared well in employee services of higher education institutions, including this year’s #9 national ranking in the Chronicle of Higher Education survey, Schrader said the AJC distinction is “extremely significant” because it covers all kinds of workplaces.
“It means that our employees have said that Brenau is one of the top places to work in an area that is known nationally as one of the top locales for workplaces,” he said.
Workplace Dynamics, the newspaper’s partner in the project, sorted through more than 1,000 employer organizations that were nominated and picked 188 for the more detailed inquiry. Employees were asked to complete a 20-question anonymous questionnaire that touched on various aspects of job satisfaction. The top five factors that meant the most to them in terms of job satisfaction, according to Workplace Dynamics, were the organization’s direction, job appreciation, confidence in the future, career opportunities and confidence in leadership.
“I feel empowered, supported and appreciated,” one Brenau employee wrote. “I enjoy the people with whom I work, and I like the energy at the university,” another said. And a third wrote that, “I am always encouraged to do my best and given support all along the way. We are very open with communication, which promotes a productive environment.”
According to the random comments by Brenau employees posted on the newspaper’s web site, employees also stated that management seemed to have a clear understanding of how higher education will serve students in the future.
The resulting top 100 list consists of 20 large companies (500 or more employees), 30 midsize companies (150-499 employees) and 50 small companies (149 or fewer employees). The results were published in the April 22 issue of the newspaper and now appear at http://www.ajc.com/business/topworkplaces.