Winning 20th Place on Crain’s Chicago Business – “Best Places to Work” List

When Crain’s Chicago Business created a list of the “Best Places to Work” in Chicago three years ago, it joined a whole group of other prestigious Crain’s lists famous throughout the Midwest for compiling data on businesses that spanned from the largest privately held corporations, to the fifty that boasted fastest growth. In the first two years, Crain’s vetted and then published a list of the top 20 “Best Places to Work” in the Chicago metropolitan area. The requirements for consideration were constructed to allow only companies above a certain size to qualify. In this, the third year of competition, realizing that the backbone of both the American and Midwestern economies were in the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises category, the requirements for qualification were adjusted.

TRIUNE Health Group was now eligible to compete for the recognition of being one of the top 20 “Best Places to Work” in Chicagoland, so we notified Crain’s and their independent third party out of New York, Buck Consultants, of our intent. Buck Consultants employed rigorous controls to ensure that all information was kept in the strictest of confidence and reported in a way which protected the confidentiality of each participating organization.

Round 1: On October 19, 2009, the Employer Survey was released to all the participating companies in the Chicagoland area. Numerous corporations and businesses began the application process, of which, one hundred and fifty leading Chicagoland companies survived this round. According to one of the organizers, the 2010 Crain’s Chicago Business – “Best Places to Work” contest would prove to be the most intensely fought battle that Crain’s has ever seen. The Employer Survey focused on pay and promotion practices, health care and other benefits, hiring practices, and corporate culture. Approximately one month later, the employer portion of the survey was closed.

Round 2: Three days later, the Employee Engagement Survey went out covering employee engagement, career development, total rewards, and work environment. Over 30,000 individual employees spread throughout the Chicagoland area were surveyed in this round. Buck Consultants was given a comprehensive list of email addresses, accounting for each member of the TRIUNE Health Group team. Individual employees were randomly selected, with complete anonymity, and all answers and feedback were confidential. Employees were queried on their experiences as well as satisfaction levels with the care provided by TRIUNE Health Group.

Round 3: In early January 2010, TRIUNE Health Group was notified that it had scored high enough in both rounds of surveys to qualify as one of the Top 20 “Best Places to Work” and would proceed to the next level of competition. The interview process consisted of one round of interviews with the management team and a second round of interviews with a random selection of employees. The interviews took place with an independent journalist for Crain’s.

Winners Announced: On March 27, 2010, the list was released online, and on March 29, 2010, it was released in print. TRIUNE Health Group ended up as one of the top twenty “Best Places to Work” in Chicago, claiming 20th place, having beaten several more prominent contenders. This came as no surprise to TRIUNE Health Group; it merely reflected what we already knew. One of the reporters from Crain’s who spoke to the husband and wife owners of TRIUNE Health Group, Christopher J. and Mary Anne Yep, said that it was unusual to see medium sized companies make the list because they have fewer resources to allocate toward caring for their employees.  Crain’s Chicago Business was pleasantly surprised to see that companies such as TRIUNE Health Group, do, in fact, place such high priority on treating their people with the dignity and respect they deserve as human beings, and caring for them accordingly.  Each company who achieved a place on this prestigious list received a compiled data report on the best composite practices and where they ranked over all in each category. This will be an effective means of gauging how well the company is doing in helping its own people, as well as an effective benchmark for improvement.

Award Reception: On April 22, 2010, an award reception sponsored by Crain’s Chicago Business, was held at a popular restaurant in downtown Chicago. Representatives from all top 20 winning companies of the 2010 “Best Places to Work” in Chicagoland were present. Attendees had the chance to meet the other winners, build relationships, and network for future business opportunities. It was interesting to find out that many of the corporations on the list of “Best Places to Work” in 2010 had also held a prestigious place in the previous years, but TRIUNE Health Group, in its first year of competing, was new to this list. A plaque commemorating this award has been placed in the front lobby of both TRIUNE Health Group offices.

Owners Note:  It is a competitive market, but we think it is safe to say that we will continue to value our employees and learn from other companies, other ways to improve caring for our people, who are our greatest asset. Happy, fully engaged, TRIUNE Health Group employees make a difference in the world of business today, because we are more apt to share our joy and enthusiasm with customers and everyone else we come in contact with on a daily basis. We thank each and every employee, and Crain’s Chicago Business for their help in winning this award. We especially want to thank our Finance and Business Development Director, Thomas G. Yep, for his vision, diligence, and perseverance through this entire process.