How we chose the Best Places to Work in IT 2016

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For the 23rd year in a row, Computerworld conducted a survey to identify the 100 best places to work for IT professionals. As we have for the past two years, this year we once again presented the top organizations sorted by size.

Small organizations have fewer than 1,000 U.S. employees; midsize companies have between 1,000 and 4,999 U.S. employees; and large organizations have 5,000 or more U.S. employees. As you browse the lists, keep in mind that some of the employers featured are U.S. divisions of large global organizations that may have small operations in the U.S.

Here are the details on how the survey was conducted: We started compiling nominations in November 2015. Participants were asked to provide contact information for an individual at their company who had access to employment statistics, financial data and information about benefits policies and programs for the IT department and the company as a whole.

In January 2016, a contact at each of the 461 nominated companies received a 52-question survey asking about average salary and bonus increases, percentage of IT staffers promoted, IT staff turnover rates, training and development, and the percentage of women and minorities in IT staff and management positions.

Information was also collected on retention efforts; programs for recognizing and rewarding outstanding performance; benefits such as flextime, elder care and child care; and policies for reimbursing employees for college tuition and the cost of pursuing technology certifications. Information from those surveys was used in compiling the 100 company profiles in this special report.

Upon completion of the survey, participants were emailed instructions for selecting a random sample of employees from their U.S.-based full- and part-time IT staffs. All participating companies were required to obtain feedback from their employees. The responses to the employee survey went directly to a third-party research company.

Topics covered in the employee survey included satisfaction with training and development programs, compensation, benefits and work/life balance. In addition, employees were asked to rate employee morale in their IT departments, the importance of various benefits and the degree to which they agreed with a variety of statements on subjects ranging from career growth to management's treatment of employees.

From the final 100 companies, a total of 24,862 IT employees responded to the employee survey. The nomination survey, the company survey and the employee survey were all conducted via the Internet. The company and employee survey portions of the research were closed in March 2016. To qualify to complete the company survey, participating organizations had to have a minimum of 30 IT employees. Organizations based outside the U.S. had to have a minimum of 300 total employees at a U.S. headquarters and a minimum of 30 IT employees in the U.S., and at least 50% of their IT employees had to be based in the U.S.

Approximately half of the total scoring was based on employee responses, with the remainder based on the survey of the company's benefits and other programs. Organizations were separated by size to produce three ranked lists for large, midsize and small Best Places as outlined above.

Our Top 10 lists show the best of the best -- the organizations that excel in these four areas of human resources: career development, retention, benefits and training. To determine those lists, we considered the following factors:

Benefits: The range of benefits offered, including sabbaticals, elder care and child care, and health and vision plans; employee satisfaction with the range of benefits.

Career development: Mentoring programs; tuition reimbursement for college classes and technical certifications; promotions within IT; employee satisfaction with tuition reimbursement, opportunities for career growth and management's involvement in career development.

Retention: Frequency of employee satisfaction surveys; turnover rate; promotions; morale; employee satisfaction with work/life balance, sabbaticals, job-sharing and telecommuting programs.

Training: Number of training days; training budget; employee satisfaction with training and access to training; satisfaction with reimbursement for certification training; satisfaction with continuing education programs.

In scoring the responses from the company and employee surveys, company results were weighted based on the importance ratings provided by respondents to the employee survey. Approximately half of the total scoring was based on employee responses, with the remaining half based on the survey of the company's benefits and other programs.

This year's survey process was managed by Mari Keefe, Computerworld's editorial project manager.

You can learn more about participating in the Best Places to Work in IT program at our Best Places FAQ page, and there's information about all of Computerworld's awards programs on our Editorial Research page.

Next: Nominate an organization for Best Places to Work in IT 2017

This story, "How we chose the Best Places to Work in IT 2016" was originally published by Computerworld.

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