Despite the numerous challenges generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies still have been able to create a positive working environment for their employees. The finest of those were honored Monday night in Birmingham during Business Alabama Magazine’s 2021 Best Companies to Work For in Alabama awards ceremony.
For the fourth time in the past six Best Companies to Work For awards, financial services firm Edward Jones took top honors in the contest’s large company category (250 or more total employees), while Byars|Wright Insurance was deemed the best among small-to-medium category (15 to 249 employees).
Nineteen other 2021 Best Companies to Work For also were recognized at the ceremony, which was emceed by CBS 42 Morning News anchor Jack Royer. They were chosen by Business Alabama Magazine along with The Best Companies Group (BCG), a workplace research firm based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
“Most organizations have faced the toughest challenges of their life (during the pandemic),” BCG co-founder Peter Burke said to the gathering. “You were all thrust into survival mode during a seemingly endless series of gut-punches, both professionally and personally. … But the best companies to work for in Alabama dealt with all those.
“This group of awesome employers did what they needed to do to survive, while at the same time maintaining a culture of truthful communication, long-term commitment and honesty. There is no doubt that difficult decisions had to be made. The evidence of how good an employer is, however, is always on display when you have to make those tough decisions and changes. It is daunting, but you’ve shown us all that it can be done.”
The 21 finalists for 2021 Best Companies to Work For in Alabama were chosen through a two-part assessment process of each company. Twenty-five percent of the evaluation was based upon the benefits and perks provided to employees. The other 75% came from BCG’s anonymous employee-engagement survey that polled workers on how much they enjoy coming to work, opportunities for career advancement, and whether they feel valued by their employer.
“According to most research firms, between 35 and 40% of U.S. employees are considered engaged or connected to their employer,” Burke said. “For the winners in this room, that number was 93%.”
Premier sponsors of the 2021 Best Companies to Work For in Alabama were Bank Independent, Fite Building Co., Perdido Beach Resort, Roberts Brothers Inc., T-Mobile, The American Equity Underwriters Inc. and United Bank
Presenting sponsors were Alabama Credit Union, AlaComp, Rabren General Contractors and White-Spunner Construction.
Partner sponsors were Alabama Self-Insured Workers Compensation Fund, River Bank & Trust and SH Enterprises.
SMALL-MEDIUM COMPANY WINNERS
First Place: Byars/Wright Insurance
Second Place: Roberts Brothers
Third Place: Wilkins Miller LLC
Other small-medium company winners (in alphabetical order):
American Equity Underwriters
Avadian Credit Union
Fite Building Company
Perdido Beach Resort
Rabren General Contractors
River Bank & Trust
LARGE COMPANY WINNERS
First Place: Edward Jones
Second Place: Total Quality Logistics
Third Place: Bank Independent
Other large company winners (in alphabetical order)
Alabama Credit Union
MAX Credit Union
COMING WEDNESDAY: A CLOSER LOOK AT THE WINNERS