30,000 employees have spoken

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Archives - March 2009
Sunday, March 01, 2009
MARCH 2009: THE 2009 100 BEST COMPANIES TO WORK FOR IN OREGON
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What makes a great place to work? This year’s winners of our 16th annual 100 Best Companies show the way.

Oregon companies are indomitable. With the economy crashing and burning all around us, this was a record-breaking year for the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon project: 372 organizations and nearly 30,000 employees took part in our 16th annual ranking of the 100 Best.


Even in the worst of times, companies value being a great place to work.

To improve our company focus, this year we introduced a new medium-size category so the 100 Best is now composed of the Top 33 Large, the Top 34 Medium and the Top 33 Small Companies. Participating companies had to have at least 20% of their Oregon workforce complete the confidential employee survey as well as fill out an employer survey of benefits.

The No. 1 Small Company 100BestBrand.jpg The Winning Perks
The No. 1 Medium Company The 100 Best List
No. 1 Large Company Category winners

Sectors prominent among the 100 Best this year include professional services, with a strong showing from law and staffing firms, finance, construction, technology and marketing/communications. The Portland metro area continues to dominate 100 Best geographically with 69 companies, followed by the Willamette Valley (17), Central Oregon (six) and Southern Oregon (six). The 30,000 employees who completed the survey equal about 1.6% of those employed in the state.

The average overall score of 100 Best Companies inched up 2.1%. Twenty companies are new to the list and 31 more weren’t listed in 2008, so half the list changed since last year. The competition gets tougher and best practices get better. Congratulations to this year’s winners.

THE EDITORS


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Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda


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