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Editor's Notes: Come join our Oscars

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Robin Doussard
Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I know the upcoming Academy Awards hog the spotlight when it comes to a star-studded event oozing with excitement and suspense over who will get the coveted Oscar. But maybe that’s because you haven’t heard about our 100 Best Companies awards.

This year the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon will be revealed on March 4 at the Oregon Convention Center. For 17 years, Oregon Business has honored those Oregon companies that go the extra mile to create a great place to work for their employees. Rumors are that George Clooney will host.

OK, the Clooney thing's a lie, but it is a fun party with lots of local heroes from the business community being honored.

What makes a great place to work? You might be surprised to know that it isn’t always great pay or outstanding benefits that are key. The 20,000 employees from 303 companies who participated in this year’s anonymous survey are grateful for those things, but it is often the funny boss, the free pizza or the dog-friendly office that matters most.

It’s also about great leadership. The economy has battered businesses in all industries, but it isn't impossible to be a great employer. Just ask the class of 2010, which found ways to keep morale high, benefits intact and employees on board even during tough times.

If your company isn’t taking part, it should. It costs nothing to participate in the survey. You just need to have at least 15 Oregon employees. The survey asks 10 questions in five categories: benefits, work environment, decision-making and trust, performance management, and career development and learning. Companies receive back a free basic report after we’ve tallied the results. The next survey opens in late August this year. If you’re interested, go to Oregon100Best.com or contact our research editor, Brandon Sawyer.

We will detail the secrets of Oregon’s best workplaces in the March issue, which comes out March 5 on newsstands and on OregonBusiness.com. Even if you aren’t on the list, you are still invited to come see what it’s all about. It’s dinner and networking, special performances, and a keynote address by Gary Conkling of Conkling Fiskum & McCormick, a seven-time 100 Best winner. Then we end the night with a countdown of the top 10 winners and reveal the top-secret March issue.

If you miss the event, don’t miss the opportunity. Sign up for the project and use it as a chance to learn about what your employees think about your workplace, and find ways to improve it.

Join in. Next year, you might be on stage with Meryl.

Robin Doussard is Editor of Oregon Business.

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