Each year since 1994, Oregon Business magazine has been proud to present the 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon. The aim of the project — a survey conducted in the late summer and fall with results published in March — is to recognize and celebrate Oregon companies for their commitment to creating great places for their employees to work.
We first published a Best Companies feature in July 1994 with profiles of a mere 10 companies. In August 1995, years before Fortune and other magazines first published similar lists, Oregon Business debuted the first 100 Best Companies to Work For, after six months and 600 hours of staff time sorting through applications from hundreds of companies and personally interviewing employees. The first list was scored in five categories: pay and benefits; employee involvement, community involvement; advancement and training; and workplace culture.
For six months and 600 hours, staff sorted through applications from hundreds of companies and personally interviewed employees. This first list was scored in five categories: pay and benefits; employee involvement, community involvement; advancement and training; and workplace culture.
In 1997, we began assigning ranks to companies along with their scores, and in 1999 the list started appearing in our March issue. In 2001, an employee satisfaction survey was introduced to accompany the employer survey and companies were scored among nine categories. The list was then divided into the top 50 large and top 50 small companies based on employee count. The first event to celebrate the 100 Best Companies was a luncheon held in 2002. Dinner events in recent years have drawn about 1,000 attendees. Davis, Hibbitts and Midghall first became our research partner for the 2004 survey. With their help, we began offering individual reports of survey results that year so participants could analyze their performance and progress. In 2005, the employee and employer surveys were edited close to their current form, with employees rating their satisfaction and importance in a total of 50 statements in five categories. A milestone was set in the 2007 survey when 342 employers and more than 31,000 employees participated. By this time, the surveys were conducted almost entirely online.
In September 2008, we hosted our first-ever 100 Best Conference, helping companies learn how to incorporate best practices. The list was divided into three in 2009 with the introduction of a medium size category.
In June 2009, we published our first list of the 100 Best Green Companies to Work For in Oregon and held an event to honor them in Portland.
In October 2009, we published the first list of the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon, and honored them at an event in Portland.
100 BEST TIMELINE
1994: First “Best Companies” feature profiling 10 companies was published in July.
1995: First list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For debuted in August,
years before Fortune and other magazines first published similar lists.
1997: Companies were assigned ranks as well as scores.
1999: List moved to March issue.
2001: Employee satisfaction survey introduced; list divided into top 50 large and top 50 small companies.
2002: First event held to celebrate Oregon’s 100 Best Companies.
2004: Davis Hibbitts and Midghall becomes our research partner; survey reports offered to participants.
2005: Employee and employer surveys revised to current form.
2007: A record 31,000 employees participated in the survey.
2008: First 100 Best Conference, Building Better Workplaces, held at Portland Art Museum
2009: A record 372 companies qualified for consideration; list divided into three categories: large, medium and small.
June 2009: Oregon Business honored the first 100 Best Green Companies.
October 2009: Oregon Business honors the first 100 Best Nonprofits.