Building Great Places to Work

September 5. 2017

Inside the 2017 NorthCoast 99 Winner Demographics

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September 5. 2017


Inside the 2017 NorthCoast 99 Winner Demographics

The annual NorthCoast 99 Winner’s Report is a comprehensive summary of best practices, benchmark data, stories, examples, and case studies based on the responses of the NorthCoast 99 Winners. Here are some of the notable statistics regarding the special category benchmarks:

Special Categories Benchmarks

Challenging & Meaningful Work

94% of NorthCoast 99 winners have written job descriptions that are current/updated and accurately reflect all positions' job duties and responsibilities.

winner demographics

77 of the 2017 NorthCoast 99 winners administered an employee opinion survey last year.

A number of initiatives and programs, proposed by non-management employees and then implemented in 2016, included the following:
87 were community outreach activities
85 were new systems, processes, and/or technologies
85 were employee training and development programs
70 were cost-savings programs
70 were internal “communities of practice” or knowledge-sharing groups
67 were employee wellness programs
60 were employee recognition programs
56 were new products or services
49 were customer appreciation initiatives


85% of 2017 NorthCoast 99 winners have a formal, documented compensation philosophy and strategy. Of these 85, 55 of them share it with all of their employees.

  Employees with above average ratings Employees with average ratings Employees with below average ratings
Executives 5.33% 2.91% 0.68%
Managers 5.61% 3.58% 1.11%
Individual Contributors (Exempt) 5.55% 3.36% 1.23%
Individual Contributors (Non-Exempt) 4.83% 3.26% 1.17%

71 of the 2017 NorthCoast 99 winners have a formal, written policy that supports equal pay for equal work. In addition, 73 of 2017 winners directly asked their top performers for feedback on the specific types of rewards and recognition they value.

Organizational Support & Work-Life Benefits

92 of 2017 NorthCoast 99 winners allow employees to participate in charity events, fundraisers, pro-bono work, or other community service during normal work hours. Among these that allow it, 78 organizations (84.8%) provide their employees with full pay and do not require them to use any paid-time-off.

winner demographics

On average, employees in 2017 NorthCoast 99 organizations receive 9 full-day paid holidays each year. In addition, 95 of 2017 winners have a formal, written bereavement policy, and 19 of them do not limit the amount of time employees can be away from work.

In addition, the 2017 NorthCoast 99 winning organizations offer a variety of work-life benefits for employees:
88 provide Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
86 provide financial planning workshops or advisory services
49 have an on-site cafeteria
45 offer on-site recreation (pool table, ping pong table, basketball court, video games, etc.)
36 allow employees to bring their children to work
28 provide a company car
20 have on-site dry cleaning
17 allow employees to bring their pets to work
10 offer child care reimbursement (not an FSA)
10 have a concierge service
8 offer on-site childcare
3 offer elder care reimbursement (not an FSA)
3 have an on-site hair salon or barber shop

Career Advancement & Development

77% of top of top performing, non-management employees met with their immediate managers or supervisors in 2016 specifically to discuss career advancement opportunities (separate from their scheduled performance management review meeting).

winner demographics

In 75 of 2017 NorthCoast 99 organizations, when an existing position opens and/or a new one is created, top performing and high-potential employees are given priority consideration over external candidates when applying for those positions–regardless of the position or candidate. That is, he or she is granted an opportunity to participate in the first stage of the selection process.

In addition, the 2017 NorthCoast 99 winners use a number of methods to identify high-potential employees:
96 use manager feedback
96 use performance review results
89 use one-on-one meetings with employees
83 use coworker feedback
82 use customer feedback
76 use assessments (e.g., knowledge, skills, personality, etc.)
40 use outside consultants

*NOTE: 2017 NC99 winners use an average of 6.0 such methods

Leadership & Culture

All 100 2017 NorthCoast 99 winners openly encourage employees to publicly thank coworkers and acknowledge them in front of other employees for doing a great job.

winner demographics

86 of 2017 NorthCoast 99 winners maintain communication with employees’ significant others in any of several different ways:

  • 83 host holiday and/or social gatherings that include employees’ significant others
  • 35 invite significant others and family members to open houses at the organization
  • 24 send written communications addressed to employees’ significant others from the CEO/Executive Director

Talent Attraction & Retention

Among those 2017 NorthCoast 99 winners that do use employee referrals for recruitment, 75 pay their employees a bonus or “finder’s fee” for their referrals.

88 of 2017 NorthCoast 99 winners have a formal, written, validated “success profile” against which job candidates are measured for fit with their organizations.

winner demographics

97 of 2017 NC99 winners allow external candidates to view job openings on their company websites or social media presence; all 97 of them also allow candidates to apply for those positions through those channels.

Download the 2017 Winners Report

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