Best places to work in Hawaii 2005

April, 2005


Welcome to Hawaii Business magazine’s first Best Places to Work issue. The following pages will unlock some of the secrets of what it takes to be a great place to work in Hawaii. This is an exciting new initiative dedicated to finding and recognizing Hawaii’s best employers.The Best Places to Work in Hawaii is a partnership between Hawaii Business and the Best Companies Group of Harrisburg, Pa. The Best Companies Group contracts with Alexandria, Va.-based ModernThink LLC for research and consulting. Results and rankings are published by Hawaii Business magazine and posted on

To be eligible for consideration, a company must:

o Be a for-profit or not-for-profit business

o Be a publicly or privately held business

o Have a facility in the state of Hawaii

o Have a minimum of 25 employees in the state of Hawaii

o Companies must also fall into one of two categories: those with fewer than 100 employees and those with 100 or more employees. Hawaii Business, along with its local partners, the Society for Human Resource Management-Hawaii, the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, the Hawaii Employers Council and Enterprise Honolulu, encouraged Hawaii companies to sign up for the program in 2004.

Once a company had registered and paid a registration fee, which varied according to its size, the Best Companies Group conducted a two-part assessment. The first part, an organizational inventory, surveyed the employers. Part two surveyed the company’s employees. The survey consisted of about 60 statements to which employees responded, using a five-point Likert scale to measure agreement or disagreement. Individual employee survey results were not shared with the employer, guaranteeing employees anonymity. If a company had fewer than 200 employees, all the employees were surveyed. If a company had 200 or more employees, 200 employees, chosen at random from throughout the company, were surveyed. ModernThink sought a response rate of at least 50 percent. The average response rate for the Top 25 Hawaii companies was 60 percent.

Modern Think and the Best Companies Group compiled and interpreted the results of both the employer inventory and employee surveys. ModernThink sought a sample size, which allowed it to operate with an 85 percent confidence level, and a margin of error in the range of + or – 5 percent. From this data, the research company determined the rankings of the best companies. It also compiled survey findings reports for each participating company.

The rankings of the Best Places to Work in Hawaii were provided to Hawaii Business in January 2005. For this inaugural project, 57 companies registered to participate, 49 companies completed the entire application process and 25 companies received scores high enough to make them one of the Best Places to Work in Hawaii.

Companies are encouraged to use their individual survey findings reports to find out their strengths and weaknesses. Hawaii Business encourages participating companies, whether they made this year’s list or not, to use the findings in the individual company reports to make improvements and to sign up to be a Best Place to Work next year.

The stories contained in the following pages illustrate the many and varied best practices, which may spark ideas for other companies. Congratulations to the top companies and thank you, for helping to make Hawaii a great place to work.

Best Practices in Hawaii 2005

The Top 25 Best Places to Work in Hawaii come from many industries and vary greatly in size. However, many share the following best practices:

25 recipients have formal mission statements

25 have formally defined organization values

23 have documented ethics policies

21 have defined compensation philosophies

17 offer some type of profit-sharing plan, provide employee stock-option programs

15 have formal mentoring programs

18 provide either on-site fitness facilities or subsidized memberships to fitness centers

23 offer tuition reimbursement programs

9 offer domestic-partner benefits

6 provide for some form of adoption assistance

11 offer medical benefits that provide for alternative treatment options

12 offer on-site health screening

5 provide an on-site doctor or nurse

10 provide for telecommuting

20 have a company newsletter

21 have some form of Intranet

21 use employee surveys

13 offer matching contributions to charitable organizations

5 provide for paid volunteer time

13 provide lactation rooms for nursing mothers

11 provide free daily snacks or meals

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