How it Works

April, 2006

Doin’ the Right Thing

Welcome to Hawaii Business’ second annual Best Places to Work issue. Being a Best Place to Work is most of all about creating a work environment in which employees can flourish. The reasons are manifold. For employers, it means higher retention, better recruitment and increased productivity, not to mention it’s the right thing to do. For employees, it means being able to believe in your company and give it your all. It’s about loving your job.

Best Places to Work
Best Practices

  • All 20 companies have formal mission statements
    • All 20 have formally defined organization values
    • 10 offer some type of profit sharing plan
    • 4 provide employee stock option programs
    • 13 have formal mentoring programs
    • 15 provide on-site fitness facilities or subsidized memberships to fitness centers
    • 17 offer tuition reimbursement programs
    • 9 offer domestic partner benefits
    • 9 offer on-site health screening
    • 11 offer compressed work weeks
    • 9 provide for telecommuting
    • All have formal employee recognition programs
    • 15 have a company newsletter
    • 15 have some form of intranet
    • 15 use an employee survey
    • All have arrangements for senior leaders to meet regularly with employees
    • 14 offer matching contributions to charitable organizations
    • 9 provide for paid volunteer time
    • 19 reimburse membership fees for professional associations
    • 12 provide lactation rooms for nursing mothers

In this section, we unveil the Best Places to Work in Hawaii, but you will also learn about what makes a company great to work for, how to begin to rate your company, and how to begin to transform your company into a Best Place. We hope at the very least to spark a continued dialogue.

Best Places Breakdown

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 Wilmington, Del.-based ModernThink LLC to conduct the survey, analyze the survey results and determine the list rankings. Results and rankings are published by Hawaii Business magazine and posted on

To be eligible for consideration, a company must: be a for-profit or not-for-profit business; be a publicly or privately held business; have a facility in the Hawaii; and have a minimum of 25 employees in Hawaii. The rankings of the Best Places to Work in Hawaii were provided to Hawaii Business in January 2006. For this year, 30 companies registered to participate, 27 companies completed the entire application process and 20 companies received scores high enough to make them one of the Best Places to Work in Hawaii.

Companies are grouped into two categories: those with fewer than 100 employees and those with 100 or more employees. Hawaii Business, along with its local partners, The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, Enterprise Honolulu, the Hawaii Employers Council, the Kauai Economic Development Board, the Maui Economic Development Board Inc., the Economic Development Alliance of Hawaii, and the Hawaii Island Economic Development Board, encouraged Hawaii companies to sign up for the program in 2005.

Once a company had registered and paid a registration fee, ModernThink conducted a two-phase assessment. The first phase, an organizational inventory, documented an organization’s policies, practices and various demographic information. The second phase consisted of surveying employees at the candidate organizations. Employees responded to the 65-question survey using a five-point Likert Scale.

Individual employee survey results were not shared with the employer, ensuring employees’ anonymity. ModernThink sought a sample size that allowed it to operate with an 85 percent confidence level, and a margin of error in the range of plus or minus 5 percent. The average response rate for the top Hawaii companies was 67 percent. Using this data, ModernThink determined the rankings of the best companies and prepared individual executive summaries for each participating company.

Hawaii Business encourages participating companies, whether they made this year’s list or not, to use the findings to help strengthen and improve their organizations and to sign up for next year’s Best Places to Work competition.


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