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updated: 5/18/2018 2:49 PM

Business Ledger honors 75 companies as "Best Places to Work in Illinois'

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  • Josh Przyborowski, director of business development with Downers Grove-based ARCO/Murray National Construction Company, accepts the first-place prize for a medium-size company at the Business Ledger Best Places to Work Awards in Glen Ellyn on Thursday.

      Josh Przyborowski, director of business development with Downers Grove-based ARCO/Murray National Construction Company, accepts the first-place prize for a medium-size company at the Business Ledger Best Places to Work Awards in Glen Ellyn on Thursday.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Breena Kelly-Slatten, business development manager with The Salem Group, based in Oakbrook Terrace, accepts the award for best small business at the Business Ledger Best Places to Work Awards in Glen Ellyn on Thursday.

      Breena Kelly-Slatten, business development manager with The Salem Group, based in Oakbrook Terrace, accepts the award for best small business at the Business Ledger Best Places to Work Awards in Glen Ellyn on Thursday.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Bev Horne/bhorne@dailyherald.comLarry Eppley, Chicago Office Managing Partner with Sheppard Mullin, accepts first place for a large business at the Business Ledger Best Places to Work Awards in Glen Ellyn on Thursday.

    Bev Horne/bhorne@dailyherald.comLarry Eppley, Chicago Office Managing Partner with Sheppard Mullin, accepts first place for a large business at the Business Ledger Best Places to Work Awards in Glen Ellyn on Thursday.

  • Bev Horne/bhorne@dailyherald.comPeter Burke, president of Best Company Group, speaks at the Business Ledger Best Places to Work Awards in Glen Ellyn on Thursday.

    Bev Horne/bhorne@dailyherald.comPeter Burke, president of Best Company Group, speaks at the Business Ledger Best Places to Work Awards in Glen Ellyn on Thursday.

 
 

What do a small workforce management business in Oakbrook Terrace, a Downers Grove-based construction company and a large Chicago law firm have in common?

Workers at all three are fully engaged with their employers thanks to a combination of open and collaborative management, generous benefit packages and additional perks that earned the companies top honors in the 12th annual Best Places to Work in Illinois awards.

The annual Best Places to Work in Illinois is a combination survey, study and awards ceremony established to identify the top places of employment in Illinois. The statewide competition is sponsored by the Daily Herald Business Ledger, in partnership with the Illinois Chamber and Commerce, MRA - The Management Associations, the Human Resources Management Association of Chicago, and the Small Business Advocacy Council.

The two-part selection process conducted by Best Companies Group of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, involves an evaluation of the nominated company's workplace policies, practices and demographics, as well as an employee survey to measure workers' experiences.

This year, 75 companies were honored at an award ceremony held Thursday evening at Abbington Distinctive Banquets in Glen Ellyn.

In congratulating the winners, Best Companies Group President Peter Burke said the businesses enjoyed a 91 percent employee engagement rate, well above the national average of 41 percent.

"You have successfully created an environment where employees love to come to work," Burke said. "And you want to know how we know that? Your employees told us so."

The No. 1 company in the small employer category (19-99 employees) is The Salem Group, an Oakbrook Terrace-based strategic staffing and workforce management company. Salem, a certified Woman-Owned Business Enterprise, provides world-class staff augmentation, strategic workforce solutions, web-enabled contingent/regular workforce procurement and management applications to better manage service delivery and talent supply chains.

Salem was founded more than 35 years ago in Chicago. Continuity of proven leadership is critical; the same executive team that founded the company continues to lead it today. From Salem's origin as a single office in the Loop, the company has become one of the fastest-growing staffing firms in Chicago and beyond.

"It is not every day you are walking into an organization and are confident that their well-being, their growth, their happiness and their sense of worth is valued as a necessity to propel the organization forward," said Breeana Kelly-Slatten, business development manager. "I have never been more proud or passionate to introduce myself on behalf on an organization that does just that."

The top company in the medium employer category (100-499 employees) is ARCO/Murray National Construction Company in Downers Grove. The company has continued to grow by having relatively few clients and providing them with turnkey design and construction services on a national basis.

The company's collaborative culture integrates experts, across all critical disciplines, to deliver a single superior solution. It hires only the best from the top schools and makes a significant investment in training to keep its staff on the leading edge of industry trends and best practices. Engagement is important, so ARCO/Murray has an all-company event that allows all levels to work and play together, like 3-on-3 basketball, "Minute to Win It," movie outings, baseball games and holiday parties.

"We work in a very high-risk environment that oftentimes is very stressful for our employees," said Josh Przyborowski, director of business development for ARCO/Murray."So it's really important for us to develop and encourage an environment that is fun to participate in."

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLC of Chicago is the winning large employer (500-plus employees) for the third consecutive year. The full service, global 100 law firm has more than 760 attorneys.

Since 1927, companies have turned to Sheppard Mullin to handle corporate and technological matters, high-stakes litigation and complex financial transactions. They offer monthly paid public transportation to their employees, along with longevity and profit-sharing bonuses, 100 paid medical premium, on-site fitness center and personal development and stress management workshops.

"It's amazing how committed we are to engagement to culture, to diversity, to inclusion to collaboration and fulfillment, and on top it's one of the best places to work in the state," said Larry Eppley, Chicago office managing partner.

Highlights of the winning companies will be featured in the June issue of the Daily Herald Business Ledger, which publishes on June 18.

Presenting sponsors for the 2018 program are B. Gunther & Company Inc., Focus Capital Advisors, Ryan LLC and Shaker Recruitment Marketing.

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