Radio Flyer, Insperity top Best Places to Work in Illinois

  • Mark Black/DAILY HERALDThomas S. Klobucher was the keynote speaker at the Daily Herald Business Ledger's Best Places to Work awards at the Hyatt in Lisle on Thursday.

    Mark Black/DAILY HERALDThomas S. Klobucher was the keynote speaker at the Daily Herald Business Ledger's Best Places to Work awards at the Hyatt in Lisle on Thursday.

By Richard R. Klicki
Updated 5/17/2012 9:15 PM

Looking for a great place to work? Consider landing a job making little red wagons in Chicago or providing human resource services in Rosemont.

Radio Flyer Inc. of Chicago and Insperity in Rosemont were named the top Best Places to Work in Illinois 2012. A total of 50 companies were honored in the seventh annual recognition program sponsored by the Daily Herald Business Ledger, in partnership with the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce, the Human Resource Management Association of Chicago, the Workforce Boards of Metropolitan Chicago, Best Companies Group, and Choose DuPage.


More than 250 people attended the high-spirited award ceremony Thursday evening at the Hyatt Hotel Lisle, where 31 small/medium-sized companies and 19 large businesses were recognized for applying best business practices and embracing high standards advance their business and distinguishes them from competitors.

Keynote speaker Thomas A. Klobucher, CEO of Thomas Interior Systems and author of "The Great Workplace Revolution," inspired the group to take the qualities that made their workplaces great and spread them to others. He said he found as much as 81 percent of employees today are unhappy with their jobs, and that present challenges to companies keeping and retaining their best talent. He stressed companies that make employee engagement the top priority will be rewarded with excellent customer satisfaction.

"If we treat our employees as Number 1, they will treat the customers as Number 1, and customer service will fly off the charts," Klobucher said.

Radio Flyer, the maker of the iconic red wagons and other children's toys, ranked Number 1 among small to medium sized business with 1-249 employees. The company works to pair its employees -- known as Flyers -- with the work they most love to do. Flyers provide input as the company works to make constant improvements and create an atmosphere that is as fun to work in as the toys that are created.

Radio Flyer also gives back to the community by offering employees two paid days off for volunteer participation. In addition, the company partners with KaBoom, a charity that builds playgrounds for kids in need.

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"We can spread the word that having a great place to work is good business," said Amy Bastuga, Radio Flyer vice president human resources, who accepted the award. "All of us are here to inspire others. That's our role here today."

Insperity, based in Kingwood, Texas with local offices in Rosemont, ranked top among large business with more than 250 employees. Formerly known as Administaff, Insperity is a professional employer organization that provides human resource services to small and medium-sized businesses. The company recognizes its employees' outstanding accomplishments, both at work and in the community, with monthly, quarterly and yearly achievement awards, and provides generous incentive and education reimbursement programs for its employees.

In addition to offering employees 12 hours per quarter of paid time off for volunteer service, Insperity is active with a number of local charities, including American Heart Association, MS Society, Meals on Wheels, Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

"We want our employees to succeed, but we work to help them succeed," said Karen Codere, Insperity senior human resource specialist, in accepting the award. "It is the employees who drive the organization and make the customers happy."

The winners were selected and ranked by the Best Companies Group of Harrisburg, Pa., after going through a two-stage evaluation process. Nominated firms were required to fill out an employer policies and benefits questionnaire, then partake in an employee engagement and satisfaction survey. BCG compiled and evaluated the data and determined the final rankings.

Presenting sponsors of the Best Places to Work in Illinois event were Associated Bank of Chicago, Benefits Express in Arlington Heights, B. Gunther and Co. of Lisle, and Des Plaines Office Equipment in Elk Grove Village.

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