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A first-time entrant has claimed the No. 1 spot among large businesses in the Best Places to Work in Omaha contest, while a former winner in the medium-sized category has reclaimed its champion title.
Kiewit Corp., one of North America's largest construction and mining companies, joined the contest for the first time and won among companies with more than 200 employees, said Scott Moore of Omaha law firm Baird Holm LLP.
Baird Holm sponsors the annual competition with the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce.
Rising to the top of companies with 25 to 200 employees was Medical Solutions Inc. The traveling nursing company won the title in 2008, placed fourth in 2009 and third in 2011.
Other winners in the larger business category: 2) Children's Hospital and Medical Center; 3) C&A Industries, Inc.; 4) Carlson Hotels; 5) Immanuel Communities and Immanuel Pathways.
And in the medium-sized category: 2) Ervin & Smith Advertising and Public Relations; 3) US Cellular; 4) AIM Institute; 5) Home Instead Senior Care.
All of the businesses will be recognized at an April 19 luncheon at the CenturyLink Center Omaha. Those who attend will hear strategies from companies on how they've become employee-friendly.
Winners are based on the results of a confidential online survey that measures employee satisfaction and engagement with their workplace.
One employee at Medical Solutions said in the survey that bosses reward workers by letting them leave early, allowing more time for family and creating an atmosphere that "makes me love coming to work."
Medical Solutions has grown as a company since the economy soured, said another: "We have developed a stronger inter-family and really count on each other to get the job done."
A three-year Kiewit employee said the job comes with "an immense amount of responsibilities but also recognition when a job has been done well."
Said another: "I would like to have my family members working here."
Also to be honored during the luncheon as the 2012 "individual contributor" is William Kizer Sr., founder of the Wellness Council of America and chairman emeritus of Central States Indemnity.
Kizer was a pacesetter — "ahead of his time" in promoting the health and well-being of the nation's workforce, Moore said.
Companies opt to participate in the Best Places to Work survey. They pay a fee and the names of participants aren't disclosed unless they emerge as one of the top five in a category. Research is conducted by SilverStone Group and Quantum Workplace.
Moore said all entries are winners in that they get feedback on how to create a better place to work. The number of participants has increased since the contest began in 2003, and Moore said he thinks that has led to a more fulfilled and productive city workforce.
"Employers are competitive," he said. "It's increased the amount of discourse and discussion on, 'How do we engage our workforce in the Omaha market?' "
Companies with 25-200 employees
Companies with more than 200 employees
1. Kiewit Corp.
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