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updated: 6/5/2017 2:37 PM

Sweet repeat for Best Places to Work's No. 1 firms

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  • Bev Horne/bhorne@dailyherald.com Peter Burke, president of Best Companies Group, gives a talk at the Best Places to Work in Illinois ceremony at Abbington Banquets in Glen Ellyn.

    Bev Horne/bhorne@dailyherald.com Peter Burke, president of Best Companies Group, gives a talk at the Best Places to Work in Illinois ceremony at Abbington Banquets in Glen Ellyn.

  • Bev Horne/bhorne@dailyherald.com Peter Burke, president of Best Companies Group, gives a talk at the Best Places to Work in Illinois ceremony at Abbington Banquets in Glen Ellyn.

    Bev Horne/bhorne@dailyherald.com Peter Burke, president of Best Companies Group, gives a talk at the Best Places to Work in Illinois ceremony at Abbington Banquets in Glen Ellyn.

  • Bev Horne/bhorne@dailyherald.com Taylor Neimes, HR manager with Radio Flyer accepts award for best place to work in the small category at the Best Places to Work in Illinois ceremony at Abbington Banquets in Glen Ellyn.

    Bev Horne/bhorne@dailyherald.com Taylor Neimes, HR manager with Radio Flyer accepts award for best place to work in the small category at the Best Places to Work in Illinois ceremony at Abbington Banquets in Glen Ellyn.

  • Bev Horne/bhorne@dailyherald.com Lisa Latronico with Skender Construction accepts number one place in the medium category at the Best Places to Work in Illinois ceremony at Abbington Banquets in Glen Ellyn.

    Bev Horne/bhorne@dailyherald.com Lisa Latronico with Skender Construction accepts number one place in the medium category at the Best Places to Work in Illinois ceremony at Abbington Banquets in Glen Ellyn.

  • Bev Horne/bhorne@dailyherald.com Betsy Zukley with Sheppard Mullin, accepts the award for the number one place to work in the large category at Best Places to Work in Illinois ceremony at Abbington Banquets in Glen Ellyn.

    Bev Horne/bhorne@dailyherald.com Betsy Zukley with Sheppard Mullin, accepts the award for the number one place to work in the large category at Best Places to Work in Illinois ceremony at Abbington Banquets in Glen Ellyn.

  • Bev Horne/bhorne@dailyherald.com Drew Bassler, left, gets a selfie with co-workers from Amobee, at the Best Places to Work in Illinois ceremony at Abbington Banquets in Glen Ellyn on Thursday.

    Bev Horne/bhorne@dailyherald.com Drew Bassler, left, gets a selfie with co-workers from Amobee, at the Best Places to Work in Illinois ceremony at Abbington Banquets in Glen Ellyn on Thursday.

 
 

What do a popular toymaker, a construction company and a Loop law firm have in common?

All three were named the Number 1 Best Place to Work in Illinois for their respective categories for a second year in a row.

Chicago-based Radio Flyer, Skender Construction and Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP were named top companies for 2017 at an awards ceremony Thursday night at Abbington Distinctive Banquets in Glen Ellyn. All three companies were also the top companies named in 2016.

The three were among 76 companies from the city, suburbs and throughout the state to receive the Best Places to Work in Illinois honor. The program, now in its 11th year, is hosted by the Daily Herald Business Ledger in partnership with the Human Resources Management Association of Chicago, the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Advocacy Council and MRA -- The Management Association.

The two-part selection process, managed by Best Companies Group of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, involves an evaluation of a nominated company's workplace policies, practices and demographics, as well as an employee survey to measure the employee experience. Best Companies Group managed the registration and survey process, analyzed the data and used their expertise to determine the final rankings.

Peter Burke, president of the Best Companies Group, noted the employee engagement among the companies awarded this year averaged 91 percent, compared to a national average of 41 percent.

"You are a shining example to the world that there is no downside to focusing on the employee experience, only an upside, " Burke said. "You hire employees who fit into your routine, your core mission and your values."

Radio Flyer received the top honor in the small companies category, between 15-99 employees. Celebrating its 100th year of business, Radio Flyer is committed to building safe, quality products that spark imagination and inspire active play. Their products can be found in all major toy retailers including Wal-Mart, Toys "R" Us, Target and Amazon.com.

"It's an honor to be recognized along with all of you for our shared values and alignment of building environments where people can thrive," said Radio Flyer Human Resources Manager Taylor Neimes in accepting the award.

It is the third straight Number 1 honor for Skender Construction in the mid-sized category, between 100-499 employees. In addition to treating clients like gold, they do the same for their employees by offering catered Monday lunches and weekly healthy and organic delivered groceries, along with fun outings like paintball and cooking classes.

Skender's Lisa Latronico gave credit to the company's People and Culture team for developing the work environment.

"They make all of this possible helping to keep our employees engaged, helping to create wonderful programs that made people want to come to work every day," Latronico said.

Number 1 company in the large company category, with more than 500 employees, was Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, a full service global 100 law firm with more than 760 attorneys. The firm handles corporate and technological matters, high stakes litigations and complex financial transaction and offers monthly paid public transportation to their employees, along with longevity and profit-sharing bonuses, 100 percent paid medical premium, on-site fitness center and personal development & stress management workshops.

"We have a terrific culture," said Sheppard Mullin Office Administrator Betsy Zukley. "But, aside from being a fun place to work, it's a place that sets you up to succeed."

Profiles of the top companies will appear in the June 26 issue of the Daily Herald Business Ledger and online at dhbusinessledger.com.

Presenting sponsors of this year's awards event are B. Gunther & Co., Focus Capital Advisors, Ryan LLC, Shaker Recruitment Advertising and Communications and the Northern Illinois University Graduate School of Business.