Q After I register my company to participate, what happens next and when?
A Please refer to the Timeline for a detailed list of important dates and deadlines for the program. All registered companies will be notified regularly via email of upcoming deadlines. We would highly recommend that you white-list
so that the email address will be an approved sender. You may also want to regularly check your spam or junk folder to make sure that important updates are not missed. It is of vital importance that you read all communications, updates and instructions thoroughly.
Q We have several companies operating in Maine under one parent holding company. Each company has its own Employer Identification Number (EIN) and each has its own set of benefits and working environments. Do I need to register each company?
A Yes. Since each company is its own entity with its own benefits and working environment, we will treat each company as a separate employer and send each location a separate set of surveys, etc. Each subsidiary company must have at least 15 full- and part-time permanent employees working in Maine to be eligible.
Q We have several offices/facilities in Maine that operate using the same EIN and same set of employee benefits and procedures. Should I register each office/facility separately?
A No. If you are one company with multiple locations, facilities, factories, stores, etc., you should submit only one registration for all locations. We will then conduct a survey of employees that are randomly selected from the various business units that you operate in Maine, up to a total of 400 employees.
Special exception for hotels: We understand that hotels have unique ownership and management scenarios. Therefore, hotels may enter as individual locations. However, the number of US employees that you will report will be the number of employees who work for the same company your employees do. In most scenarios, the company used to determine the US employee count will be the company whose name appears on the employees' paychecks and from whom the employees derive their employee benefits. If you have questions about this, please contact us.
Q Our company has employees in many states. Will the survey apply to those who are out of state?
A No, only those individuals working in Maine will be surveyed. (Remote employees - working from home/on the road inside or outside of Maine that report directly to a manager/supervisor who is physically working in Maine ARE counted - and surveyed - as "working in Maine" employees.) However, Best Companies Group does offer the option to survey employees outside of the program area for an additional fee. This data will be removed from the analysis for the program, but would still be included in your Employee Feedback Report. Please contact Jackie Miller at
for further information.
Q My company has employees working in the state of Maine but we do not have a physical office location. Are we eligible to participate?
A Yes, as long as you have employees working in the state and are able to provide an in-state mailing address for your business, you are eligible to participate. Only employees working in Maine or remotely working from home/on the road inside or outside of Maine that report directly to a manager/supervisor who is physically working in Maine are eligible to participate in the survey.
Q Our company has employees that work for our operations within the program area but technically do not reside nor perform the majority of their duties within the program area. Are they eligible to participate in the survey process?
A For remote employees to be
eligible to participate, the individuals must report directly into the
state of Maine. If the remote employees report to a remote regional
manager, the employees would not be eligible to take part in the survey
process. However, the regional managers are eligible to participate if
they report directly to the office within the state of Maine.
If you are uncertain about any employee’s eligibility to participate in the survey, we encourage you to contact Best Companies Group for a final determination, as surveying ineligible employees may lead to disqualification from the competition.
Q We are a personnel placement company with associates who are technically our employees, but they work for other companies. Are we still eligible to participate?
A Yes. However only those "in-house" employees will be counted and surveyed. The employees who are "placed" with other companies are not counted and will not be surveyed. There must be a minimum of 15 "in-house" employees to be eligible.
Q Our company employs seasonal, temporary, per diem and independent contractor employees. Should they be included in the survey?
A No. Seasonal, temporary, per diem, independent contractors/1099, interns, volunteers or consultants should not be included in the survey process. We only want to survey the permanent full- and part-time employees.
A If you have 250 or fewer employees in your company, then the answer is Yes! If you employ more than 250 associates in Maine, a random sample of up to 400 employees will be asked to complete the survey. Please see the Assessment Process for more information. Best Companies Group offers the option to survey more employees than the random sample and/or include additional employees in the survey process who work in locations outside of the program area. Please contact Best Companies Group for details and pricing.
Q We have more than 250 associates to be surveyed. Who decides which employees will receive the surveys and how they are distributed? Do we have to give you a list of who is being surveyed?
A The random selection will be conducted by Best Companies Group for the online survey process. Companies choosing the online survey process will be asked to upload a list of all employee email addresses into an online portal. Best Companies Group will then randomly select the appropriate amount of employees (based on company size) to receive the survey. Companies will be asked to upload the employee email addresses via an online upload portal sent shortly after registration has closed. Companies choosing the paper survey process will be required to tell Best Companies Group how they conducted the random selection of their employee population. Please see the Timeline for dates surrounding the portal.
A Yes. All employees will be asked to complete a survey unless the company has more than 250 employees. For companies employing over 250 associates, a random sample will be chosen, and even then, managers are not excluded. Employees from all job levels should be included in the survey process - including founders, partners, and executive management to line-level employees.
Q How long will it take to complete the employer questionnaire (EQ)? Will it require a lot of research?
A The employer questionnaire may take between 8-10 hours to complete, depending upon how easy it is to retrieve your company's information regarding company policies, practices and demographics. Some research may be necessary. The EQ is completed and submitted online. A list of questions can be found on the Survey & Report Samples page. You may begin gathering the information requested on the EQ prior to the survey start date. That way when the actual invitation is sent, you can simply enter the requested information online.
A Best Companies Group will send your company a box of paper surveys and postage-paid return envelopes that must be distributed to employees. Employees complete the survey, place it in the envelope, seal it and then drop the completed surveys in the US mail. Completed surveys are mailed back to our processing facility by each employee.
Q What if not all of the employees complete and return the surveys? Is there a minimum response rate?
A We are looking for a response rate of approximately 65% or greater. Therefore, it is not absolutely necessary that all who receive a survey fill it out. While companies who have not reached 65% may still be considered, response rates are taken into account during the analysis process. The higher the response rate the more representative it will be of your company as a whole and the more valuable your company’s data will be at the end of the process.
Companies surveying 15-24 employees must have an 80% (or better) response rate from their employees filling out the survey.
A To conduct the online survey process, companies submit a list of employee email addresses. Employees are then directly sent an email invitation containing unique access information from Best Companies Group. The invitation directs employees to a unique Web page where they can submit their confidential responses. We prefer to only send email invitations to company email accounts.
Q Not all of our employees have email addresses. Can we still utilize the online survey?
A Yes! You can still use the online survey provided that at least 70% of your employees have email. If you have some employees without email addresses, they will still be included in the survey. We can provide access codes for those employees, if they represent 30% or less of your employee population. Click to learn more about Access Codes.
In order to maintain the integrity of the survey process, if fewer than 70% of your employees have email addresses, you will have to utilize the paper survey process.
Q I am concerned about the confidentiality of the survey responses.
A We will make every effort to maintain the anonymity of the employees completing the survey as well as protect the summarized data of all participating companies. Please note, that in order to maintain respondent anonymity, we do not report any response data for less than five (5) individuals in any one demographic category on the Employee Demographic Report. Please see our Statement of Confidentiality for more information.
Q Can the job role and department demographics on the employee survey be customized to more closely align with our organization?
A Yes, for a minimum standard fee of $795, the job role and department demographic categories can be customized. Please call Best Companies Group for more information or select the “Customization” option on the registration form and someone will contact you with more information. What's this? Please see the Timeline for the deadline to request the optional employee survey customization.
Q What information is included in the Employee Feedback Report and when will we receive it?
A The Employee Feedback Report is sent electronically and will contain large spreadsheets detailing and summarizing your employees' responses to the 78 survey questions (in percentage form). It will also include detailed instructions on how to interpret the results. The reports will be emailed to each company shortly after the companies are notified whether or not they made the list. Companies will also receive the responses from the two open-ended questions on the survey. These comments will be transcribed exactly as submitted by employees. State benchmarking is also included so companies can compare themselves to the "Best Places to Work in Maine" list-making companies and the non list-making companies. This portion will be sent after the awards event. If you would like to see samples of the report content, please see the Employee Feedback Report page.
Q When will we find out if our company made the list and where we rank?
A You will receive a notification email and/or hard copy letter informing you as to whether or not your company has made the list. If you make the list, you will find out where you rank either at the gala awards event or in the special publication. See the Timeline for more details.
Q A portion of our employees do not speak English. Do you offer employee surveys in alternate languages?
A We do offer employee surveys in a variety of additional languages! There will be an additional $205 fee to cover the cost of translation (flat rate) per language. If your company needs an additional language please select the "Languages" button on the registration form. Please see the Timeline for the deadline to request alternate language surveys.
Q How will my company be notified throughout the survey process? Will I receive regular updates?
A Yes, you will receive periodic updates regarding the survey timeline. However, we do recommend that your company place the dates that we send to you in your calendars. Best Companies Group primarily works through email. It is important that you read all instructions and details sent to you from Best Companies Group.
**We would highly recommend that you white-list
so that the email address will be an approved sender. You may also want to regularly check your spam or junk folder to make sure that important updates are not missed.
Q What if my company registers for the program and then needs to withdraw? Is it possible to be removed from the process?
A All companies that submit a registration form are considered active participants in the "Best Places to Work in Maine" program. If your company wishes to withdraw from the survey process, Best Companies Group must be notified immediately. Once the survey process has begun (after May 25, 2018), a $250 withdrawal fee will be applied in addition to the total fees incurred for any special requests (customization orders, language translations, paper survey processing, etc.) and the registration fee. Please contact a Best Companies Group representative to withdraw from the process.
Q Does Best Companies Group have any other programs or conduct any other surveys or services?
A Yes! Best Companies Group is identifying and recognizing great workplaces on national, state, regional and industry stages. For a complete list of programs or to learn more about our additional services, please visit www.BestCompaniesGroup.com.