For the sixth year in a row, employees around the region have rated their bosses and companies anonymously on behalf of those same companies and Philly.com, in a wide-ranging initiative coordinated by WorkplaceDynamics of Exton.

Participation in the survey is free for companies, each of which receive an overview report highlighting their own company's top and bottom performing areas. WorkplaceDynamics is paid by participating companies who want to delve deeper into the data it collects so managers can better comprehend what their employees think. Final results for Delaware Valley companies are shared with Philly.com at no charge.

Niki Reid, a WorkplaceDynamics data scientist, explained that since rank-and-file employees are the people most directly impacted by workplace environment, "we have gone to the experts – the employees – to get their honest feedback on their employers to identify the winners."

Reid, who holds a master's degree in economics from Boston University, pointed out that sharing such information publicly in a project such as this accomplishes goals larger than mere reporting. "The Philly.com Top Workplaces program helps us in our mission of 'making the world a better place to work together' by recognizing great places to work in the Delaware Valley and incentivizing companies to create Top Workplaces," she said.

This year, WorkplaceDynamics invited 1,501 companies with at least 50 employees in the region to participate in the survey. Of those, 168 firms, with a total of 98,940 local employees were surveyed. Of those employees, 65,150 received surveys, and 35,371 responded.

Surveys of all employees were encouraged by WorkplaceDynamics, but the required response rate varied depending on employer size. For those with fewer than 85 employees, at least 30 responses were required. Large employers could choose to randomly sample, but those with 2,500 or fewer workers must invite at least 500 employees to participate. Employers with between 2,501 and 5,000 local workers were required to distribute surveys to at least 20 percent of those workers, and employers with more than 5,000 workers in the region had to distribute at least 1,000 surveys.