Our Honored Small Businesses – Where Are They Now?
How have the people practices of Winning Workplaces’ honored small firms, going back to 2003, continued to impact their growth and achievements? Here’s a look at what five of them have done since winning our award.

Top 10 Bottom Line-Improving People Practices 
Get a sense of the learning we have shared each week with our email subscribers: employee practices our small workplace award applicants are using to increase their top line revenue and bottom line profitability.

Our Honorees on Weathering the Current Economic Downturn: Fall 2010 
What’s changed since we last surveyed our honored small firms in Q4 2009? They are more optimistic – most believe revenue and profits will increase over the next 12 months. Click through to learn more.

10 Steps to Improve Your Bosses’ Performance
In this guest feature, workplace author and coach Wally Bock explains why supervisors are pivotal to firms, and provides 10 ways for leaders to make them better bosses when it comes to process and employee performance improvement.

‘Move Your Money’ Movement Hasn’t Fully Caught on Among Target Small Business Audience 
The grassroots-y “Move Your Money” movement has been prominent in the media since the start of 2010. However, our survey of small business leaders reveals this key demographic has yet to embrace it in a substantial way.

To Boost Productivity and Innovation, Fire Up the People You Lead 
In this guest feature, Michael Lee Stallard and Jason Pankau of leadership training firm E Pluribus Partners define the organizational force of “connection” and discuss how leaders can use it to improve business results.

Preliminary Data of the 2010 Top Small Company Workplaces Applicants 
Read how the 2010 applicant pool for our recognition project performs on some key metrics, and see how this year’s pool compares to those from prior years.

Our Honorees on Weathering the Current Economic Downturn: Fall 2009 
What’s changed since we last surveyed our honored small firms in Q2 2009? More are cutting salaries – and those that do are treating the leadership the same as front-line workers. Read our other findings.

Ways to Engage Employees Using Technology That Deliver ROI 
Did you know that 1/5 of our registered website users have grown revenues by up to $500,000 by using technology to help employees share information? The results of our survey provide tips that can increase your bottom line, too.

How Small Businesses Are Increasing Sales in a Recession 
Learn ways that both our honored small firms and registered users of this website are using to maintain and in many cases increase sales in the current recession.

Don’t Cut Legal Corners When Starting Your Business 
In this guest feature, Workplace Fairness Executive Director Paula Brantner provides four useful – make that mandatory – strategies to stay legal when launching entrepreneurial ventures.

Our Honorees on Weathering the Current Economic Downturn: Spring 2009 
How are our Top Small Workplaces and Best Boss award-winning organizations faring in the current recession? Find out and get ideas for cutting costs and maximizing productivity and profitability that you can use in your business.

Preliminary Data of the 2009 Top Small Workplaces Applicants 
Read how the 2009 applicant pool for our recognition project performed on some key metrics, and see how this year’s pool compares to those from 2008 and 2007.

A Silicon Valley Strategist’s Stimulus Plan for Entrepreneurs 
While economic stimulus for banks and state infrastructure projects has dominated recent legislation, some from the entrepreneur community have called for a stimulus package for startups. One of those is Sramana Mitra. Read about her plan.

Six Tips to be a Better Boss and Improve Your Culture 
New Zealand-based workplace consultant and author Allison O’Neill provides fresh perspective and easy-to-implement ideas to help leaders better manage their staff.

Final Sessions of 2008 Top Small Workplaces Conference Address Open Book Management, Managing in Lean Times, Sharing Ownership
Get a snapshot of what attendees of our 2008 conference experienced when it came to the workplace best practices of the concluding concurrent sessions.

Employee Gardens Provide a Low-Cost Way to Boost Camaraderie and Ensure a Healthier Workforce
A growing but under-reported trend among progressive small workplaces is the practice of an employee garden. Read how this can impact team building, employee health and other factors for businesses.

First Day Two Sessions of 2008 Top Small Workplaces Conference Tackle Internal Leadership Development, Employee Ownership
Read what two 2007 Top Small Workplaces imparted to conference attendees regarding developing leaders from within and creating a culture of employee ownership.

People Practices Help Local and Community Banks Thrive, Even in Tough Economic Times
See how the profitability of two small financial services firms that we named Top Small Workplaces can be traced to their long-term perspective on business success, their commitment to their communities and their progressive people practices.

Top Small Workplaces Conference Addresses Succession Planning and Sustaining Cultures in Quickly Growing Firms
Read all about the two concurrent workplace sessions on day one of our 2008 conference that addressed pertinent issues for organizations committed to building strong workplaces.

Sustainability, Serving Stakeholders Key Themes of 2008 Top Small Workplaces Conference Keynote Speakers
Read about the keynote addresses from the 2008 Top Small Workplaces Conference, which featured Southwest Airlines’ Colleen Barrett, Dancing Deer Baking’s Trish Karter and The Wall Street Journal Online’s Alan Murray.

Small and Midsize Business Leaders on Weathering Our Struggling Economy
While these firms’ generally progressive people practices have helped insulate many of them from some of the more severe problems, they are pursuing strategies to both cut back and invest for the future.

How Two Great Companies Became One: Ipswitch’s Acquisition of Standard Networks 
Seeking a firm with a like-minded culture, keeping communication open and gaining the trust of a newly integrated workforce were hallmarks of Ipswitch’s 2008 acquisition of Standard Networks, a company located 1,000 miles away.

Trends from the 2007 Top Small Workplaces Data Report: Employee Benefits 
We discuss the data we analyzed from the 2007 applicant pool and winners as it relates to health insurance, profit sharing/stock purchase plans and work/life balance.

2007 Top Small Workplaces Conference Finale: 60 Ideas in 60 Minutes 
Read how a panel consisting of previous session speakers tackled, in rapid-fire fashion, attendee questions about the most pressing workplace issues.

Afternoon Conference Speakers Discuss Maintaining Culture, Providing ‘Extreme’ Service 
Read summaries of the two concurrent sessions that rounded out the afternoon programming of our 2007 Top Small Workplaces Conference.

‘Free’ Lunches an Investment in Camaraderie, Productivity 
More small organizations are offering free lunch incentives that strengthen the company culture, improve employee job satisfaction, and help lower turnover.

What Type of Money Should You Raise? Part 2 
The managing partner of private investment firm Granite Creek Partners, LLC presents the fifth in a series of articles designed to demystify private equity. This month: Assessing risk of capital sources and their alliance with your organization.

Innovation, Retention the Focus of Morning Conference Sessions 
Read summaries of the two concurrent sessions that rounded out the morning programming of our 2007 Top Small Workplaces Conference.

Top Small Workplaces Conference Speakers Show Grounded Idealism 
We show how the themes of the Top Small Workplaces Conference October 4, 2007 keynote speakers compared and contrasted.

What Type of Money Should You Raise? Part 1 
The managing partner of private investment firm Granite Creek Partners, LLC presents the fourth in a series of articles designed to demystify private equity. This month: A primer on equity, mezzanine capital and senior debt.

How to Position Your Company to Access Outside Capital, Part 2 
The managing partner of private investment firm Granite Creek Partners, LLC presents the third in a series of articles designed to demystify private equity. This month: The second of a two-part series on preparing to access outside capital.

Temperature Read: Juggling Work and Personal Time 
Read the results of our July 2007 survey of over 100 workers on their sense of work/life balance and workplace flexibility.

Meet the Top Small Workplaces Judges 
We provide bios of the eight judges for the 2007 Top Small Workplaces project, including their observations about the finalists and the judging process.

How to Position Your Company to Access Outside Capital, Part 1 
The managing partner of private investment firm Granite Creek Partners, LLC presents the second in a series of articles designed to demystify private equity. This month: The first of a two-part series on preparing to access outside capital.

Tips to Best Utilize Older Workers in Your Workforce 
It’s inevitable: Baby Boomers are retiring and will continue to do so for years to come. But what happens to your workplace knowledge base? In a guest column, Employee & Family Resources provides counsel on how to leverage it before it’s gone.

Why Should Your Small Enterprise Go Green? 
From increasing your community cred to saving money, we outline the benefits and scope of practices that small businesses are increasingly moving toward to “go green.” And, surprise: many measures cost nothing or next to nothing to implement.

Demystifying Private Equity 
The managing partner of private investment firm Granite Creek Partners, LLC presents the first in a series of articles designed to demystify private equity along with other alternative capital markets.

Best Bosses Reveal Small Business’ Concerns About Health Insurance
A major survey recently identified access to affordable health care as the primary issue on the public’s domestic agenda. Read the results of our own survey of Best Bosses to see what their organizations are doing to address this complicated issue.

Successful Business Owners Weigh in on How to Keep Older Employees in Workforce
Evidence suggests that retiring workers will weigh down U.S. economic growth in the coming years, unless employers take steps to retain more older employees. Read some of our Best Bosses’ thoughts on how this issue affects their workplaces.

Workplace-based Chaplains Ease HR Burden 
A growing number of organizations are turning to chaplains who undergo specialized training to enter into workplaces in order to help employees deal with personal issues that can influence their performance.

Open Book Management, Internal Leadership Development Themes of Afternoon Sessions
In a series of articles, we share the tips, strategies and insights from the 2006 Best Bosses Conference workshops. Part 4 takes an in-depth look at two of the afternoon sessions, “Why Great Organizations Use Open Book Management” and “Tips and Strategies for Internal Leadership Development.”

Cubicles Today: Applications and Trends
We take a look at how employees’ needs are changing the cubicle landscape in the 21st century. We also offer tips for businesses transitioning their staff from a traditional workplace into a modern, cubicle-filled one.

Afternoon Sessions Address Workplace Design, Employee Volunteerism
In a series of articles, we share the tips, strategies and insights from the 2006 Best Bosses Conference workshops. Part 3 takes an in-depth look at two of the afternoon sessions, “The Influence of Design on Workplace Culture” and “The Business Case for Employee Volunteerism.”

The Push for Paid Sick Leave
The Center for Law and Social Policy is part of a growing number of entities working to ensure that U.S. employees have equal and adequate access to paid sick leave.

Conference Sessions Focus on Organizational Change
In a series of articles, we share the tips, strategies and insights from the 2006 Best Bosses Conference workshops. Part 2 takes an in-depth look at two of the morning sessions, “Evolution of a Best Boss: Changing to Grow Your Organization” and “Small Steps to Big Culture Change.”

Best Bosses Share Insights from the Trenches
In a series of articles, we share the tips, strategies and insights from the 2006 Best Bosses Conference workshops. Part 1 takes an in-depth look at two of the morning sessions, “Attracting, Retaining and Engaging Your Most Valuable Asset – Employees” and “Back from the Brink: Sustaining Your Organization Through Innovation.”

Michelle Obama Delivers Address at Best Bosses Conference
Michelle Obama of the University of Chicago Hospitals delivered the Plenary Address at our 2006 Best Bosses Conference. Read a summary of her remarks on “Creating Relationships Between Business and Community.”

The Benefits of Employer-Assisted Housing
Employer-assisted housing (EAH) has been gaining momentum locally and statewide since the late 1990s. With a federal EAH bill pending, read why more employers are recognizing the benefits of these programs for their workers and the greater community.

Luxottica’s Foundation Gives Gift of Sight, Connects Employees
Eyewear manufacturer and distributor Luxottica’s Give the Gift of Sight Foundation provides eye care for people who can’t afford to help themselves – all the while connecting the organization’s retail employees with vendors and volunteers.

Building a Culture of Collaboration
Suburban Chicago’s Family Shelter Service, which assists victims of domestic violence, has improved employee communication, emphasized professional development and educated staff on managing conflict.

A Switch That Works
Serial entrepreneur and G2 SwitchWorks CEO Alex Zoghlin takes a team approach to creating a viable financial model in an ailing travel industry.

Mather LifeWays Taps into Employees’ Health Needs
Mather LifeWays, an organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of older adults, is about to launch the second phase of its company-wide wellness program. Director of Wellness Strategies Reed Engel discusses the history of wellness and how it relates to his organization’s approach to fostering happier, healthier employees.

Employee Wellness and Health Costs
Recent news has focused on employers that threaten to fire employees who smoke or are overweight in order to reduce health costs. See what some of our Best Bosses do to support employee wellness.

Looking Both Ways
The end of one year and the beginning of another is often a time of assessment, reflection and goal setting. We asked some of the leaders of small and midsize organizations whom we have recognized as Best Bosses in the last three years to share what they are thinking about as they approach the new year.

Building Value When You Hire: Advice from Industry Vets
Michael Kennedy is the founder and president of Commercial Texas, a leading Austin-based commercial real estate services firm. Victor Levi is currently CEO for Insights Learning & Development-Austin, an organizational development and learning company with offices in over 33 countries. In this article, they discuss the importance of personality and “fit” when hiring new talent.

Mass Transit
Patrick Bennett is the Senior Planner, Service Design and Development, for the Chicago Transit Authority. In this article, he discusses assistance available through local, metropolitan transit agencies to employers of people who commute to work via public transportation.

Blue Jeans Day
The Chicago office of Deloitte has taken the relatively routine practice of casual Fridays and added an interesting twist.