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Reflections from 2012 Indiana’s Best Places to Work Event

by Tracy Morgan

Earlier this year, Slingshot SEO, Inc. was named one of the 2012 Best Places to Work in Indiana. When we received notification that we were a finalist, we were ecstatic! While we always recognized Slingshot SEO as a great place to work, this award made it official and public. We truly were honored and humbled to be selected as among the Best Places to Work in our state.

If you’re not familiar with this awards program, it was created in 2006 as a project of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, BizVoice®, Inside Indiana Business, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)–Indiana State Council, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and Best Companies Group.

All companies entering the competition must complete a two-part process. Part One consists of evaluating an organization’s workplace policies, practices and demographics, which is worth 25 percent of the total evaluation. Part Two includes an independent survey to measure the employee experience. This part is worth 75 percent of the total evaluation. The combined scores determine the top companies and the final rankings. This year was Slingshot SEO’s first time applying and competing for this award.

While winning this award carries the prestige of being among Indiana’s best employers, another great benefit of participating is gaining access to employee data feedback. This allows companies to reflect on how employees perceive their workplaces and, as a result, make strategic business decisions with the employees’ best interests in mind. Employees can speak openly and candidly about the good, the bad and the ugly without concern of being identified. Slingshot SEO, Inc. already is taking the data and making appropriate changes and adjustments needed to continually improve our organization.

On May 3, 2012, representatives for all 70 finalists gathered at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis for the unveiling of the final rankings to celebrate each organization’s accomplishments. Slingshot SEO’s group category was the small- to medium-sized companies (15 to 259 employees in the United States), which included 39 finalists.

The venue was filled with employers and company representatives celebrating this amazing accomplishment, with more than 800 attendees. I attended the event with Slingshot SEO founders Kevin Bailey, Aaron Aders and Jeremy Dearringer, and several other employees—Don Kane, Deanna Mettler and Ashley Billman. During the event, Ashley and I were live tweeting to our employees regarding our ranking. Our employees were responding back on Twitter with eager anticipation. The energy at our table was filled with excitement.

Being the competitive person I am, I assumed the task of recording all our competitors’ ranks in the workbook provided as they were announced. Mini celebrations were occurring at our table as it became evident that we were slowly moving up the ranks through the process of elimination. When our ranking — No. 9 — was finally announced, we all stood and celebrated, and then accepted our award as a group.

Personally, as an HR professional, there is nothing more satisfying than knowing your employees are engaged, happy and developing professionally. This was one of my proudest career moments and I have to thank Slingshot SEO, Inc. for giving me this incredible opportunity to work with such a remarkable company. I’m also very thankful for the support and dedication that our company receives from the three partners and management.

Last, but definitely not least, I want to say thank you to all the employees who contribute so much to this organization to make it what it is today. Our employees are truly a unique group of individuals who are passionate about helping clients and others succeed. They all help Slingshot SEO earn its reputation as one of Indiana’s Best Places to Work.

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