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I wish I worked for them

Local businesses among Top 100 best workplaces

Published: Friday, Nov. 23, 2012 9:30 a.m. CDT

MINOOKA, Ill. — If you are employed by one of these three Grundy County companies – ATI Physical Therapy, Aux Sable Liquid Products or W.W. Grainger  – you work at one of the top 100 best places to work in Illinois.

So says the Chicago Tribune’s report on the top workplaces for 2012.

“The top workplaces are not only better places to work, but are likely to be more successful than peer organizations,” according to the Tribune.

The research was done for the Tribune by Workplace Dynamics LLP of Exton, Pa., a workplace survey specialist. Workplace Dynamics received no compensation, undertaking the scientific survey for its own research and business purposes.

Over 1,600 companies were invited to participate in a survey, chosen through worker nominations. Of those, employees from 254 companies gave their opinions of their workplaces.

What the survey found was that employee satisfaction had to do with a lot more than wages.

According to one CEO, culture is the key – recruiting the right people for jobs, proper training, nurturing their employees, and acknowledging when the fit isn’t right.

Danielle Adolph, director of ATI Physical Therapy in Minooka agrees.

“We all work together as a team. We have state-of-the-art equipment. Everybody meshes really well,” Adolph said.

ATI was ranked as the 4th best place to work among large companies.

With 85 Illinois locations, three in Grundy County alone, and 1,154 employees in the state, the company prides itself on cutting-edge services and providing high-quality care in a friendly and encouraging environment.

“We like making the atmosphere lighthearted,” said Adolph. “It’s a family feeling (here).”

When Village Administrator Dan Duffy toured the new W.W. Grainger facility in Minooka, he not only saw a state-of-the-art material-handling system, he saw break rooms, exercise rooms and a large cafeteria for employees to utilize.

“Things you don’t usually see in large companies,” Duffy said. “That’s what we like to see, companies offering good jobs with benefits.”

Grainger, which ranked 6th in the large company category, is the leading broad-line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products serving businesses and institutions.

The company recently opened its newest distribution center in Minooka, the largest of its kind in the Grainger network. The one-million-square-foot facility was purchased two years ago and renovated.

“It shows they are committed to being in Minooka for the long haul,” Duffy said.

Joseph High, senior vice president and chief people officer for Grainger, said the company is delighted to be recognized as a top workplace for the third consecutive year.

“The honor is meaningful because it is based on the positive feedback provided by our team members,” High said. “Having team members in the Chicago area and across the globe who feel they can grow at Grainger while helping the company succeed is critical to serving customers with excellence.”

Aux Sable Liquid Products, located on the far western edge of Channahon in Grundy County, was also named to the list and ranked 36th in the small company category. The company has also made the list for the past three years, said Scott Seibert, government and public affairs manager.

Among the reasons, said Seibert, is that employees like the direction the company is going, they have confidence in their leaders, environment and safety are top priorities and things get done very quickly at Aux Sable Liquid Products.

“(CEO) Bill (McAdam) likes to say we are a small company but we operate big,” said Seibert.

Each quarter McAdam shares the company’s financial information with employees so they know where it stands, according to Seibert.

“All of us here feel connected,” Seibert said. “It’s that kind of open environment and people appreciate it.”

Management and employees are tremendously excited about being on the top 100 list.

“It’s employee driven,” Seibert said. “That’s what makes us proud; it’s from the bottom up.”

Having three top companies in the area is a good economic fit for Minooka, Duffy said. They add revenue to the village, many employment opportunities for its residents, and are long-term partners with the village, which adds to its stability.

All three companies are not only good neighbors and employers, they are philanthropic neighbors as well, Duffy said. Each one sponsors various area events and makes monetary donations to the communities.

“All three do a great job giving back to the community,” Duffy said.

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