NorthCoast 99: What Were the Top Performers Doing in 2014?

NorthCoast 99: What Were the Top Performers Doing in 2014?

The deadline for the 2015 application for NorthCoast 99 is fast approaching. Every year, the top 99 workplaces in Northeast Ohio come together and celebrate their ability to attract, retain, and motivate top talent at their organization.

The 2014 Winner’s Report is a full comprehensive report on anything from recruiting to compensation to training, leadership and work/life balance.

A top performer engagement survey was conducted and used in the full report. Companies were asked to choose between 10-50 top performing employees within their organization. Below are the findings from those employees. Let’s check out these top performer’s perspectives when it comes to their workplace.  

Age, gender and education level

When it comes to top performers ages, the 40-54 year olds made up most of the workplaces at 39%. This was followed by 55 year olds at 14%, while 29 and under made up 17%. Surprisingly, only 3 % of companies were made up of 30-39 year olds.

Women also made up the majority of top companies, with 57% being female. 43% were male.

Also, 42% of all top workplace employees hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Following that are associate degree holders at 24% and graduates making up 23%. Employees with GED’s made up 11%.

Length of service

96.2% of top performers are full-time employees. 3.8% are part-time. Of those performers, 32% have been working at their organization for less than 3 years. This was followed by the 24% of employees who have been at their organization for 6-10 years. Not surprising, only 11% have been at a company for more than 20 years.

When it comes to what top performers want

Top performers were fairly consistent when it came to deciding their number one attribute at their job; challenging/meaningful work, at 21%. This was followed by compensation at 15.9%. The following were the top 10 results:

Employee Engagement Topics

The level of agreements across engagement topics was very high. Here are the top 10 aspects of employee engagement. It’s important to note that all of these topics ranked at or above 90%.

  • Performance and alignment
  • Coworker cohesion
  • Employee engagement
  • Value and innovation
  • Supervision
  • Organizational Support
  • Job design and challenge
  • Leadership
  • Autonomy
  • Communication

What makes them stay?

Top performers were asked “What aspects of this workplace or your job influence your decision to remain at this organization?” There were three distinct reasons why top performers, across all organizations, choose to stay at their current organization.


Overall, the organizations that won NorthCoast 99 shared that they find themselves comfortable in their organization and feel they are surrounded by great people. They felt the teams they work in are well-balanced, highly skilled, and willing to support each other above and beyond the typical work expectations.

Interestingly enough, the non-winners tended to focus more on compensation and job stability. However, across the board for winners and non-winners, good relationships between top performers and management was highly valued. Also, being a fast growing company was important as well.


When it comes to flexibility, many top performers appreciated when managers and organizations were supportive of a work/life balance. Many expressed their interest in being able to do things at the office and at home, such as:

  • Being able to leave early to take their kids to an appointment
  • Offering opportunities to work from home
  • Liberal paid time-off policies

Many top performers said this flexibility was a direct link to the organization’s emphasis on respect for family, or for the employees outside of simply being an employee.


Top performers were very happy with the support they received in growing their skills and advancing their careers. It was noted that they appreciate the different training and career development efforts that were offered.

So, do you think your organization has what it takes to be one of the top 99 workplaces in Northeast Ohio? Fill out the application and see! Deadline to enter your application is April 30th. If you have any questions as you’re completing the application, please contact us at or call us at 440-947-1313.