These employers made the biggest leap in this year's rankings of Oklahoma's Top Workplaces

Three long-established Oklahoma companies made big jumps in the rankings in this year’s Top Workplaces competition by improving in different areas of company culture, data shows.

The rankings in The Oklahoman’s Top Workplaces competition change each year based on how employees rate their companies’ performance, and this year, a few businesses moved up several places from their 2021 rankings.

Companies that performed well in the competition — especially those that rose in the rankings — succeeded at making their employees feel welcomed, appreciated and valued, said Bob Helbig, director of media partnerships at Energage, which manages the competition.

“These high-performing companies have a couple things in common,” Helbig said. “First, they are good at listening to their employees and reacting based on what they hear. Second, they have strong leadership that prioritizes these issues to create a quality workplace. Not every employer takes the time to listen, and too few focus on creating a people-first culture.”

Methodology: What makes a top workplace, and how are the rankings chosen? 

Rich & Cartmill makes 13-point jump

On the small employer list, Rich & Cartmill Insurance moved up 13 spots from No. 25 to No. 12.

The Tulsa-based firm, founded in 1922, is one of the largest, privately held Trusted Choice-brand independent insurance agencies in the country. The firm is “committed to assisting individuals and organizations find insurance options that protect their most precious assets.”

The company has participated in the Top Workplaces competition for four years. It has 105 employees in Oklahoma. The biggest cultural improvement, according to employees, was that “senior managers understand what is really happening at this company.” For the second biggest cultural improvement, more employees “believe this company is going in the right direction.”

Science Museum Oklahoma jumps 10 spots

Science Museum Oklahoma in Oklahoma City.
Science Museum Oklahoma in Oklahoma City.

On the mid-size employer list, Science Museum Oklahoma moved up 10 spots from No. 23 to No. 13.

The nonprofit, founded in 1958, is an educational and cultural resource center in the Oklahoma City metro area. It aims to “enrich people’s lives by revealing the wonder and relevance of science.” It has 164 Oklahoma employees and has been in the Top Workplaces competition for six years.

The biggest cultural improvement, employees said, is that “there is good interdepartmental cooperation at this company.” For the second-biggest cultural improvement, employees said their managers care about their concerns.

Webco Industries muscles its way up the top-10 ladder

On the large employer list, Webco Industries moved up four spots from No. 10 to No. 6.

Founded in 1969, Sand Springs-based Webco manufactures carbon, stainless steel and other high-alloy tubing products. It has a goal of “delivering exceptional tubing products and service to our customers while striving to be the most reliable link in the supply chain.”

The company has 934 Oklahoma employees and has been in the Top Workplaces competition for 10 years. The biggest cultural improvement, employees said, is that they “feel well-informed about decisions at this company.” For the second biggest cultural improvement, employees said their jobs make them feel like they are “part of something meaningful.”

Moving forward post-pandemic brings new visions to business

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the disruption to traditional workflow and business environments gave some business leaders the chance to carve out new company visions and ways of managing employees, Helbig said.

“Everyone top-to-bottom in every organization was challenged to make sure they’re doing the right thing, asking all the smart questions, going the extra mile to make sure they’re communicating and delivering on what they’re supposed to do in a most obvious way,” Helbig said. “I think it made everybody more conscious of the circumstances of their work and what they need to do to succeed.”

Top-performing companies also chose to focus on their strengths, the result of employee feedback.

“Good leaders really stepped up to make sure people had what they needed to succeed,” Helbig said of the companies. “That may have to do with their work environment, process, communication — making sure that there were no missed steps or missed opportunities. For the best companies, we’re dealing with high-quality organizations, and it forced them to be more self-aware every step of the way.

“Every organization has to decide, ‘What do we need to do to be better?’ That’s going to depend on a lot of things. It may depend on what their workforce is like. Not everyone is going to bat 1,000 in every area, but the best companies are really good at doing a lot of things simultaneously.”

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Top Workplaces awards these Oklahoma companies for having the biggest jumps