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What goes around ...

Since the economic strife hit the nation two years ago, just about every company across the state experienced hardship in one way or another. That hardship is evident in the state's climbing unemployment rate, which has reached 7.5 percent--the highest rate since 1982, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While many companies have been forced to hunker down, for some companies today's high unemployment rate has posed an opportunity to snatch up highly skilled workers. Though the worker surplus is good for employers in the position to hire the best talent, the surplus has also been a double-edged sword by making it easier for employers to take their current employees for granted. These employers have forgotten the value of a happy workplace--numerous studies indicate that happier employees are more productive employees.

In this issue of Utah Business, we celebrate 20 companies that have remained committed to their employees. These "Best Companies to Work For" keep their employees working happily day after day--a feat not easily accomplished. Though the majority of the honored companies offer their employees unique perks, such as educational opportunities, flexible schedules and other nontraditional benefits, surveyed employees state that the primary reason they love their job is because they feel appreciated. If you haven't said a simple "thank you" to your employees recently, there's no time like the present--you may be surprised how a simple act of gratitude can quickly boost morale. Read more about how these smart companies keep their employees loving the daily grind on page 40.

Smart executives also realize the value of giving back, not just to their employees, but to the community as well. In our annual Giving Guide, we highlight many companies that have continued supporting and helping the state's community. These companies realize that building a stronger Utah will benefit everyone--including the company itself.

If you think your company simply can't afford to give back, think again--there are many ways businesses can support the community, even if opening the company's coffers isn't an option. For example, you can coordinate an office-wide blood drive, organize a company bake sale and donate earnings, give employees time off to volunteer, open your doors to a school tour, plan a food drive, collect hygiene products, volunteer your expertise at a local college--a little creativity can go a long way.

At this time of year, especially when there is so much gloom around us, we hope you will draw inspiration from our Best Companies to Work For and our special Giving Guide to help make Utah a better place. Happy holidays!

From the Editor

Sarah Ryther Francom
COPYRIGHT 2010 Utah Business Publishers LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:From the Editor
Author:Francom, Sarah Ryther
Publication:Utah Business
Date:Dec 1, 2010
Words:434
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