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Editor's Note: Sizing Up CEOs and Workplaces

Mike Taylor introduces the annual Best Companies to Work For and CEO of the Year in the November-December 2018 issue


This issue of ColoradoBiz features two of our most enduing and most popular offerings: CEO of the Year and Best Companies to Work For. The two stories are technically unrelated, joined more by coincidence than strategic planning. But the fact that they appear in the same issue is appropriate when you consider the unusual role a CEO plays in creating or maintaining a culture that attracts top talent; and conversely, the workplaces well-regarded by employees are likely run by thoughtful leaders who appreciate the vital role of employee recruitment and retention in any business that expects to endure over the long haul.

This fortunate pairing of stories, their similar qualities, hit home to me as I read Jamie Siebrase's profile of our top CEO for 2018, Ibotta's Bryan Leach. Along with creating a mentorship program to encourage employees to grow professionally within his 500-person company, Leach notes the importance of being clear about his company's mission and his expectations, and "inspiring people with your company's overall message."

There's plenty more to read about Leach, a former partner at a law firm who abruptly altered his career path seven years ago to build a company around a consumer-goods shopping app. And much of what he and the other CEO of the Year finalists say about building or maintaining a company is echoed by our Best Companies to Work For winners and finalists. 

These two awards programs grew up together, so to speak. We began recognizing a CEO of the Year 2005, making Leach the 14th honoree; we introduced Best Companies to Work For a year later. Our compilation of top workplaces around the state is based on employee feedback of companies that consented to a survey conducted by ICC (Innovate Coach Consult), a Denver-based talent management and consulting firm that has partnered with ColoradoBiz the past two years of the program.

From the program's outset in 2006, through the Great Recession and economic recovery, Best Companies to Work For has been one of our most frequently visited offerings on coloradobiz.com. Presumably, most of those visitors were prospective employees looking for the ideal workplace, or at least a better one. That's probably still the case, but with unemployment near historic lows – and in fact, worker scarcity posing threat a continued economic growth in Colorado – I suspect increasing interest in Best Companies to Work For is coming from employers who want to learn what other firms are doing to attract and keep top talent. For people doing business is Colorado, the learning never stops.

To read the November-December 2018 issue of ColoradoBiz click here.

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Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor is the editor of ColoradoBiz magazine. Email him at mtaylor@cobizmag.com.

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