This is the fifth year that the Richmond Times-Dispatch has recognized the region’s top places to work.

We continued to learn more about what employees think of their companies through our partnership with Energage, a Pennsylvania-based employee research firm that conducts these types of employee surveys for dozens of newspapers.

Sixty-five businesses in the Richmond region have the best workplaces. And four of them are at the top in the size categories (mega, large, midsize and small).

Automotive retailer CarMax is ranked first in the mega-size category for the fifth consecutive year — the only business receiving the top award all five years in any category.

The top workplaces in the three other size categories are medical and surgical supplies distributor McKesson Medical-Surgical Inc. for the large category; real estate firm Joyner Fine Properties for the midsize category; and medical practice Richmond Allergy & Asthma Specialists in the small category.

This special section highlights the top three companies in each of the size categories. But all 65 businesses are winners — and deserve recognition.

In this year’s section, we sought out answers about workforce and employee engagement in two key areas from the top three ranked companies in each of the size categories.

We asked executives at these businesses what they see as the single biggest problem or challenge their company is facing in terms of the workforce and how the company has handled it. We also wanted to know how their company has shown employees that they are appreciated.

We got some interesting responses. But a common response among the businesses was finding ways to have a culture that attracts and keeps good employees.

Several company executives mentioned — and many employees reiterated in responses from confidential surveys — that their workplace is like being part of a happy family and that type of camaraderie is important to workers and managers.

Others talked about how listening to and getting ideas from employees is key for a healthy workplace.

Take note from the different examples. We can all learn from them.

Gregory J. Gilligan is the Business Editor at the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He can be reached at ggilligan@timesdispatch.com or (804) 649-6379.

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