Nominations are now open for the 2020 Star Tribune Top Workplaces.

This is the 11th year for Minnesota's Top Workplaces, a partnership between the Star Tribune and Pennsylvania-based Energage. Anyone can give a nod to a company at or by calling 612-605-3306.

The nomination deadline is Feb. 14.

To make the final list, a company must have 50 or more employees in Minnesota and allow Energage to conduct five-minute, 24-question surveys with its workers starting this month and running through March.

A special section showcasing the 2020 Top Workplaces winners will be produced in June, and a luncheon will be held to honor the winners.

Last year, Energage surveyed 85,624 employees at 393 companies in Minnesota to come up with ranked lists of small, midsize and large companies, as well as a list of firms that meet national standards. Fifteen companies have made the cut for every Star Tribune Top Workplaces list. That gave Minnesota the top participation rate, in terms of both companies and employees, among the over 50 markets in which Energage partners with metro newspapers to produce the lists.

Overall, Energage surveyed 2.5 million employees at more than 7,500 organizations in 2019.

The companies that made the Minnesota list had high engagement rates. Employees also gave shout-outs to training programs, communication and perks.

These factors can make the difference in employee engagement and retention, which are even more important in a tight job market. Studies have shown that engaged employees can affect the bottom line. A 2016 Gallup poll found that companies who scored in the top 25% in employee engagement were 22% more profitable than those companies in the bottom quartile.

The Energage surveys cover seven areas, including these organizational health factors that measure how well employees are working together toward a common cause:

• Alignment: Where the company is headed, its values, cooperation.

• Effectiveness: Doing things well, sharing different viewpoints, encouraging new ideas.

• Connection: Employees feel appreciated, that their work is meaningful.

• My manager: Cares about concerns, helps me learn and grow.

In addition, the survey asks employees about other factors:

• Employee engagement: Loyalty, motivation and referral of the company to others.

• Leader: Confidence in company leadership.

• The basics: Pay, benefits, flexibility.

Not surprisingly, considering the tight job market, Minnesota's Top Workplaces scored better than the national average on all survey questions except for retention and benefits.