by David Denor
As publisher of FLORIDA TREND, I typically travel throughout the state most weeks to meet other business executives and government leaders to discuss issues important to Florida — that was before COVID. Boy, how times have changed our business norms! As our activities and behaviors have changed in response to the pandemic, the pace and momentum of business and economic development continues across Florida.
Whether we like it or not, the Zoom, Microsoft Teams and GotoWebinar craze is upon us — and it does not seem as though it will be abating anytime soon. We have no choice but to embrace this form of social distancing. However, nothing can really take the place of face-to-face interactions. I — and many of you, I’m sure — definitely look forward to the return of more normal business interactions.
Given how quickly we’ve all had to adjust, I have been impressed with how well businesses have been functioning during these times. Many Florida companies already had business continuity plans in place given the annual occurrence of hurricane threats. However, the speed at which they adjusted entire operations has been remarkable — to say the least.
The ability to pivot and adapt shows the resiliency and strength of Florida’s businesses.
While my previous editorial roundtable lunches and dinners have now turned into Zoom meetings, I continue to hear positive news from those involved in economic development around the state. Building a strong business ecosystem for all of the state’s industries is still a top priority. In fact, what I am hearing is that Florida, with its business- and family-friendly environment, is becoming more attractive to companies looking to relocate. This is especially true for those based in the Northeast and along the west coast of the country. The current challenges will not derail all the hard work that Florida’s economic developers have done. Their message of perseverance comes across loud and strong in my recent conversations with business executives and government leaders. Weathering storms is nothing new to Floridians.
Speaking of strong businesses, this month’s issue includes our annual Best Companies to Work for in Florida feature. In a reflection of the times, we look at how a number of these companies are handling business operations during the pandemic.
The companies are ranked based on employee feedback from companies that chose to participate. The ranking was done through a third party, Best Companies Group. Any company with at least 15 employees in Florida was eligible to participate. There was no cost involved. The employee survey asked about company policies, practices, work environment and demographics of the workforce. There were open-ended questions and specific questions focused on eight themes: Leadership and planning, corporate culture and communications, role satisfaction, work environment, relationships with supervisors, training and development, pay and benefits and overall engagement.
There are many lessons we can all learn from these companies as we all strive to provide the best work environment for our employees.
— David Denor, Publisher
Read more in Florida Trend's August issue.
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