Best Places to Work in Idaho
We've added local programs across the state in addition to our statewide program.

Frequently Asked Questions


What are Local Programs (or contests)?

Starting in 2023 the Best Places to Work in Idaho is adding four local employer ranking programs.

There will be no changes to The Best Places to Work in Idaho statewide program. The flagship program is and will continue to be the largest and most respected statewide employer ranking program.

Local programs are separate employer ranking lists for distinct locales, or geographic areas across the state.

Each program, statewide and each local, will have separate employer ranking lists and each list will published on our website at

The best parts are:

  • More chances to win
  • More local promotion, excitement, and awareness
  • The first local program is FREE
  • The employer still uploads only one employee list
  • No extra work or time requirements for employees because it’s all based on a single survey

That's right, one employee list, one survey, and more recognition opportunities in employer ranking programs around the state.

We are expecting at least 40 participating employers in each of the following local programs.

  • Best Places to Work in Idaho – North
    The area around and including Sandpoint, Coeur d'Alene, Moscow, and Lewiston
  • Best Places to Work in Idaho - Southwest (Treasure Valley)
    The area around and including Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, Kuna, Eagle, and Emmett, as well as Mountain Home and McCall
  • Best Places to Work in Idaho - South (Magic Valley)
    The area around and including Twin Falls, Burley, Jerome, and Hailey
  • Best Places to Work in Idaho – East
    The area around and including Rexburg, Idaho Falls, Blackfoot, and Pocatello

The statewide contest will still have a Top Ten in each of the 5 size categories. We expect each local contest to have Top Five winners in each of at least 4 size categories along with Honorable Mention designations for other deserving employers.

Honoree badges will be available for each program, statewide and local. Employers can decide how, when, and where to use them in their marketing and recruiting materials.

In each local program, qualified employers are ranked using only the feedback of employees in that locale. It's very possible an employer's local ranking is different from their state ranking.

Advantages of Adding Local Programs

  1. More opportunities for employers to win, be recognized, and build positive brand awareness.
  2. More impact on future employees in your local communities, where most employers find most employees.
  3. More impact on current employees by building a positive image and excitement locally.
  4. More Winner List Web traffic because of multiple mentions on our website.
  5. Easier for great employees to find great employers in specific areas of the state.

Employer Qualification Criteria

Every employer with 10 or more employees in the state of Idaho automatically qualifies for the state program. Most will also automatically qualify for one local program, so long as at least 10 employees reside or report to a single locale.

As with the statewide program, to qualify for a second, third, or fourth local program an employer must employ at least 10 employees in a locale to qualify.

Local Size Category

An employer's local program size category is determined by the number of employees located in that program area. Most employers participating in more than one local program will compete in a different size category locally than they will at the state level.


The first local program in which an employer participates is free. For each additional local program there is a flat $200 fee regardless of an employer's number of local employees.

Cost to Participate and Purchase Reports


Why should my company participate?

The benefits to participating companies are three-fold:

  • Learning what their employees most value in their workplace and the impact these preferences have on overall employee satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Discovering what the best practices in Idaho are in Compensation and Benefits, Work Environment, Company Management, Employee Growth and Development, and Work-Life Balance and how they compare on each dimension to the top performers.
  • Demonstrating to employees their commitment to creating and maintaining a workplace that strives for excellence.

How do I update uploaded employee information?

After logging in to the employer portal, click on the People tab. From the people tab, click on the Click Here link in the Employees frame. This will take you to the list of uploaded employees.

From the list of uploaded employees, use the Search box to enter the name or email address of the person whose uploaded data you wish to update. Once you've located the data you wish to update, click on the data field and you can update it in place. When you're done updating the field, either press the key or the key before you leave the page.


What happens after I register my company to participate in Best Places to Work in Idaho™?

Please refer to the Timeline for important milestones and dates. POPULUS will send email reminders of upcoming deadlines to the contact person.


Are we eligible to participate if our parent company is located outside of Idaho?

Yes. If the branch is located in Idaho and employs Idaho residents, the company is eligible to participate in the Best Places to Work in Idaho™ program.


Will everyone in my company be surveyed?

All Idaho based employees, from top management to entry-level employees are encouraged to take the survey.*

* Due to the increased amount of remote work, an Idaho employee will be defined as someone who reports directly to an Idaho division, regardless of where the employee is physically located.


Do you have any Tips & Tricks for the survey?

Best Place to Work Idaho honorees are calculated by your employee survey results and the percentage of their participation. We wanted to make sure you had a communication plan ready before, during, and after your company survey launch.

Click here to view our Tips & Tricks


What do employees do when the survey is completed?

Online surveys will be submitted electronically. Employees who complete paper surveys will deposit them in a secure collection box at their company. This box of completed surveys will be sent to POPULUS for processing. Detailed instructions about distributing and collecting paper surveys will be provided to companies that choose this option.


What if some employees do not complete and return the surveys?

Results will be shared with each participating company if there are at least 10 people who took the survey. However to be eligible for an award, companies must have the following completion rates:

10 - 19 employees: 80%
20 - 49 employees: 70%
50 - 249 employees: 60%
250 or more employees: 50%


How and when will we know if our company will receive an award?

POPULUS will contact award winners in early March.


Is the survey available in any languages other than English?

Yes. The survey is available in English and in Spanish. If a company has a significant number of employees who speak another language and would like to cover the cost of translating and creating the survey in that language, it may do so. Contact POPULUS (208-344-5300) to discuss this option and its cost.


What happens to the company or individual information that I submit on the Best Places to Work in Idaho website or in the employee and employer surveys?

Your information is secure. POPULUS abides by the Council of American Survey Research Organizations’ (CASRO) code of standards and ethics regarding respondent and client confidentiality.

Throughout the enrollment, survey, and reporting processes, no individual level data for respondents will be made available to client companies. Similarly, no company level data will be made available to any other participating company or the media.

Additionally, no information regarding a company’s participation in the survey in the current or prior years will be made public unless the company is an award winner.


Who can I contact with additional questions?

Please call Paul Butcher at 208-344-5300 or send a message via the contact us form.


How can my company take full advantage of the survey results?

Click here to check out our selection of publications, reports, and assistance options to see which is right for you.


What is the cost of the additional results presentation, recommendations, and action plan?

Click here to check out our selection of publications, reports, and assistance options to see which is right for you.


Can employees with no employer-provided email account still participate in the survey?

Yes. These employees are referred to as "non-wired" employees. There are two options for including non-wired employees in the survey.

Option 1: If a non-wired employee has a personal email account, you can provide their personal email address in the spreadsheet of employee contact information you upload to the Best Places to Work in Idaho website. Their survey notifications and links will be sent to their personal email address and they can click on the link in their email to access the employee survey.

In these cases, to maximize the response rate, it is VERY helpful to allow these employees to leave work early or come in late in order to take the survey at the employer’s expense just as the wired employees are able to do. No need to worry about the security of the email addresses, POPULUS employs the same high-level of security and confidentiality with personal email addresses as we do with work email addresses.

There is no fee for this option.

Option 2 (Kiosk Option): For non-wired employees with no personal email account or who prefer not to share their personal email address.

There is a fee of $350 for this option.


What is a non-wired employee?

A non-wired employee is one with no employer-provided email account. These employees can still participate in the survey.


What is the Kiosk Option?

The Kiosk Option is one of two surveying options for non-wired employees (i.e., employees with no employer-provided email account). The other option is to provide POPULUS with their personal email address.

If a non-wired employee has no personal email address or they prefer to not share their personal email address, they can still participate in the employee survey.

POPULUS will assign each employee one unique, single use password. The list of employee names and their assigned survey passwords will be returned, along with the link to the survey's generic login page, to the employer's delegated recipient. The employer delegate will confidentially notify each non-wired employee of their personal assigned survey password and the generic link to the employee survey login page.

It is very important that respondents are only given their assigned survey password. Survey passwords are single-use and preassigned to an individual, they cannot be shared or given to someone to whom they have not been assigned.

There is a fee of $350 for this option.


I'm having trouble accessing the survey.

Things you can try if you're having trouble accessing your survey.

  1. Close and re-open your browser. Click on your survey link again.
  2. Copy and paste your survey link into your browser navigation window rather than clicking on the link.
  3. Copy and paste your survey link into a different browser than last time.
  4. Start over from a different computer.
  5. Contact your IT and/or support personnel at your organization.

What is an Honorable Mention?

The short answer is that the Honorable Mention employers are those whose scores indicate an above average employee experience but are not quite high enough to be in the Top Ten.

The longer answer is...

Here at POPULUS, we believe the majority of employers that participate in this program have workplaces that are above average in terms of employee satisfaction, since they are self-selected to participate.

To only honor the ten with the best scores would leave many great employers off the list, which isn't our intent. We want to make public the names of our state's employers where people can find work that is not only financially rewarding, but emotionally and mentally as well.

Every year there are a handful of employers whose scores are such that we can't in good conscious recommend them as a Best Place to Work in Idaho. Once these are removed, and the Top Ten are identified, the balance are considered Honorable Mention.


Can we take the survey other than in January and February?

Unfortunately, no.

There are many factors that impact employee perceptions outside of the employer's control. Some of these external influences are unemployment rate and general health of the economy, to name just a few.

We try to hold as many of these external influences as possible constant so the results across employers are more comparable. That's why we have all employers take the survey as close to the same time of year as possible.


Having trouble resetting my password

Try this step-by-step process to reset your password.

  1. Click on the Log in link on the app page.
  2. On the log in page, click on the "Forgot Password" link.
  3. Enter your email address and click on the "Reset password" button.
    1. If you get a message saying your email wasn't found, check your typing and try again.
  4. Close the browser tab or browser window containing the Reset Password page.
  5. Open your email and click on the reset link in the email we sent you.
  6. Enter your new password on the new screen, twice, then press the Reset Password link.
  7. If everything went okay you'll now be logged in and you'll have a message on the screen that says "Your password was successfully updated".

What to do when employees don't receive survey invitations.

Most of the time there are three reasons why someone doesn't receive a survey notification.

  1. Spam filtering. Make sure our URLs and IP address have been added to the company's mail server and have the employees check their personal spam folders. The URLs are ( and The IP address is
  2. Employee email is entered incorrectly. Using your portal at, review the email addresses for those people who have not received a survey notification. You can view the uploaded employee data by clicking on the People tab, then clicking on the Click here link in the Employees box to access the organization's employee list. To edit an email address, click on the email address you wish to edit, make your changes, then out of the field to save your changes.
  3. Employee was not uploaded. Once surveys have been sent out you cannot upload another spreadsheet. To add employees after your survey has launched you must click on the Add employee button from the organization's employee list page (see #2 above to access the organization's employee list page).

What are the logo and licensing terms and conditions?

What if I’m interested in sponsoring the annual awards ceremony?

Common email issues

  • Bad email address.  This is the most common reason.  Check to make sure the email address is correct and the employee is still active.
  • Mail box is full.  Contact the employee or your IT administrator to clean out their email folder.
  • Email server rejected.  Contact your IT administrator and have them whitelist our domain name and URL.

How do I resolve email messages that FAILED to be delivered?

If you have 'Failed' email deliveries reported in your Employee Email Blast Followup Email, follow the instructions below to fix them and resend their message.

  1. log into your portal at
  2. Click on the People menu
  3. Click on the Click here link in the Employees frame
  4. Emails that weren't deliverable will be highlighted by a red rectangle around the row
  5. If the email address is incorrect:
  6. You can edit the email address by clicking on the email address, making your changes, then press the <tab> key
  7. If the email address is correct, other things to check are:
  8. Employee email inbox is full
  9. Employee has blocked email messages from
  10. Once you're satisfied the situation has been corrected, press the Resend link in the right margin of the employee row to resend the most recent email to this employee

How do I resolve email messages that were DELAYED?

If you have 'Delayed' (aka 'Bounced') email deliveries reported in your Employee Email Blast Followup Email, follow the instructions below to monitor their status.  If they eventually resolve to a FAILED status, refer to the <link>"How do I resolve email messages that FAILED to be delivered"</link> FAQ for instructions to find out how to resolve their status and resend the email messages.

Delayed emails should resolve themselves to either a delivery or a failure.  The delayed status is like a temporary status indicating the message didn't get delivered, but the email server keeps trying until something happens that resolves to delivery or failure.

If you have 'Delayed' messages as indicated above, it's important to check back on your employee list for the next few days to see if they resolve to a 'Failed' status.  If they resolve to a 'Failed' status, the employee row will be highlighted as such.

Emailing isn't always a reject/pass situation.  An email server will try to deliver a message for the length of time specified in the server settings, which could be 48 hours or even up to 4 days.


Cost to Participate and Purchase Reports

Employee Size Category
and Counts **





Manager or

Micro (10 - 19) $135 $65 $50 $750 N/A
Small (20 - 49) $160 $80 $60 $950 $475
Medium (50 - 99) $185 $95 $70 $1,150 $575
Large (100 - 249) $215 $105 $80 $1,450 $725
Macro (250 and more) $265 $135 $100 $1,950 $975


Chamber Members Participate for Free:

  • For 2024, chamber members get incredible credits they can apply to registrations, reporting packages, and selected sponsorships. Download our flyer for more details.
    Download Chamber Member Credit Flyer

Registration includes:

  • Web-based Employee Survey
  • Access to actionable reports to track culture and employee engagement ***
  • If honored:
    • Promotion through our social media channels
    • Promotion through our partners' social media channels
    • Feature video (Statewide #1 in each size category)
    • Featurette in each of the FIVE (5) award presentation videos for which qualified
      (Statewide and each local contest, numbered winners)
    • Award (Statewide and local numbered winners)
    • 1-year active Brand Hightlight Page (numbered winners and Honorable Mention)
    • Digital badges
    • Branding References: License to use the trademarked brand the Best Places to Work in Idaho®
      e.g. {your organization name}, one of the Best Places to Work in Idaho®


* Local Programs (each contest)

** Employee Size: Any organization employing at least 10 people in the state of Idaho is eligible to participate. Due to the increased amount of remote work, the following is a definition of an "Idaho" employee: If Employer headquarters is in Idaho, then all employees are surveyed, including out-of-state, and ALL will count towards the contest. If Employer headquarters is out-of-state, then 10 or more employees have to be physically located in Idaho, and ONLY the Idaho-based employees will count towards the contest.

*** Value Reporting Package includes: Employee Comments, Sub-Group Report, and Workplace Priorities. Single reports are approximately 50% of the VRP price.

NOTE: to protect respondent identities, Micro employers do not receive a Sub-Group report and for all employers only data aggregations with 5 or more responses are reported.

See an example of the Value Reporting Package report (CLICK HERE).


Response Rate Targets

At the Best Places to Work in Idaho, we require each employer to achieve a certain rate of completed surveys. We call this the response rate. The response rate targets vary by employer size category and are listed below.

  Employee Size*
Micro 80%
Small 70%
Medium 60%
Large 60%
Macro 50%

Employer Pre-launch Tasks

Here's a short list of things to do in order to minimize questions for your HR department and maximize response rates.

  1. Make sure your employee list has been uploaded. No emails will be sent if there has been no employee list uploaded.
  2. Select a launch date for your employee surveys.
  3. Send an internal communication to all of your employees notifying them of the following:
    1. Your organization is participating in the Best Places to Work in Idaho employee survey.
    2. The survey is being administered by an outside agency, POPULUS, who ensures respondent confidentiality . It's important to stress this fact as it is critical in obtaining the most honest and candid employee feedback.
    3. Each employee will receive an email from the Best Places to Work in Idaho with their UNIQUE, SINGLE-USE PASSWORD along with a link to the survey. Survey invitations MUST NOT be forwarded because each password is unique and can only be used one time.
    4. Each employees' participation is very important, so please encourage them to take 15 minutes and complete the survey.
    5. Employee supplied comments are given to employers verbatim, which will include an employee's name if they choose to type it in.
    6. To prevent accidentally revealing a respondent's identity, reports are scrubbed to ensure columns with fewer than five (5) responses are not reported separately.
    7. All survey data are transmitted between respondents and our server using SSL encryption
  4. Add the following domains addresses to your company's email spam filter white-list:
    3. Constant Contact URLs
    4. White-List Criteria:
      • Sending email address will be
      • Subject lines for employee communications.
        • Initial invitation: Survey Invitation - Best Places to Work in Idaho
        • First & second reminders: Survey Reminder - Best Places to Work in Idaho
        • Third and final reminder: FINAL Survey Reminder - Best Places to Work in Idaho"
  5. Ensure all employees who will be taking the web survey can access the following domain addresses:

Response Rate Troubleshooting

We suggest four things to improve your response rate.

First, make sure all the domains on the list below have been added to the mail server white list. The vast majority of cases we deal with where employees haven't been receiving their invitations, at least one of the domains was not set up correctly on the white list.

This issue can't be stressed enough. Once you're sure all the invitations are making it through the email server, then address the next three items.

White-list criteria:
  • Sending email address will be
  • Subject lines for employee communications.
    • Initial invitation: Survey Invitation - Best Places to Work in Idaho
    • First & second reminders: Survey Reminder - Best Places to Work in Idaho
    • Third and final reminder: FINAL Survey Reminder - Best Places to Work in Idaho"

Second, ensure all employees taking the web survey can access the following domains.

Third, have a senior leader send another email emphasizing the importance of completing the surveys and that every opinion counts.

Finally, if someone still can't find their invitation or reminder email and you're sure all the domains have been white listed properly, have them check their email spam or junk folder.

There is more information on our "Tips and Tricks" flyer you can access here (Tips and Tricks flyer).


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