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The norms for workplace policy have been fluid as the pandemic continues to change the way Minnesota companies do business. But the values that drove firms' decisions remained the same — or should have.

Those values — how companies treat employees and customers, how they interact with their communities — is what the Top Workplaces program is about.

Nominations for the Star Tribune 2022 program are now open at or 612-605-3306. This is the 13th year for the program, and the deadline is Feb. 4. Winners will be publicly announced at a June event and featured in a special section.

Any organization with 50 or more employees in Minnesota can participate, whether they are publicly traded, privately owned, nonprofit or government agencies.

The workplaces must allow their employees to participate in a 24-question survey conducted by the Star Tribune's partner, Pennsylvania-based Energage. The companies will be surveyed from January through March.

Energage partners with media companies in 61 markets across the country to administer the program and in the past year surveyed more than 2 million employees at more than 8,000 workplaces.

In Minnesota last year, 396 companies employing 175,176 people participated in the survey. Of those, 297 met the national Top Workplaces standards, including the 175 ranked companies.

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.