Best Places to Work Awards Application

Award-winning companies are the most innovative in the areas of motivating and retaining employees, training and developing initiatives, and implementing workplace practices that promote a healthy work and life balance.

Since 2003, we have recognized the Best Places to Work in Polk County through a competitive application process that honors employers who exemplify best practices in their workplace and who are committed to improving the quality of life for their employees. The awards will be presented at the CareerSource Polk Annual Meeting and Best Places to Work Awards on August 17th in Lakeland, Florida.

Samples of the application and employee survey are located at the bottom of the page.

If you have any questions or would like additional assistance, contact Kathy Suttles at 863-508-1100 x 1103.

About the 2024 Application

(Application applies to Calendar Year 2023.)

Applications are completed online, and all open-ended questions are scored by an outside panel of Human Resources professionals. All questions in the application pertain to the company’s demonstrated commitment to:

  • Workplace Diversity
  • Work/Life Balance of Employees
  • An Educated Workforce
  • Training and Development Initiatives
  • Recruitment of Quality Employees
  • Retention of Quality Employees

In addition, applicants also have the opportunity to share what sets them apart from other employers. In the second part of the process, an anonymous and confidential survey is sent to all members of the company’s staff inquiring about their satisfaction as an employee and how their company supports the balance of work and life.


  • April 1: Applications open. All applications must be completed, and application fee must be paid for application to be considered.
  • May 31: Applications close. All applications must be completed and submitted by 11:45 pm for the application to be considered.
  • April 1 – May 31: Employee surveys are available once the application has been paid. Surveys must be completed by May 31 at 11:45 pm to be considered.
  • August 15: Winners announced and awards distributed at the CareerSource Polk Annual Meeting.

Benefits of Application

All companies that complete all three steps of the application (application questions, open-ended questions and employee survey) will receive a full benchmarking report along with the results of the anonymous employee surveys.

Winners receive:

  • Recognition in the CareerSource Polk Annual Report
  • Recognition at the Annual Meeting and Best Places to Work Awards Breakfast
  • A rosewood and marble 9 x 12 inch wall plaque
  • Best Places to Work lapel pins
  • Inclusion on a winner’s banner stand displayed at CareerSource Polk events throughout the year and in the career centers
  • Window clings for your company entrance
  • A 9 x 12 inch tabletop display
Helpful Documents (To prepare you for the online application)
Application Process

After the receipt of your Best Places to Work application fee, you will receive a link to the application. Begin the application process by submitting your application fee using the form below.

Important Note: If you have been notified that your organization is an Employer of Distinction, please only complete the Employer of Distinction 2023-2025 form below.

We are no longer accepting payments for the Best Places to Work Application. Please direct any questions to Kathy Suttles at [email protected].

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