10 Minute Read

Company Spotlight: 5 Companies Doing Employee Engagement Right

Just 30% of the working population in the US is willing to do anything and everything they can to help their boss and organization succeed. Unfortunately, that means the remaining 70% wreaks havoc on our retention, efficiency and engagement numbers.

The good news? More and more companies are adopting the philosophies, management techniques and organizations required to form a great place to work. Let’s look at 5 who are nailing it.


Employee-Centric:  New Belgium Brewing

Headquarters: Fort Collins, CO

Employees: 600

@newblgium really knows what they're doing when it comes to employee engagement. Read more: Share on X

As if the product, location and industry wasn’t valuable enough, this company has outdone itself with its employee ownership.

“As of December 29, 2012, the employees own the whole shebang. New Belgium is now 100% ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan).”

New Belgium paves the way in new age, employee-centric companies with a true dedication to company culture. Among the benefits, you’ll find an on-site climbing wall, gym, doctor’s office, cyclocross dirt-bike track and specialty edition ‘Fat Tire’ cruiser bike to ride to work after one year of service. After 5? An all expenses paid trip to visit Belgian breweries where the whole concept started.

“New Belgium is the kind of place where you walk through the front door, high-five your co-workers all the way to your desk/lab/machine, and laugh out loud all throughout the day. At the same time, you’re working harder than you ever have at anything else, and it somehow means more. That’s a powerful alchemy.” – Bryan Simpson, New Belgium spokesmodel

What you can do: Employers of choice may not be able to start an ESOP overnight but allowing your employees freedom over things you can be generous with is a great way to help them feel like owners. Employee schedules, vacation time, and client input are all great ways to make your workforce feel like they own the place!

Why do this?: According to an HBR article by Francesca Gino, studies show when employees feel a stronger sense of ownership, they are more inclined to engage in generally helpful behaviors. Thus, encouraging employees to feel like owners helps produce behaviors relevant to their work as well as those outside of their jobs (such as being generally more helpful to others).


Industry Retention Gold: QuikTrip

Headquarters: Tulsa, OK

Employees:  20,000

QuikTrip, a line of full-service gas stations, convenience stores, many with fast food counters inside the stores, outdoes the competition in a big way. Where average turnover is a dismal 29%, QT is proud to report their 80% turnover number. Benefits include health insurance options for part-time workers, college tuition reimbursement, competitive pay and a strong emphasis on career progression. QT has managed to turn a once-less-than-desirable job into a career destination.

“Anyone who knows me knows I love my job and will stay until I retire.”  – QuickTrip employee

What You Can Do: Although you may not be able to pay for your employee’s college tuition, you can still encourage their professional growth during work hours. Find online courses relevant to your employees’ careers and allow them to work on the courses during company time. Offer a conference or course stipend to further spark intellectual growth.

Why Do This?: You want your company to grow, and in order to do that, your employees have to grow: on-the-job development accounts for up to 75% of effective learning. Employee development also has a big impact on retention rates. According to CareerBuilder, when asked, 35% of workers said an increase in training and learning opportunities would entice them to remain with their employer.


Community Love: Quicken Loans

Headquarters: Detroit, MI

Employees: 11,500

How can you show community love like @QuickenLoans? Find out: Share on X

Quicken Loans is a mortgage lender company that cares about its community. Located in Detroit, a 2010 relocation has surged urban renewal in a recovering city. The company has invested more than $2.2 billion into 14 million square feet of commercial space in the downtown. Quicken provides a $3,500 incentive to team members who rent a home in the downtown area or $20,000 in forgivable loans for a home purchase, and chips in another $5,000 for home improvements.

“So many pros working here as an intern. They gave us brand new Lenovo Laptops and tablets-in-one for us to use on our second day. We were paid to go on numerous outings like bowling, TopGolf, Brush and Bottle Bar, and a food tour of Scottsdale. They both paid for us to do these outings, we were on the clock, and paid the cost of the activity.” – Quicken Loans Intern


Work-Life Balance: REI

Headquarters: Kent, WA

Employees: 12,000

Show your employees you care about #worklifebalance like @REI. Here's how: Share on X

REI practices what it preaches. Focused on the outdoor enthusiast lifestyle, REI offers gear rentals and discounts and learning activity classes and two annual “Yay Days”: paid-time-off to go outside and use the outdoor gear they sell for such activities as hiking, biking, climbing, camping and skiing. The outdoor outfitter cares about the health and work-life balance of its enthusiastic and adventurous employees. How can they sell spelunking gear if they haven’t used it?

“REI is the best place I have worked. I enjoyed the people, the company culture and of course the incredible discounts on outdoor gear. The company believes in its people and works hard to maintain work/life balance. One example of the many great experiences I had was our team meeting, a snowshoeing trip up a mountain.” – REI Employee

What You Can Do: If taking your employees skiing is a little out of your budget, try something smaller. Invite (and pay for!)  a nature walk halfway through the day, or institute a company hike or fitness class once a month.

Why Do This?: Healthy workers are productive workers! Employees who exercise for at least 30 minutes, three times a week, were 15 percent more likely to have a higher job performance. Frequent walks will up morale and help your employees be more productive, especially when taken outside.


Benefit Bonanza: Expedia Inc.

Headquarters: Bellevue, Wash.

Employees: 18,200

Who doesn’t want to work for a company that can send you across the globe? Online travel company Expedia, compensates its employees with one of the most highly-valued benefits out there. Packages include a healthy travel allowance, parental leave, and a state-of-the-art HQ loaded with gaming consoles and free alcohol. No PTO guilt here.

“The atmosphere is positive, energetic and entrepreneurial. The combination of travel and technology creates a fast-paced and exciting place to be. Join us!– Expedia Employee


“I believe the issue of “engaging people well” is becoming one of the biggest competitive differentiators in business.”  – Josh Bersin @josh_bersin

What You Can Do: You may not be able to send your employees on a beach getaway, but you can make your office as fun and relaxing as possible. Institute a weekly or monthly meeting for your employees where they’re able to eat, drink, talk, and discuss what they’ve accomplished and are proud of since the last meeting.

Why do this?: 67% of full-time employees with access to free food at work are “extremely” or “very” happy at their current job, and happy employees are 12% more productive! Make Food Fridays the newest addition to your workplace to ensure you keep a leg up on the competition.


How we engage, motivate and manage human capital in our organization is one of the biggest advantages companies can parlais. These companies teach us how to parlais a differentiator into employer branding gold.