Livonia, Mich., January 23, 2009 – Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online retail mortgage lender, has been named to FORTUNE Magazine’s annual “100 Best Companies to Work for in America” list for the sixth consecutive year. Quicken Loans is ranked #29 on the list, which is available online at www.fortune.com/bestcompanies and also will appear in FORTUNE’s February 2nd issue, available on newsstands the week of January 26th.
“This year’s ranking is especially gratifying because it comes during a year in which many in our industry were simply fighting for survival. We have prospered despite the headwinds because our passionate and committed team members embraced the challenges and turned them into opportunities,” said Quicken Loans Chairman and Founder Dan Gilbert.
“Quicken Loans’ success is based on an entrepreneurial culture that encourages and rewards creativity and innovation. We have a saying here, it’s not about the WHO, it’s about the WHAT. It doesn’t matter who came up with the idea. If it’s a great idea, regardless of whether it came from the CEO or the newest person on the team, we run with it,” he continued.
“We’ve unleashed our team members from the typical corporate bureaucracy that stifles growth and creativity and instead have created an entrepreneurial environment that encourages them to think deep and rewards them for putting their great ideas into action. It is an environment in which people feel empowered to make a difference and to achieve their full potential, and there is no better joy than helping people reach levels higher than they ever thought they could achieve,” Gilbert concluded.
To pick the “100 Best Companies to Work For,” FORTUNE works with Robert Levering and Milton Moskowitz of the Great Place to Work® Institute—a global research and consulting firm with offices in 30 countries—to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporate America.
More than 81,000 employees from 353 companies responded to the 57-question survey created by the Institute. Two-thirds of each company’s score is based on the results of a 57-question survey completed by a minimum of 400 randomly-selected employees from each company. The survey asks them to evaluate their company on a number of issues, including management, job satisfaction and camaraderie. The remaining third of the score is based on the company’s pay and benefits programs, hiring practices, philosophy, communication, training and recognition.
Quicken Loans devotes considerable resources to training and development. New mortgage bankers receive five weeks of initial mortgage banker training and ongoing training throughout their careers. Quicken Loans also offers a Leadership, Education and Development (L.E.A.D.) program for those wishing to pursue leadership positions. As a result of its exceptional service and mortgage banker expertise, Quicken Loans has the highest client satisfaction rate in the mortgage industry.
Some of the unique ways Quicken Loans has found to recognize and reward team members include incentive contests in which team members can win tickets to concerts, sporting events and trips. Gilbert also is majority owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and team members based in Michigan and Cleveland have the opportunity to attend concerts and Cavaliers games at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena (The Q).
Recognizing family also is important. Quicken Loans holds annual family events including a charity golf outing and the holiday season’s “Frosty Fest.” Team leaders are known to email parents to congratulate them on a son or daughter’s promotion or success within the company. Gilbert and Emerson send hand-signed cards to employees on their birthdays, and employees’ children receive cards and gift certificates on their own birthdays.
“The FORTUNE “Best Place to Work” ranking means a lot to us because it’s mostly based on our team members’ responses to the anonymous survey,” said CEO Bill Emerson. “This year’s ranking came as a challenging time in the mortgage industry led us to cut back a little with regard to some of our nice-to-have perks, and despite that, our team members’ responses show that they still strongly believe this is a great place to work.”
“At the core,” Emerson concluded, “Our culture is about taking care of each other and working together as a team. It’s about finding ways to put our creativity to good use to find new and better ways of doing things. It’s about taking time to personally recognize someone for a job well done because little things do matter, especially to people.”