Studies show that engaged employees create an effective workplace. At REI, we want our employees to be motivated by their contributions, connected to our values and culture, and believe in our overall direction.
Each year, through an anonymous survey conducted by an independent firm, we ask all of our employees to candidly tell us about how they feel about working at REI.
The results of our 2011 survey are detailed in our recently released stewardship report. Our overall score, which is based on the favorability rating in eight key areas, was 87 percent. This is quite high compared to other U.S. retailers and global high performing companies.
In addition to a high engagement score, we've also earned recognition on Fortune's "Best Places to Work For" list for 15 consecutive years. The rankings are largely based on anonymous employee feedback, and this year we are proud to be number eight.
While we feel good about how much our employees love working at REI, we don't take this for granted—each day we try to give our employees a welcoming, fun and fulfilling place to work.
One example is the REI Challenge Grant program. Retail store employees can apply for grant of REI-brand gear or apparel to support personal outdoor challenges (no matter how big or small).
The result? Personal accomplishment plus greater product knowledge and valuable outdoor recreation experience.
Since the program's beginning, REI has helped employees pursue some awesome challenges, from Mt. Everest expeditions to 50-mile bike rides to a person's first multi-day backpacking trip. Our colleagues always come back excited to share their inspirational stories.
An engaged workforce fosters a culture where employees take great care of our customers, drive our ongoing success, and plan to stay with us.
Photos: Above, Ana Gonzalez, a staff member of REI Seattle since 2003. Below, REI President and Chief Executive Officer Sally Jewell (that's her right arm with a black sleeve and a bracelet in the upper-right section of the image) joins a pre-opening huddle of REI staffers just before REI's New York City store in SoHo opened for the first time late last year.