Livonia, Mich. – Jan. 22, 2008 – FORTUNE magazine today announced that Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online lender, has been ranked #2 on the magazine’s 11th annual “100 Best Companies to Work for” list. This is the highest ranking Quicken Loans has achieved in the five consecutive years it has appeared on the list. The full list and related stories appear in the February 4 issue of FORTUNE, available now at www.fortune.com and at newsstands on January 28.
“People are motivated by many things, but when it comes right down to it, most people just want to know that what they do every day makes a difference,” said Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert. “We’ve removed the red tape and bureaucracy that stifle creativity and innovation and have instead built a strong, entrepreneurial culture that encourages people to think big and then rewards them for putting their great ideas, large or small, into action.”
“This news is especially pleasing in that it comes at a time when most home lenders are focused on fighting for survival,” Gilbert continued. “I can say point blank that one of the primary reasons we have actually grown our volumes during this time of upheaval in our industry is that we have attracted a work force that is second-to-none. Our people are passionate, aware, curious, and have a high sense of urgency. I cannot express to you how proud I am of each and every one of them.”
“The FORTUNE ranking is also gratifying because it is primarily based on our team members’ responses to an anonymous survey and reflects an overwhelming sentiment that our folks really do think we’ve created a great place to work,” added CEO Bill Emerson.
FORTUNE works with Robert Levering and Milton Moskowitz of the Great Place to Work Institute to choose the “100 Best Companies to Work for.” More than 1,500 firms were invited to begin the process and 406 participated in this year’s survey.
Two-thirds of the company’s score is based on the results of a 57-question survey that is sent to a minimum of 400 randomly selected employees from each company. The survey asks them about management’s credibility, job satisfaction and camaraderie. The other third of the scoring is based on the company’s pay and benefit programs, hiring practices, internal communications, training, recognition programs and diversity efforts.
The heart of Quicken Loans culture is its “ISMs,” seventeen philosophical statements that summarize the company’s guiding principals. They include: “Do the right thing;” “Always raising our level of awareness;” “The inches we need are everywhere around us;” and “It’s not about WHO is right, it’s about WHAT is right.”
Gilbert considers maintaining this culture his most important responsibility as chairman and spends a full day reviewing the ISMs with new team members as part of the company’s three-day orientation program.
“We want our team members to maintain a high level of awareness and to take action when they see something that should be fixed,” said Gilbert. “This means trusting them to make good decisions. The time we spend with new team members during their first days on the job helps them understand who we are and what we stand for so they can make the right decisions.”
One of the company’s ISMs is “Innovation is rewarded. Execution is worshiped.” Some of the unique ways Quicken Loans has found to reward innovation and execution include incentive contests in which team members can win tickets to concerts, sporting events and trips. Last year, more than 600 team members won an all-expense paid, four-day trip to Puerto Rico.
Gilbert also is majority owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and team members based in Michigan and Cleveland can earn free trips to attend concerts and Cavaliers games at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena (The Q).
Quicken Loans also devotes considerable resources to team member training and development. The company has earned the highest client satisfaction in the mortgage industry because its mortgage bankers provide an exceptional level of service and expertise in helping their clients choose the right home loan for their situation. All newly hired mortgage bankers receive five weeks of mortgage banker training and ongoing training throughout the year. The company also has established a Leadership, Education and Development (L.E.A.D.) program for those expressing interest in leadership positions.
Families are important too. The “All for One, One for All” Scholarship Program awards twelve college scholarships to the children of Quicken Loans and Cleveland Cavaliers employees each year. Other family-friendly benefits include home loan discounts, interest-free computer loans and an annual “Bring Your Kids to Work Day” barbecue celebration. Emerson and Gilbert send hand-signed cards to employees on their birthdays and employees’ children also receive cards and gift certificates on their own birthdays.
“We’ve worked hard to create an environment in which everyone feels empowered to make a difference and to achieve their full potential,” said Emerson. “We’ve never said every day will be easy, but we hope we’ve provided the right combination of challenge, opportunity and encouragement to make every day rewarding.”
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About Quicken Loans
Quicken Loans is nation’s largest online retail mortgage lender, and one of the nation’s largest retail mortgage lenders overall. The company has been ranked in the “Top 20” of Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work for in America” list for the last four years, and ranked #1 on Computerworld Magazine’s “100 Best Places to Work in IT” list for the last three years. For more information, visit www.QuickenLoans.com. To read more about Quicken Loans unique culture, visit www.QuickenLoansCareers.com or our blog at www.WhatsTheDiff.com.