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Lessons from the Top 10 Companies to Work For - Part 2

January 30 2014

realtor serviceFortune recently published a list of the "100 Best Companies to Work For100 Best Companies to Work For." In reading the list, I couldn't help thinking that each company listed offered something real estate brokers could emulate. Yesterday, I looked at the first five companies in their top ten (take a moment to read Part 1). Today I'll continue with the next five companies.

6) Genentech

According to the Fortune article, "When a new breast-cancer drug got FDA approval last February, employees pulled out all the stops to ship the drug overnight to the UCLA Medical Center, where they had heard three women were desperately awaiting treatment."

Lesson learned: leverage the power of helping people. As we discussed in our last article, inspired employees are successful employees. As a real estate broker, you can focus on the importance of the home to a family's happiness. Communicate to your agents that they have the ability to transform a person's surroundings and thereby transform their quality-of-life. Celebrate agents' success stories, with emphasis on the positive impacts for their customers.


Incentives and other recognition programs keep the 10,000-member workforce of this cloud computing giant motivated. Fortune references the two-week trip to Bhutan that was awarded to top sellers.

Lesson learned: offer recognition and incentives to top performers. Success is (or should be) its own reward. However, an extra push from you wouldn't hurt. Use tools to track agent performance – not just sales, but also responsiveness and other metrics, such as customer satisfaction – and reward agents that stand out. You can also use the data you gather as a coaching tool to help other agents perform better.

8) Intuit

At Intuit, some new employees spend their first month learning the basics, getting comfortable, without any specific assignments.

Lesson learned: invest in education. An initial investment in the education of agents will pay off in more satisfied customers and improved income. When a new agent joins your team, take some time to train them on the technology you use, preferred techniques, company policies and whatever else they need to know to do their job well.

9) Robert W. Baird & Co.

Hourly employees at Robert W. Baird & Co. are limited to 37.5 hours per week. With policies like this, it's no wonder that 13% of employees have been there more than 15 years.

Lesson learned: encourage work-life balance. Working harder isn't necessarily working better. A self-actualized employee with a balanced life is more likely to feel positive and energized – and could thus be more productive. They're also more likely to stick around (and we've already discussed the importance of retention).

10) DPR Construction

The DPR Construction facilities in San Diego and Phoenix are zero-energy buildings (zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually).

Lessons learned: value the environment. In your brokerage, the best way to honor the environment may be to go paperless (withelectronic signaturesdocument managementtransaction management, and mobile tools). This can benefit your bottom line and make you look good to potential customers. It may also help in recruiting top agents.

There are many more reasons to "go green." You can read some excellent articles on the subject here.