Creating a Great Place to Work


We’ve known for a long time the folks at L.L.Bean are great to work with — Newbridge has been fortunate enough to count the company as a partner for the past four years. So we weren’t surprised at all to see that a new Forbes survey named L.L.Bean the best employer among all midsize companies in America based on input from the companies’ own employees. Congrats, guys!

(It’s been a pretty good month for L.L.Bean in the rankings, actually. Just last week, Prosper Insights & Analytics named the company No. 1 in the nation for customer service for the second straight year. Not too shabby.)

Aside from being thrilled for our partner’s success, there are a few other reasons we’re excited about the “best employer” nod. One is that, frankly, it’s nice to work with happy people. Another is that we want Newbridge to be a place employees love — and for that to translate to our relationships with partners, clients and vendors, and to the quality of our work. So we just might take this as an opportunity to improve with a few of their ideas.

And then there’s the idea that keeping employees happy has a direct impact on the bottom line. For example, a report by HR giant Hewitt Associates found that companies with highly engaged employees “outperformed the total stock market index and posted shareholder returns 19 percent higher than average.”

From our vantage point, we’ve seen some of what L.L.Bean does to make it such a great place to work. We are aligned with L.L.Bean on a few best practices for our team — and maybe you could adopt some for yours.

Here’s just a little of what we love about the pride of Freeport, Maine:

  • Supporting staffers’ leisure activities. Need a suitcase for your next vacation or a paddleboard for this weekend’s big outing? L.L.Bean offers employees the chance to borrow gear from a “use room” or buy it at a discount from a company store. It’s a money-saver for the staff, and getting people into the outdoors is totally in line with the brand ethos.
  • Providing free space. The company owns camps and tent sites, and staffers — chosen by a quarterly lottery — get to use them for free if they’d like.
  • Celebrating the best. Top-performing employees each year get Bean’s Best awards, which, because there are only a few winners, are a pretty big deal. The company calls it “the highest form of corporate recognition.” Everyone’s eligible and nominations come from coworkers.
  • Focusing on fitness. Employees and their spouses can participate in a range of exercise and activity classes for free at HQ and other company locations throughout Maine, or with a subsidy or discount rates for employees elsewhere in the state and outside of Maine. Plus, L.L.Bean provides stretch breaks and walking paths at its facilities.

You can read more about L.L.Bean’s employee benefits here. So, what do you think: Which ones would work for your company?

Sean Brenner has covered event marketing for more than 20 years,
including stints as managing editor of Event Marketer magazine and IEG Sponsorship Report.
He also once edited the bottle labels for Shiner beer.

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