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What They Do
Originate online mortgage loans to borrowers across the country, with a goal of a 30-day turnaround.
Headquarters: Detroit, Michigan
What Makes Quicken Loans Inc. Great
Quicken Loans employees say they are making a difference in two important ways. First, through their mortgage business, they help people purchase or refinance homes every day. But just as inspiringly to them, the organization is also doing its part to restore Detroit, which has fallen on hard times, to its former glory with its 2010 move from the suburbs into the city. The company-wide commitment to helping rebuild the city is one of the things that make Quicken Loans employees such a proud group: 98 percent of workers say are proud to tell people where they work, and 98 percent feel good about the ways they give back to the community.
"We have a noble mission on the restoration of Detroit, our work is not just about the rat race, it's about something greater," describes one employee.
Quicken Loans employees volunteer and support Detroit in a variety of different ways. Their efforts include participating in the bidding process to try to bring the X Games to Detroit, adopting schools, and supporting the growing number of stores and restaurants that have opened since the company's move. Employees also teach classes at Bizdom, a training center funded by the company to help promote more entrepreneurship in Detroit.
The company puts its money where its mouth is, giving employees paid time off to volunteer for these charitable causes. In 2012 alone, Quicken Loans and its team members contributed more than 10,000 volunteer hours and $7 million helping the community.
"We work in Detroit, which is going through some difficult times right now, but that gives all of us an opportunity to leverage our talents, our drive, and our desires to make Detroit even better," one employee says.
Part of Quicken Loans' commitment to downtown Detroit has included purchasing and renovating more than 30 historic office buildings for their use -- and each building has been transformed into an inviting, open environment that employees say fits their team-focused culture and helps them work better. "The open work environment really promotes teamwork and creates a comfortable environment to share in discussions with your team that you might not have had the opportunity to be a part of otherwise," one worker says.
In addition to the open layout, many employees appreciate the care put towards creating an attractive environment for them to work in. "Quicken Loans was the first job I have had that uses vibrant colors, patterns and unique furniture pieces to create an atmosphere that makes you want to be in the room and be a part of what is taking place in that room," one worker says.
We Are Family
It isn't just the layout of the office that connects people. More importantly, employees almost universally (96 percent) describe their workplace as a "family" or a "team." Company parlance reinforces this, and people are called "team members" rather than "employees," while managers are "team leaders."
This isn't just semantics. Ninety-five percent of employees say they feel like they are "all in it together" — and that message certainly comes through loud and clear at the close of every new hire's orientation when each new team member is given the personal cell phone numbers of the CEO and other members of the leadership team. Bill Emerson, Quicken Loans' CEO, insists upon being called Bill and closes the orientation out by encouraging employees to use his number if they need help or just want to bounce an idea off him. The company says it aims to operate within a flat organization structure in which everyone has easy access to other levels of management, and in which innovation and direct communications can thrive. Over 90 percent of their staff corroborate that they do indeed feel that leadership is accessible to them and that managers genuinely seek out and respond to team members' suggestions and ideas.
"Our family of companies is SO unique in their attack on the stuffy corporate environment that the majority of companies in our industry portray," says one employee. "We are team members, who work on teams, who have leaders that guide them along the way to success."
"The leadership of our company is like no other I've ever seen or ever been a part of," says another person.
Fun at Work
Many people repeat this employee's refrain that "Everything we do is centered around doing the right thing for our clients and for each other." But hard work and levity seem to coexist peacefully at Quicken Loans, where 96 percent report they have regular opportunities to have fun together. For instance, it's not unusual to see workers passing a football between desks or taking a break from their work to shoot basketball together. Many Fridays, employees participate in cornhole tournaments in the office, and they gather regularly to celebrate each team member's birthday. Sometimes, meetings are held on the rooftop of the office building so employees can watch a baseball game nearby. And every day at 5 o'clock, "We make as much noise as possible to celebrate the end of the day," one employee says.
The break room is stocked with popcorn, slushies and other snacks, and employees are encouraged to take breaks and enjoy their workday. "This is the first company I've worked for where a child-like excitement permeates the atmosphere, not only for our work, but also for life in general," one team member says. "From celebrating Christmas in July, to contributing to regular potlucks, to dressing up for various themes two to three times a week, I enjoy working hard for my own success as well as that of OUR company!"
Quicken Loans has grown rapidly, adding 5,600 new employees in the past three years. As a result of this growth, as well as the nature of their work, staff are often required to work overtime. While three-quarters of the staff say they are encouraged to create balance in their lives, some employees say that working long hours makes it difficult to achieve. Nevertheless, 93 percent report that they can take time off from work when they really need to and many people say "there's flexibility allowing you to make the best home/work life balance."
"We have a great culture which sets us apart from any other company," summarizes one happy team member.
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