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Mortgage Firm Makes 10 Best Places to Work

Employees at best-ranked companies buy in to goals

May 22, 2012

By staff

One of the biggest mortgage originators in the country was ranked among the 10 best U.S. employers. Meanwhile, a growing mortgage hub was home to the four highest-ranking firms among all industries -- and three of those companies are in energy.

Dallas-based The Container Store earned the distinction of being America's top workplace in 2011. The company's chief executive officer, Kip Tindall, said that the secret to its success is putting employees first -- even ahead of the customer.

No. 2 through No. 4 on the list -- NuStar Energy L.P., Pioneer Natural Resources and Andarko Petroleum -- are all in the field of energy. They are also all based in Texas, which has seen an inflow of mortgage servicers due to its growing talent pool, lack of state income taxes and low-cost real estate.

The rankings were based on America's Top 10 Workplaces, which was published by Workplace Dynamics LLP in conjunction with more than 30 "leading publishers." Workplace Dynamics said it surveyed employees at more than 4,000 companies. The survey included 25 questions.

Companies that made the list employ at least a thousand people.

"As we compared over half a million survey responses across hundreds of organizations to compile our first list of National Top Workplaces, we were struck by how company success and employee 'buy in' are going hand in hand," the report stated.

Just one mortgage company was among the top-10 employers: Quicken Loans Inc.

The Detroit-based lender was No. 8 on the list.

After adding around a thousand employees in the first quarter, staffing at Quicken stood at around 5,000 people.

With $30 billion in reported originations last year, Quicken ranked as the eighth-biggest U.S. residential lender in 2011.

Quicken was No. 10 on FORTUNE's 2012 100 Best Companies to Work For -- the highest-ranking mortgage-related firm on that list. FORTUNE noted that Quicken employees "take immense pride in its move from the suburbs to downtown Detroit."

The Workplace Dynamics report indicated that direction, execution and connection are more important to employees than pay, benefits or training. Direction reflects how employees are emotionally brought into what the organization is striving to achieve, while execution refers to having a high-performance culture and connection is about employees feeling they are being appreciated and doing something meaningful.

"From surveying millions of employees, we have found that what employees want most in their jobs is to be 'bought in' to what their organization is doing," the America's Top 10 Workplaces report said. "Where companies achieve this we call them 'Organizationally Healthy'."

Firms deemed organizationally healthy have outperformed the S&P 500 by 16 percent a year since 2008.

Other mortgage-related companies listed alphabetically among the top 319 organizations on America's Top Workplaces included:
  • Associated Bank, Green Bay, Wis.;
  • Bremer Bank, St. Paul Minn.;
  • Capital One, McLean, Va.;
  • E*TRADE Financial Corp., New York;
  • Boston-based Eastern Bank Corp.;
  • Fannie Mae Southwestern Region, Washington, D.C.;
  • Fifth Third Bank, Cincinnati;
  • First Midwest Bank, Itasca, Ill.;
  • First National Bank of Pennsylvania, Hermitage, Pa.;
  • First Bank, Lakewood, Colo.;
  • ING DIRECT, Wilmington, Del.;
  • MB Financial Bank, N.A., Chicago;
  • Rockland Trust - Independent Bank Corp., Hanover, Mass.;
  • Security Service Federal CU, San Antonio, Texas;
  • The Huntington National Bank, Columbus, Ohio;
  • U.S. Bancorp, Minneapolis; and
  • Webster Bank, N.A., Waterbury, Conn.

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