Feeling like part of a family is what employees value most from their workplace culture, although other factors such as flexible work options, work-life balance and employee recognition programs were common qualities of this year’s Top Mortgage Workplaces.

Celebrating the success of employees was a key component of the culture at multiple workplaces. “Every quarter, employees are recognized and provided plaques and certificates,” one organization said. Another reported that it has “celebratory lunches for all staff when teams meet major milestones or when employees hit an anniversary date. All employees are encouraged to nominate their coworkers for ‘shout-outs’ in a weekly survey. These smaller achievements and nominations are immortalized for the week by having their cartoon likeness drawn by one of the many talented artists in the company.”

Another organization has an Employee Innovation Award, which is given out quarterly to the employee who suggests a process or procedure to improve the company. Other programs, such as retreats, group outings and team-building events, all contribute to a more robust at the Top Mortgage Workplaces.

Many organizations also support local communities and charitable organizations through internal initiatives or by offering volunteering opportunities to employees. “We try to give back to the community as much as possible, such as volunteering for the Make-a-Wish Foundation and donating non-perishable food items to the food bank every year,” one company reported. Others give employees the freedom to give back to charities that are meaningful to them by allowing for paid time off from work for volunteering.

How often does your organization conduct organization-wide employee meetings?
Weekly: 20%
Monthly: 17%
Quarterly: 29%
Biannually: 11%
Annually:  3%
Other: 20%
Does your organization offer employee recognition programs or awards?
Yes: 89%
No: 11%
Does your organization offer flexible work options?
Yes: 88%
No: 12%
Does your organization offer family-friendly benefits or programs?
Yes: 55%
No: 45%
Does your organization partake in any team-building and/or leisure activities?
Yes: 97%
No: 3%
Does your organization actively support any community and/or charitable organizations?
Yes: 91%
No: 9%
Does your organization allow employees to take additional time off for community service activities or volunteering?
Yes: 77%
No: 23%
Is your organization actively involved in any ‘green’ or sustainable business programs/practices?
Yes: 68%
No: 32%