ARI, a leading global fleet services provider specializing in complex car and truck fleets, has been named to Fortune's 2013 "100 Best Places to Work For" list. Now in its 16th year, the annual list recognizes companies that seek to foster employee engagement and develop a culture of trust, cooperation and collaboration.
"This is an incredible honor," said Carl A. Ortell, president of ARI. "Without question, our employees are the most important part of our business and critical to our overall success, which is why we seek to create an environment that is supportive and open, provide work that is interesting and engaging, and offer opportunities for growth and development. By making this kind of investment in our employees, we know our company will be stronger and our customers will benefit."
Listed at number 70, ARI was only one of five newcomers to the list. The company was recognized for its family-like culture, its internal employee engagement and empowerment program, Partners in Excellence, and its emphasis on employee development.
"What makes ARI different is our people," noted Bill Kwelty, senior vice president and Chief Quality Officer. "At the end of the day, we want to make sure ARI is more than just a place to work – we want to be the kind of company where an individual can build a satisfying and fulfilling career. We know that by doing this, we are making a solid investment in our long-term success." The company, which has never had a layoff, has a turnover rate of just 2.7 percent.
ARI seeks to foster a supportive, community-like environment and actively nurtures the skills that support its core competencies: flexible fleet management, high-quality customer service and best-in-the-business vehicle knowledge. ARI encourages an atmosphere of teamwork by supporting programs and initiatives that foster communication and recognition, including:
- Partners in Excellence (PIE): This is ARI's internal, fleet-specific quality assurance program which, in addition to ensuring 100 percent customer satisfaction, offers rewards and bonuses for employees based on the company's achievement of articulated performance management goals. ARI also rewards employees for savings or revenue enhancement suggestions.
- Professional Development: All employees are encouraged to actively pursue new opportunities to grow and develop through advanced learning, either through the company's unique on-site program, ARI University, or through other available educational programs or training. ARI supports a generous tuition reimbursement program which begins on the first day of employment with the company.
- Community Engagement: At ARI, community service and giving back is a fundamental part of the business model. Employees at all ARI locations are permitted to take time off with pay to participate in their local United Way "Days of Caring," and the company is very active in supporting the regional United Way chapters where it has offices. The company also works with employee committees to mobilize support for events like the Walk Now for Autism Speaks and Bike MS and partners with the American Red Cross several times a year to conduct blood drives.
A video featuring the employees of ARI discussing how they describe and feel about the company's unique culture can be seen here: http://bit.ly/UgiV8A.
To pick the "100 Best Companies to Work For," Fortune partners with the Great Place to Work Institute to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporate America: 259 firms participated in this year's survey. More than 277,000 employees at those companies responded to a survey created by the institute, a global research and consulting firm operating in 45 countries around the world. Two-thirds of a company's score is based on the results of the institute's Trust Index survey, which is sent to a random sample of employees from each company.
The survey asks questions related to their attitudes about management's credibility, job satisfaction, and camaraderie. The other third is based on responses to the institute's Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about pay and benefit programs and a series of open-ended questions about hiring practices, methods of internal communication, training, recognition programs, and diversity efforts. After evaluations are completed, if news about a company comes to light that may significantly damage employees' faith in management, we may exclude it from the list. Any company that is at least five years old and has more than 1,000 U.S. employees is eligible. For more information on how to apply, visit: http://bit.ly/n8bVJ3