REI Puts Fire in Employee Involvement

c2griffi    January 30, 2015


Organization Name: Retail Equipment Incorporated

Industry: Retail Specialty/Consumers Co-operative

Name of contact if available: Jerry Stritzke, CEO

Web references: REI

From a Spark to a Flame

Founded in 1938 by Lloyd and Mary Anderson, Retail Equipment Incorporated has grown into one of  FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” every year since 1998. Current CEO, Jerry Stritzke, attributes their success to these core values… inspire, educate and outfit for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship . Obviously it’s working for them. They’ve grown leaps and bounds to become Americas’ leading outdoor gear and apparel retailer.

Igniting Employee Engagement

According to ColoradoBIZ Magazine one of the top 10 reasons to engage employees through social media is to “eliminate global and regional communication barriers”. With approximately 11,000 employees and 132 retail stores across 33  states, REI is succeeding by eliminating these barriers with their unique form of employee engagement. The “Campfire”, a user-friendly intranet blog, was created as a way for senior managers to share their ideas with employees. In addition to employee news and product and research features, the campfire posts a question of the month used to ignite employee engagement. Employees are encouraged to voice their opinions through this blog. Additionally, executives are encouraged to choose their own non-business related topics. REI is using the blog to help employees see management in a more personal light while at the same time making them feel more involved. It also helps to provide a platform for upper level managers to engage employees.

When visiting their website it is obvious that employee involvement has had an incredibly positive effect on this company. Their dedication to stewardship as a team is limitless and proudly displayed on all major forms of social media. Their internet blog features a multitude of product and corporate news, how-to videos and inspirational articles written by REI staff.

Adding Fuel to the Fire

The fact that REI has made the Fortune Magazine Best 100 every year since the lists’ inception speaks volumes.  Their creative methods of employee engagement through social media have been positive motivators contributing to the company’s’ overall and continued success.





Submitted by: Cindy Griffiths

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