19. Eddie Bauer

Bellevue, WA

From the Company

Outside editors excerpted this information from the Employer Questionnaire submitted to the Best Companies Group.

Watch a video about Eddie Bauer on Outside Television.

Established in 1920, in Seattle, Eddie Bauer is a specialty retailer that sells casual sportswear and accessories for the active outdoor lifestyle, as well as expedition-class mountaineering gear.

We believe strongly that you don’t really live life unless you get out of your comfort zone. We reward our associates for trying new things, pushing themselves, and discovering what they’re really made of. Our founder, Eddie Bauer, asked "Where can one think more clearly than nature?" We believe good ideas aren’t born in cubicles; they’re born outside. A hero of ours, Jim Whittaker, the first American to summit Mt. Everest, says "If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space." That sums us up.

Our "Get Outside Days" give associates the ability to work with their managers to schedule an afternoon or a day off in any week so that they can get outside and play. Managers are accountable for working with associates to manage workflow and programs so that associates can take advantage of this program. We also arrange and subsidize monthly "Get Outside" trips, open to associates and their families. These have included skiing trips, kayaking, snowshoeing, sailing, whitewater rafting, and a variety of other activities.

Every associate gets $100 per year to spend towards an outdoor activity. Our new-hire orientation program includes a half-day outdoor activity. The company sponsors or subsidizes outdoor trips, such as kayaking, biking, hiking, canoeing, snowshoeing and skiing. In our Associate Adventure of a Lifetime competition, associates enter to win a climb up Rainier with Ed Visteurs and Peter Whittaker. The company also runs an annual program sponsoring teams of associates to try an outdoor adventure for the first time, and provides on-site fitness and wellness classes and discounts to local gyms.

Eddie Bauer and its corporate and retail associates partner with local and national charities to give back to the communities in which we do business. Some of our partners have included United Way, Treeswing, and American Forests. We encourage our employees to participate and provide time for community service. We sponsor and participate in trail restorations, park and wetlands cleanups, quarterly blood drives and an annual coat drive.

Eddie Bauer started “Heroes for the Earth" in the 1980s, a program designed to recognize and support people and organizations making a difference. The program is the umbrella for our Green product initiatives company-wide. In our retail stores, we offer products made from recycled fleece for men and women. We use paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in our catalog, signs, and direct mail. We are also investigating ways to use less packaging, alternative sources of energy for our stores, and corporate buildings and greener processes for our clothing production. We support various environmental initiatives, including a long-standing support of Global ReLeaf, an organization dedicated to reforestation in various areas of the world. To date, with support from our customers, we’ve planted over five million trees with Global ReLeaf.

Eddie Bauer has a very robust recognition program that ties in with our corporate culture encouraging employees to get outside and stretch their limits. The Clipped In program is our day-to-day recognition program and recognizes associates who are going above and beyond what we call "Everyday Excellence." The pinnacle award program at the company is Best of Bauer. Nominees are flown to headquarters for an all-expenses-paid trip that culminates in an award ceremony where winners are announced. Winners and a guest are invited on a five-day adventure trip. The winners in 2008 traveled to Banff, Canada, for an adventure in the Canadian Rockies. Winners from 2009 will be traveling to Alaska in 2010 and go on a four-day adventure through the Kenai Peninsula.

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