28. Keen

Portland, OR

From the Company

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

Watch a video about Keen on Outside Television.

Keen, Inc., manufacturer of hybrid footwear, socks and bags, is an outdoor brand that delivers innovative hybrid products, enabling all outdoor enthusiasts to live an active lifestyle. The company strives to demonstrate integrity and leadership, especially on social and environmental commitments, while promoting an inclusive outdoors community.

It's one of the few places to work where your personal values of creating, playing, and caring for people and the planet and the company's philosophy are one in the same. Keen continues to take a fresh and progressive approach to business, work and the work environment, which helps create its culture. Here are just a few of the most unique aspects of Keen: random acts of Keenness (the company randomly does something good for someone or something in the community or the world); Friday bagel breakfast (every Friday in the great room); Keen sun days (closing early to enjoy the sun!); kids and dogs welcome in the workplace (when other care options aren't available).

We also have the Hybrid Learning Lounge (a new multi-media employee training and development environment); the Keen living room (the hub of the workplace for community and communication with ping-pong, foosball, disc golf, Wii, and movies); Keen jam band (impromptu jam sessions by Keen CEO and employees with Keen musical instruments); and Keen Ambassador visits (Bobby Kennedy, Alison Gannett, etc.) to discuss pressing social or environmental issues with employees.

Our new headquarters features the Hybrid Learning Lounge and the Keen living room. We provide locker room and shower facilities to promote employee commuting to work as well as fitness during the workday. We provide bikes to employees to ride during the lunch hour, after hours or to daytime appointments. Bike racks are also available in multiple locations at the office.

Every summer, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, Keen officially closes the office at 3:00 for "Hybrid Fridays." Most jobs at Keen also provide the opportunity for employees to work flexible hours within a given day.

Keen encourages its consumers and its employees to "play outdoors." Employees are given the choice of a half-hour or an hour lunchtime to allow for exercise during lunch. For those who prefer a gym, Keen "buys down" the cost of a local gym (within a block from the office). We also offer deep Keen product discounts and discount "hook-ups" with other outdoor or athletic companies so employees can purchase the gear they need to be active at a very reasonable price.

Keen provides 32 hours per year of "service leave" to employees. During this time they may volunteer for a non-profit or community organization of their choice. We provide dollar-for-dollar charitable gift matching, offer regular opportunities to participate in company-sponsored community service projects during working hours, and make the office space and employee time available to non-profits in the community. We provide close to one percent of our profits annually to a variety of non-profits, community groups and volunteers around the world.

Every Keen product has a re-purpose or recycle feature. We re-grind rubber to reuse in soles, collect fabric scraps off of the production facility floor to make bags, and recycle bike tubes to make sandals. Our "green" manufacturing processes focus on several initiatives, including reducing and eliminating materials that contain toxins. Keen is purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs) certified by Green-e to offset 100 percent of the electricity used at our headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Our purchase of Bonneville Environmental Foundation's RECs is supporting the production of renewable energy across the U.S., which includes wind, solar, geothermal, hydro and biomass renewable energy sources. We pulled timber out of the Columbia River to make tables and desks and used soy-based foam and recycled textiles to make office furniture. We also use low-VOC paints and carpets, natural finishes and repurposed materials when renovating. Keen offers every employee the opportunity to choose between a free annual all-zone, all-mode public transportation pass ($900 value) in lieu of semi-subsidized monthly parking.

We recognize and reward our employees on many different levels. This includes saying "thank you" for their efforts every week by providing them with breakfast on Friday, saying congratulations with a party at the birth of a first child, publicly acknowledging individual efforts and contributions at all-company meetings, and hosting annual summer and holiday parties for employees and their loved ones. We use "Random Acts of Keenness" to show our gratitude to our employees. This may be "disc golfing for dollars" in the great room for employees to earn money for a charity of their choice, or the CEO and the Keen jam band serenading newlyweds.

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