What Fortune’s “Best Retailers to Work For” have in common

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Spoiler alert: If you haven’t seen Fortune’s annual list of the best companies to work for – much of this list is comprised of retailers. The publication’s 2013 edition, published in its February 4 issue, includes 14 retailers showcasing their commitment to both their community and their employees.

What does it take to get on the list? Here are some common traits among the retailers who came out on top:

A commitment to people

In order to more easily transition Zappos.com (#31) employees to their new office location, CEO Tony Hsieh is spending $350 million (of his own money) to not only revitalize downtown Las Vegas, but to build a community where his employees will have great places to live, relax and socialize. That sounds like an executive who understands the importance of retail, community and the work-life balance.

Although Build-A-Bear Workshop (#78) is planning to scale back their stores, the company isn’t leaving their workers in the cold. The company has offered to transfer employees at closing stores to the remaining locations.

Focus on community

Since your employees are part of the community, your business should be, too. Employees at Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) (#17) have the chance to give back to their community with an outdoor service project as part of their new-hire training. In addition, REI supports hundreds of local programs for conservation causes and promoting outdoor recreation.

Value, trust and transparency

Whole Foods Market (#71) is all about transparency with their employees, from disclosing where the food comes from to disclosing salaries. Whole Foods has so much trust in team members they allow them to have final say in the new hires. But that’s just a small taste of the company’s Declaration of Interdependence.

Reward good work

Employees going above and beyond the call of duty in customer service sometimes get more than just a pat on the back. At Wegmans Food Markets (#5) employees are encouraged to recognize their peers for good customer service, and then are rewarded with gift cards. It’s a win-win for customers and the employees. Wegmans’ Fresh Videos are a testament to why one in five of the company’s employees are related.

Offer competitive compensation and benefits

While money certainly isn’t the key to happiness, it doesn’t hurt. At The Container Store (#16), store employees take home about double the industry average. And it doesn’t stop there: employees have great benefit options as well, such as a 401(k) plan and sick leave, even for part-time workers. This level of commitment to their employees is a small sample of Chairman and CEO Kip Tindell’s dedication to advancing the quality of life for the community and the world.

Starbucks (#94) is also known for their exceptional benefits for even part-time employees. If working at least 20 hours a week, Starbucks employees can receive benefits and take advantage of stock benefits.

But that’s just a snapshot. Other retail companies making the list of top companies to work for include:

So, what do these retail companies get out of being one of the best for their employees? They attract the best to come work for them. Thankfully for job-seekers, many of these retailers are also hiring.

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