A lot of companies religiously survey their customers to see how they're performing. Legacy Partners does similar surveys with a different focus: their employees. In 2006, 2004, and 2001, the company questioned its employees about their job satisfaction. While the results have gotten better each year, two things stand out to W. Dean Henry, president of the company.

When asked if the work they do is significant and if they understand Legacy's mission and vision, at least 95 percent of Legacy's employees answered, “yes.”

“That tells me we have the right people in the right spot and we have encouraged them properly, trained them properly, and given them meaningful things to do,” Legacy's president says. “They understand that and recognize that.”

WELL DONE: Legacy's Colorado managers celebrate success. How does Legacy do this? Simple. To start with, it pays employees well, trains them well (including having four trainers that work with leasing consultants), and makes sure they have fun, with events like an awards ceremony, bowling parties, and picnics. But most important to Mike King, vice president for residential management in Northern California for Legacy, is the openness that Henry and CEO C. Preston Butcher foster throughout the organization. That's how employees understand the company's vision and their roles.

“It's a big company run in a small, family atmosphere, but it's very sophisticated and professional,” King says. “They're very good to their people, they listen, and they care. You can count on them being involved. There's a meeting every two weeks to talk about everything that's going on in every region.”

Not only do employees share in company strategy, but they also share in profits. In 2000, Legacy created a team of the top 70 people in the company who participate in the profits of every deal. Each year, new employees join this team.

“All the deals are put in a pool,” King said. “A small percentage of each deal is passed around like profit sharing. For the salaried employees, it's nice for them to get the rewards, but it's also nice for them to see the intricacies of what's going on.”

Legacy Partners

  • Headquarters: Foster City, Calif.
  • Online:www.legacypartners.com
  • Employees: 1,000
  • Turnover Rate: 34.8%