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Company Growth Drives Bestop to Take Stock of Employee Experience

Company Growth Drives Bestop to Take Stock of Employee Experience

Bestop has been a leader in Jeep and truck accessories for more than 60 years. The Colorado-based company has grown tremendously over that time, with multiple acquisitions, seven popular brands, more than 500 employees and leadership changes.

For any company, scaling comes with growing gains. The smartest companies find the time during growth to assess how employees are doing to ensure culture remains strong.

The Challenge - Get a Baseline on Employee Experience

For Bestop employees, especially those that had been with the beloved brand for decades, change can be unsettling. While morale has always been palpably high, CEO John Larson sensed a subtle change in company vibe about a year ago and wanted to make sure that employees were still feeling connected to each other and the brand.

He tasked Melanie Anders, Director of HR, and the marketing team to help him get a pulse on employees’ workplace experience.

The Solution - Use Detailed Trust Index Survey Results to Pinpoint Issues

When Haley Van Es joined Bestop as a marketing communications specialist, one of her first initiatives was to follow up on the request from the CEO. She made it her goal to put together a plan that would not only measure employee happiness, but also capture insights to inform the company’s internal communications plan.

Her director recently saw the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® and suggested she start there.

When Haley reached out to Great Place to Work®, she was impressed with how Emprising could break down the data of the Trust Index™ employee survey. She says, “Overall, we knew we had an incredibly happy base of employees, so just a top-level score wasn’t going to help inform our direction or improve our workplace. When I saw how we could look granularly at the data to really pinpoint issues to find out whether, for example, people feel listened to or if managers play favorites, I was sold.”

When Bestop's Trust Index survey results came in, Haley was ecstatic. In addition to earning Great Place to Work Certification, with 89% of employees saying that Bestop is a great workplace, Haley and the executive team had actionable insights to help the company navigate the path forward.

They scheduled an all-company meeting and shared the results with the entire team. Haley notes, “In that meeting, where the executives walked us through the survey results, employees were so proud. It was powerful for employees to hear the results directly from the executive team. They didn’t hold any data back. They were fully transparent and open to feedback, which is so important.”

Outcomes - Pride & Employee Engagement

"Great Place to Work helped reset us as an employee-first company. While employees never doubted our intentions, we lost our way in a few areas and Great Place to Work brought us back to center,” Haley said.

As an example, she shared that the survey results showed that employees didn’t think that the company offered training and development to further their careers.

CEO John Larson, realizing that this was simply an oversight in defining a policy, immediately sent out an all-company email letting employees know they should feel comfortable requesting to attend courses or conferences and the company valued their interest in further development.

Certification also has helped Bestop further develop its brand. John says, “Being able to display the badge on our website and in collateral is great. People want to work with companies that treat their employees well. People really take pride in this brand and we’re so happy to let the world know that we’re a great place to work.”