2012 100 Best Companies best practices

2012 100 Best Companies best practices

Gorilla Capital

According to CEO John Helmick, more than half of Gorilla Capital’s 42 employees have purchased the company’s products for themselves. Considering that Gorilla buys distressed homes, remodels them and then puts them on the market, that’s no small commitment.

“That’s really encouraging to me, that the employees value our product, enough to buy them for themselves,” says Helmick, who founded Gorilla in 2006.

It’s also, to Helmick, just one of the many attractions that makes Gorilla a great place to work. The company, which has offices in six states, creates a homey, work-hard-play-hard environment at its headquarters, a 1912 craftsman house in Eugene. Employees enjoy snacks and lunches provided by the company, a healthy benefits package, annual team-building trips — this year’s is at Disneyland — and Gorilla-themed gear, from boxer shorts and slippers to water bottles and Snuggies.

Helmick says his employees tend to have an “agricultural work ethic” — when it’s time to work hard, they work hard. They also all have a voice at the company table, which has been part of Gorilla’s culture since day one.

“We realize we all have to trust one another and work hard together to be successful,” he says. “If we don’t do that, we’ll never get anything done.”