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Amid Best Companies to Work For, T-Mobile's Stunning Rise

T-Mobile employees, friends and family during Chicago Pride on June 25, 2017. T-Mobile offered spousal benefits and insurance coverage for gay couples even when t wasn’t legally required to, and is a major sponsor at several Pride events. Andrew Weber—AP Images for T-Mobile)

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Fortune releases its list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in the U.S. this morning. Tops is Salesforce, which has been collecting superlatives over and over.

No. 86 is wireless carrier T-Mobile, which under the flamboyant leadership of CEO John Legere has turned around an industry laggard. T-Mobile still lags Verizon and AT&T by market share. But it’s an industry leader in terms of best practices for customers, including the way it did away with annoying contracts that users love to hate.

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As you’ll learn in this informative and entertaining profile of a company and a CEO—by Data Sheet’s very own Aaron Pressman—T-Mobile also excels by treating its people well. Sometimes that’s as simple as senior managers talking to retail workers and other line workers, a novel concept for sure at some companies.

The numbers reflect the behavior. Employee turnover at call centers, a critical and costly expense for phone companies, is 23% at T-Mobile compared to an industry norm of 43%. Employees clearly are energized by Legere’s over-the-top social-media presence, including his baiting of competitors. But there is a business logic behind it too. The company’s social media team has 300 people committed to marketing and responding to customer concerns.

We often necessarily talk about business in terms of data. The T-Mobile story, and the entire Fortune Best Companies package, is a reminder that business is a human endeavor too.

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