At Great River Energy, 88 percent of employees say their workplace is great.



This review is based on 696 employee surveys, with a 90% confidence level and a margin of error of ± 1.56. It was published on Jan 19, 2017. 1846 Visitors

What Employees Say

I am able to take time off from work when I think it's necessary.
I'm proud to tell others I work here.
I feel good about the ways we contribute to the community.
I am given the resources and equipment to do my job.
Our facilities contribute to a good working environment.

What They Do

We asked Great River Energy to explain what they do. Here is what they had to say.

Great River Energy is a not-for-profit wholesale electric cooperative. We generate electricity and transmit it through high-voltage power lines to the 28 member cooperatives who own us, and they sell it to homes, farms and businesses. 

About this Company

Website: Industry: Other
US Headquarters: Maple Grove, Minnesota, 55369 US Sites: 20
Major Locations: Underwood, North Dakota, 58576; Elk River, Minnesota, 55330 US Employees: 928
US Revenues: $983 million Worldwide Revenues: $983 million
Corporate Structure: Cooperative; Non-Profit Founded: 1999

Employess participate in peregrine falcon banding at our power plants

Perks and Programs

We asked Great River Energy to share a few programs they feel really capture what's unique about their workplace. Here is what they had to say.

  • Employee well-being matters: Great River Energy was named the 16th Healthiest Workplace in the Nation in 2016 by Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America (our 3rd consecutive year in the Top 100). To acknowledge this milestone, employees received a “healthy” gift each year, including a Fitbit and Magic Bullet. Annually, employees may earn up to $1,000 in a health management incentive. We offer interest free fitness loans repaid through payroll deductions. We reimburse employees up to $20 per wellness event for up to three events a year for activities such as a 5K run, golf lessons or a certified personal trainer. We reimburse up to $20 per month for fitness club memberships and reimburse 50 percent of the cost of Weight Watchers program.
  • Business improvement incentive: Employee innovation is valued and engrained in our culture of business improvement. If our goals are met, all employees share equally in an incentive payout of up to 15 percent of identified business improvement savings (capped at $2,000 per employee). Additionally, employees who contributed to the business improvement efforts are entered into a quarterly drawing for 4 hours of paid time off. If their submission is approved they also receive a plaque and pin recognizing their efforts. Monthly one employee is invited to share their success story at our board of directors meeting.
  • We elicit employee feedback: Employees are not only asked to execute our strategic plan, we depend on their input to create it through the Connect the Dots alignment process. A team of 10 employees are asked to weigh in on the company’s strategic plan by conducting interviews of 10 of their peers. That input is later reported directly to senior staff and presented to our board of directors for incorporation in our final plan.
  • Robust time away from work: Great River Energy is committed to employees, and we encourage work life balance. Our PTO plan has five levels based on years of service. The lowest level accrues 128 hours annually and the highest level accrues 248 hours annually. Employees may purchase up to 80 hours of additional time off each calendar year through our purchased PTO program. We offer nine paid holidays, and employees receive three personal days each year.
  • Inclusion: We offer employee resource groups (ERGs) for employees to share their commonalities. Among them are the today's family, women in leadership and veterans groups. Additionally, we offer adoptive parents up to $5,000 to help with adoption costs, and we pay employees on annual military leave/services at 100 percent income replacement for the first 120 hours.
  • Retirement plan invests 10% in employees: On the first day of employment, employees can begin contributing to our 401 (k) retirement plan. We contribute 10 percent of our employee’s eligible compensation directly into their account each pay period. This occurs through a company match of the first 4 percent that employees contribute in addition to a 6 percent employer contribution. All match and employer contributions are vested immediately.
  • Commitment to communities: Our commitment to the communities in which we live and work is engrained in everything we do. Employees who assist people in our communities during non-business emergencies are recognized with a good neighbor award. We match up to $40,000 of employee contributions during our annual community giving campaign. We pay employees up to 12 hours a year so they may participate in outside volunteer activities. We encourage the use of clean, electric vehicles by offering up to a $2,500 incentive for employees who purchase or lease a new one. Our environmental policy guides employee conduct and is an integral part of our culture.
  • Employee referral bonus: Employees, who refer a person who is hired at Great River Energy, receive a referral bonus payment of $500. If the new employee remains with the company for six months, the referring employee receives another $500 payment.
  • Continuous learning: We encourage continuing education, career development and specialized training that increase professional effectiveness and knowledge. We offer a Leadership Exploration program to help employees take charge of their career development and be prepared when leadership opportunities arise across the organization. The program helps employees identify their strengths, learn about their potential and learn what it means to be a leader at Great River Energy. Additionally, employees are eligible for up to $10,500 in tuition assistance per year.


$83,975 Average salary and additional cash compensation for auxillary operator $124,421 Average salary and additional cash compensation for senior engineer
4% Match of employee’s 401(k)/403b contribution up to 100% of salary96% Company-paid health coverage for employees (for employees who work 30+ hours per week)
96% Company-paid health coverage for dependents (for employees who work 30+ hours per week) 48% Company-paid health coverage for part-timers
20 hours Weekly hours required for part-timers to receive health insurance $4,966 Average Tuition Reimbursement
$10,500 Maximum Tuition Reimbursement
Employees participate in Great River Energy sponsored Milk Run at the Minnesota State Fair


28 days Paid time off after one year of full-time employment 21 days Paid time off after one year of part-time employment
Set days Paid sick days after one year of full-time employment 17 Days Paid time off as of first day of full-time employment
12 days Paid time off as of first day of part-time employment


  • Flexible schedule (10% use it)
  • Telecommute option (1% use it)
  • Compressed work weeks (6% use it)
  • Subsided On- or Off-site Fitness (100% have access)
  • Medical facilities (at some locations)
  • Onsite Amenities (varies by location but includes on-site cafe, fitness center and classes, laundry concierge, mothers room)


60 days Job-protected maternity leave (including FMLA/STD) 44 days Average length of maternity leave new mothers take
60 days Job-protected paternity leave (including FMLA)$5,000 Adoption benefit
60 days Job-protected parental leave for adoptive parents (including FMLA)*


  • Lactation room(s)
  • Paid sick leave to care for a child or relative


  • Mental health care
  • Alternative treatments (such as acupuncture, homeopathy, or chiropractic)
  • Fertility treatments

Community and Environmental Impact

12 hours Paid time off to volunteer $501,225 Philanthropic donations in last year
Manager, Environmental Services Leads environmental impact team Third-Party Conducted Environmental impact audit
6 LEED certified building(s) Yes Sustainable commuting program
Yes Renewable energy program Yes Recycling program


  • Written policy prohibits discrimination based on (at a minimum) age, disability, race/ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender and sexual orientation
  • Formal programs (such as resource groups, mentorship, networking, or other affinity groups) support professional development for: Women
  • 1 events a year connect employees with peers from different racial/ethnic, religious or country-of-origin identities
  • Medical care covers gender confirmation surgery

Leadership Diversity


Workforce Diversity

As part of our wellness efforts employee have the opportunity to sign up for a 15 minute complimentary chair massage during the holidays.



How to Get Hired

We asked Great River Energy for some inside information on how to get hired at the organization. Here is what they had to say.

What key characteristics tell you a prospective employee will be a great fit for your company?

Great River Energy hires the most qualified candidate for each position to meet the business needs. Our staffing process looks internally for qualified candidates first within the department, division, corporately and then externally. We work hard to hire the right people to fit the culture, putting in the time and effort at the start so we make good long term hiring decisions. We place a high value on candidates who share our corporate values around accountability, commitment to employees, ethics, member focus, open and honest communication and safety. In addition, we also look for those who can demonstrate our employee competencies: business focused, communications, continuous learning, decision making, demonstrating values, flexibility, individual performance, innovative, member and customer relations, teamwork and technical skills.


Are there any positions or types of candidates you are particularly focused on hiring in this coming year?

The energy industry offers a broad spectrum of job types such as designing and operating generating stations, transmission systems, substations and power grids. These are hands-on jobs like installing and repairing power lines, and desktop jobs like creating schematics and designing power plants. Some of our jobs are indoor jobs. Some of our jobs are outdoor jobs. And some are a combination of both. We also need people who can help up develop traditional energy sources like oil, natural gas and coal, a well as newer energy sources like wind turbines, refused derived fuel, ethanol and others.

What should interested candidates do to find out more and get started?

Great River Energy encourages interested candidates to continually check our website and apply for open positions that are a match with their experience, qualifications and skill set. Resumes should be clear and concise and showcase how you can contribute to our company. Follow Great River Energy on Facebook, Twitter and our website to continually engage your learnings in the electric utility industry.

hiring Outlook

36 Forecasted positions to fill in coming year -1% Job Growth
14 Average applicants per opening 1,871 Total job applicants
16% New hires by employee referrals 52% Openings filled by current employees
7 Recent graduates hired 1% Voluntary turnover for full-time employees
* All figures refer to 12-month period prior to reporting, unless otherwise noted.

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