As John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, traveled throughout the United States visiting his stores, he often would be approached by employees who would ask him if the company could implement this benefit, or that benefit, which caused him to re-think how benefits are offered.

Now, Whole Foods Market - which has 300 stores in the United States, Canada and the U.K. - puts its benefits to a vote. Every three years, the company lets employees nominate benefits and if other employees agree, the benefit is added. It's just one of the ways the company empowers its employees and encourages innovation, Mackey told a packed crowd in opening keynote address at the 2012 Great Place to Work conference in Atlanta.

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