AUBURN HILLS, Mich.—Continental A.G. is being recognized as one of the 18 Best Big Companies to Work For by Fortune magazine.
The tire and technology company is ranked No. 17 for the world's best companies with employment of at least 100,000.
The Best Big Companies to Work For is an outgrowth from Fortune's broader 100 Best Companies to Work for list that recognizes firms regardless of size.
Narrowing down the focus to the largest companies, Fortune tries to consider differences between those very big firms and those that are much smaller who also appear on the bigger list.
Challenges faced by firms can vary based on the company size, Fortune said when unveiling the large category winners.
Continental finds itself as the only manufacturer on this year's largest company list that includes an outsized representation from both financial and consulting services firms and hotel companies.
For Continental, being recognized as a great company for its employees is not about providing trendy perks such as providing spa services or foosball tables. Instead the company works to create a culture "that supports passions and purpose" for its workers by providing both time and resources to allow them to have an impact on society.
"We strive to attract employees who are committed to making the world a better place. We give our employees the freedom to act and empower them with opportunities to learn, grow and meet their professional and personal goals," Samir Salman, CEO of Continental North America, said in a statement.
The company pointed to two efforts as examples of this approach that are making a difference.
Jonathan Stone, head of programs for research and advanced engineering, was part of a team to create a system to warn drivers about any nearby vehicle driving the wrong way. Stone's commitment to the work stems from his grief of knowing a family killed by a wrong-way driver.
Wrong-way crashes "are among the most catastrophic, averaging more than one fatality per crash," Continental said. "This potentially life-saving technology is now being piloted in Auburn Hills, Mich. as part of a Smart City Mobility and Transportation Hub."
Former Continental employee Kabir Maiga, an engineer, was involved in developing a keyless entry technology for vehicles. That's when he had the idea to create a keyless system for homes. Continental now is supporting Kabir's own company, PassiveBolt of Ann Arbor, Mich.
He pitched his idea through a start-up program Continental launched in 2017 to encourage innovation.
"The objective is to give employees and external entrepreneurs a chance to develop and bring to market new business concepts, assisted by Continental's expertise, mentoring, and financial support," the company said when launching the program called "co-pace."
Continental has more than 240,000 employees globally. To qualify for the Fortune list, a firm must have at least 100,000 employees, including at least 1,000 in the U.S., the company said.
"At Continental, we're committed to our employees and proud of the ideas they bring to work," said Rick Ledsinger, senior vice president of human relations at Continental North America and Tire the Americas.