T-Mobile's Un-carrier mission has always been to put customers first and change the rules of this industry in their favor. We know that to succeed at that mission, we need the best people working on the frontlines and behind the scenes every day.
Today, T-Mobile has the best team of employees this industry has ever assembled and that’s one reason why we work to reward them with pay, benefits and an employee experience that are unmatched. This regularly earns us national recognition as a best place to work. Last year alone, T-Mobile received nearly 50 awards as a top employer, including Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For – for the fifth time! But in typical Un-carrier fashion, we won’t stop looking for ways to be better and continue to invest to make this a great place to work.
Today I'm announcing a small but important step we are taking to make sure that our strong rewards-based employee culture truly extends to everyone who works here. Every single employee at T-Mobile, even our newest team members just starting to build their skill base, should have a competitive wage. So, we have decided to implement a nationwide minimum pay at T-Mobile of at least $20 per hour. This will now apply to every single employee regardless of role, or full-time or part-time status. The truth is, the vast majority of our employees already earn well above this level, especially when including incentive pay. But this move is about inclusion, and we wanted to draw a line that ensures no employee is left behind.
This move aligns with many of the values we hold as a company and opportunities we've created to our employees as they grow here. Programs like Lead Magenta Next help increase diversity in our leadership and strengthen our talent pipeline. We've also invested $22.4 million in nearly 7,000 employees to help them further their education, and we increased our physical and mental well-being programs and benefits to include free virtual therapy, mindfulness sessions and stress-relief tools.
In addition, we empower everyone who works here to Act Like an Owner – one of our core values, because our people ARE literally owners. We are the only wireless provider that has offered annual stock grants to every single employee, after a year or less employed here – since 2014!
This latest move to a baseline $20 minimum is about recognizing our hardworking employees who are the heartbeat of this company and continuing to Win Together – another of our shared values. It’s also about recruiting more great team members to join us, something we’ve already seen play out. It’s a job-seekers’ market, which means competition to keep and find top talent is competitive – and as a great employer, we like it that way. Employees want the entire package, and well, THIS is how the Un-carrier delivers employees exactly that. After we rolled out this increased minimum hourly pay rate in our Customer Care group a few months ago and went from receiving 300 applications a week to 4,000 – a 1,200+% increase!
Above all, we know that it's our customers who truly benefit from well-rewarded, supported and enthusiastic employees. Investments in our team are a direct investment in our business, and ultimately in the experience of our customers. Paying employees a good earning wage as they grow their careers has translated into growth for our company. It's been a winning formula for us, and today we're simply broadening the strategy a bit, to make sure everyone benefits.
As T-Mobile enters our next chapter and evolves our business in wireless and beyond, our big aspirations have only gotten bigger. We need more of the very best talent to bring them all to life, which is not an easy order in today's hiring environment. Creating a workplace that will attract and retain top talent is a challenging goal for leaders during "normal" times. Doing it amid a pandemic and during a merger adds a whole new level of complexity.
I'm so proud that T-Mobile seizes every chance to think big. To evaluate market dynamics and make changes that benefit our employees, the heart of everything we do. We are all-in on ensuring that what we deliver for our employees - current and future - continues to make T-Mobile one of the best places to work anywhere. Because only a truly great team can deliver the best customer experience.