With the new year right around the corner, a lot of investors want ideas for growth stocks in 2014. Motley Fool contributor Brian Stoffel not only has three ideas for Fools to consider, but he's also putting at least $2,000 of his own retirement money behind each selection.

But there's a twist to this list: Brian is using a few unconventional characteristics to determine where he's investing. First, he's searching for innovative companies that are redefining how business is done in their respective industries.  

Second, he's looking for founder-led companies. Over time, he's found that founders have a deep connection with their companies that drive them to make them as excellent as possible.

And finally, Brian is looking for companies that do well by their employees. Employees who are happy and purposeful create value for the world, Brian believes, and that value usually leads to excellent investment returns as well. Using Glassdoor ratings as a proxy, Brian wants to find employees who love working at their company.

Brian Stoffel owns shares of Facebook, SolarCity, and Veeva Systems. The Motley Fool recommends Facebook, SolarCity, and Veeva Systems, and owns shares of Facebook and SolarCity. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.