Support, flexibility drive employee satisfaction

Paul E. Kandarian More

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Support, flexibility drive employee satisfaction

THE RIGHT STUFF: Despite a decentralized, independent structure, Edward Jones - pictured here in the Johnston office, one of 12 in the state - supports its staff as it helps its clients. PHOTO COURTESY EDWARD JONES
Posted 6/13/11

Paul E. Kandarian

Contributing Writer

Edward Jones is a huge financial company based in St. Louis – with more than 10,000 offices nationwide – and a small presence in Rhode Island at a dozen offices. The key to employee satisfaction? Flexibility, according to Steven M. Plante of the Edward Jones East Greenwich office.

“That’s the main thing, the flexibility,” said Plante, who had always wanted to run his own business when he met another Edward Jones adviser, who filled him in on what it’s like to work for the firm. “I can come and go as I please. I’m not on salary. I don’t have vacation time. And I accept that. Some days I leave early, some days I work until 7 p.m. And it’s the same for the people in my office.”

Other key benefits for working for Edward Jones include profit sharing, with the company annually sharing 24 percent of net profits, some $94 million last year, with all associates employed six months or more who work a minimum of 20 hours a week. Over the past decade, profit sharing averaged a 4 percent annual pay increase. All associates are also eligible for limited partnership, with nearly 15,000 associates enjoying the unique perk, including Plante.

The company’s high-deductible medical plan ($6,150 for a family) includes free preventive care with eligible medical expenses and prescription drugs covered 100 percent, once the deductible is met. Company officials said the high deductible is the most chosen by associates because it limits their total out-of-pocket exposure.

An intangible but valuable part of working there, Plante said, “is right from the top, the company has soul. Doing what’s right for the client transcends right down through the organization. … The home office [does] a phenomenal job of supporting us and helping our clients.” •

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