Melissa Joy, CFP® shares her insights about The Center’s approach to creating a culture and workplace environment that is energizing and rewarding for all team members. Below is an excerpt from the article titled A Cool Place to Work by Ellen Uzelac.
Creating a Culture
With $685 million in assets under management and 20 firm “members,” as they are called, Center for Financial Planning in Southfield, Mich. considers itself a “one-firm firm” that treats employees like they are employees of a business and not employees of an individual advisor.
There is a flex-time policy, financial support for the pursuit of new credentials and learning opportunities, an incentive compensation formula and structured career paths for all positions.
“We want to service our employees the same way we want to service our clients. After all, they have as much or more contact with clients as we do,” says Melissa Joy, a partner and director of investments for the 27-year-old firm. “I really think if you are going to be a modern firm, it’s critical to put yourselves in the shoes of an employee.”
It’s a culture that is anything but static. This past April, for example, every employee was involved in a half-day retreat involving the firm’s vision for 2020. “What better way to have buy-in than to get it from the get-go?” observes Joy.
Center for Financial Planning also launched an employee satisfaction survey that resulted last year in enhancements to its benefits package. Among them: formalized bereavement time; time off for community involvement; the opportunity to take a sabbatical after seven years of service; and increased time off for life balance concerns and professional growth.
“One of the ways that we like to think about it is we like employees that have intellectual curiosity. We’re in an entrepreneurial business. Intellectual curiosity isn’t something that starts when you are a principal,” Joy says. “We want to encourage and reward innovation. We want to grow our leaders from within.” Joy is an example of that. She started out as a client service assistant 13 years ago. Today, she’s an owner.
“We have a lot of friends in the business and lot of people talk about their successes as an employer but they’re always bemoaning their high turnover,” she adds. “We don’t experience that and we think there is a reason for it.”
Our culture is driven strongly by our company values. More than words; they serve as guides in our actions. Everything we do is about our clients and our team with our values leading the way.
We invite you to take a closer look (click here) at our 8 guiding values we believe make The Center a COOL PLACE TO WORK!
"Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC." Any opinions are those of Center for Financial Planning, Inc., and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James