Top-rated places to work lo­cated in Newton

5 lo­cal com­pa­nies make For­tune Top 100 work­places

The Covington News - - THE SECOND FRONT - GABRIEL KHOULI gkhouli@cov­

Newton County res­i­dents look­ing for a great place to work lo­cally may want to con­sider the five com­pa­nies that gar­nered spots on the 2014 list of FOR­TUNE Mag­a­zine’s 100 Best Com­pa­nies to Work For.

Gen­eral Mills, Dar­den Restau­rants, Publix Su­per Mar­kets, Ed­ward Jones and Quik Trip, which all have lo­ca­tions in Newton County, joined 95 other global and na­tional cor­po­ra­tions in the an­nual sur­vey of em­ployee sat­is­fac­tion.

Gen­eral Mills has a ce­real pro­duc­tion plant off Ga. High­way 142, Publix has a su­per­mar­ket at the in­ter­sec­tion of Brown Bridge and Salem roads, and Longhorn Steak­house off U.S. High­way 278 is the lone lo­cal Dar­den fran­chise.

The rank­ings are com­piled an­nu­ally by the com­pany Great Rated!, which ranks com­pa­nies in six cat­e­gories based on anony­mous sur­veys of em­ploy­ees. The cat­e­gories in­clude chal­lenges, at­mos­phere, re­wards, pride, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and bosses.

Ed­ward Jones (ranked 4)

The gold stan­dard among com­pa­nies with a lo­cal pres­ence, Ed­ward Jones has been ranked in the top 100 ev­ery year since 1999, with the ex­cep­tion of 2005, and ranked No. 1 in 2002 and 2003 and No. 2 in 2009 and 2010.

Head­quar­tered in St. Louis and em­ploy­ing 38,015, Ed­ward Jones is beloved by em­ploy­ees be­cause of the au­ton­omy al­lowed. Most of the com­pany’s 12,000 fi­nan­cial ad­vis­ers op­er­ate in their own of­fices with an of­fice ad­min­is­tra­tor, but are sup­ported by cor­po­rate of­fices as well as “a con­tin­gent of staff who work from home,” ac­cord­ing to Great Rated!

Of the 1,186 em­ploy­ees sur­veyed, a vast ma­jor­ity re­ported a friendly work­place and car­ing com­pany ex­tend­ing even to se­nior man­age­ment, and they said they re­ceive the train­ing and re­sources needed to com­plete their jobs.

“Ev­ery time I think of some­thing that needs im­prove­ment, it gets fixed,” an em­ployee told Great Rated!

QuikTrip (48)

Ranked in the top 100 ev­ery year since 2003, QuikTrip is known as one of the best con­ve­nience-store fran­chises in the na­tion for its cus­tomer ser­vice. The 1,547 em­ploy­ees sur­veyed said em­ploy­ees get the same good treat­ment from the com­pany.

Em­ployee are proud to work at QuikTrip and look for­ward to com­ing to work and say the job is about “much more than sim­ply sell­ing snacks and drinks”; it’s about serv­ing cus­tomer needs.

The com­pany has 330 em­ploy­ees with more than 20 years of ser­vice with the com­pany, and the full-time turnover rate is less than 10 per­cent.

De­spite the 24/7 sched­ule of QuikTrip stores, which can be tir­ing and is of­ten thought of as dan­ger­ous be­cause of late-night crimes, em­ploy­ees said they were able to take time off when needed and worked in a safe en­vi­ron­ment. Train­ing is also preva­lent, with on­site col­lege cour­ses be­ing of­fered and up to $4,400 of tu­ition re­im­burse­ment avail­able to full-time and part-time em­ploy­ees.

Gen­eral Mills (64)

A peren­ni­ally high-rank­ing com­pany, Gen­eral Mills made a re­turn to the list af­ter be­ing left off last year. The com­pany has been ranked a Top 100 com­pany 11 times since 1998.

Em­ploy­ing 41,000 peo­ple world­wide, the com­pany has an ex­ten­sive train­ing pro­gram and “pro­vides men­tor­ing and net­work­ing groups” through its lo­ca­tions to be wel­com­ing and to help peo­ple de­velop their ca­reers, ac­cord­ing to Great Rated!’s write-up.

“The peo­ple are great,” one em­ployee said in a Great Rated! sur­vey. “Even though it’s a big com­pany, it still feels like a fam­ily, and I gen­uinely care about my co-work­ers.”

The com­pany also got high marks among the 979 em­ploy­ees sur­veyed for its com­mit­ment to healthy prod­ucts and giv­ing back to the com­mu­ni­ties where its plants are lo­cated. Many Cov­ing­ton non­prof­its have ben­e­fited from the gen­eros­ity of the Gen­eral Mills



Dar­den Restau­rants (74)

Ranked ev­ery year since 2011, Dar­den scored high­est in its at­mos­phere, as em­ploy­ees said the “friendly work­place cul­ture” is a plus.

“I am one of the new­est mem­bers on the team,” one em­ployee told Great Rated!, not­ing how wel­com­ing co-work­ers were dur­ing the ini­tial train­ing process. “I truly feel like a val­ued em­ployee al­ready.”

New hires get a week of com­pre­hen­sive train­ing, and ex­pec­ta­tions are made clear across the restau­rant com­pany’s 2,100 lo­ca­tions, which in­clude Red Lob­ster, Olive Gar­den, Longhorn Steak­house, Ba­hama Breeze, Sea­sons 52, The Cap­i­tal Grille, Ed­die V’s and Yard House eater­ies.

Flex­i­ble sched­ul­ing and health ben­e­fits were listed as big pos­i­tives among the 713 em­ploy­ees sur­veyed, though health-care re­form has forced restau­rants to reeval­u­ate em­ployee mod­els.

“Another great thing that stood out to me was the won­der­ful ben­e­fits for even part-time em­ploy­ees that be­gin on day one of work­ing here. You can’t find that at many wait­ress­ing jobs,” the same em­ployee quote above said.

Publix Su­per Mar­kets (75)

The lone new­comer to the list, Publix has 1,100 stores in six South­ern states and em­ploys more than 157,000 peo­ple, most of whom own com­pany stock, ac­cord­ing to Great Rated!

The com­pany fo­cuses on treat­ing em­ploy­ees well – in­clud­ing health care, re­tire­ment, paid va­ca­tions and tu­ition re­im­burse­ment – and ex­pect­ing those em­ploy­ees to treat cus­tomers well.

“We ex­tend com­pas­sion, cour­tesy and ser­vice, and we value the cus­tomer’s time, while be­ing friendly and com­pe­tent,” one em­ployee told Great Rated!, which took 1,040 em­ployee sur­veys for Publix.

The com­pany also con­trib­utes to com­mu­nity causes, in­clud­ing United Way, and em­ploy­ees vol­un­teer with groups such as the Boy Scouts and Big Brothers Big Sis­ters.

For more on each of th­ese com­pa­nies, visit us. greatrated. com/ 2014for­tune-100-best-com­pa­nies-to-work-for-list.

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