Edward Jones: Values and Goals
A fourteen year veteran of Edward Jones counted one of the perks of her job as reading client "thank you" notes penned when children went to college, or when retirements were launched a little bit early (Wolfe, 22 Feb 2002). This veteran could have counted many other types of perks such as salary, career advancement, etc., but she did not. She stated the intangible, intrinsic benefits like “thank you” notes and personal greetings. Many other employees stated similar things like “all we do is help people obtain goals”, clients are just as likely to come in to tell of good news or show off their new car as they are to sign business paperwork, and “everyone is focused around a single mission” (Wolfe, 22 Feb 2002). Without a doubt, these are the exact reasons why Edward Jones was named first in Fortune Magazine's 2002 rankings for Best Company in America. This essay analyzes the reasons why these employees made Edward Jones the number one company in 2002. It will also discuss exactly how Edward Jones motivated its workers through its strict key values and organizational goals.
A belief is a certainty about the truth of something, but a value is a belief (or set of related beliefs) to which we attach moral significance (Bowman, 2002). It is blatantly obvious that Edward Jones not only believes in, but practices strict moral values. These values have been the keys for the continued business success since World War II. From its conception to today, Edward Jones believes in “Serving the serious, long-term individual investor” (Wolfe, 22 Feb 2002). This was especially evident in the mid 1990’s when Edward Jones not only refused to jump on the ‘dot com’ bandwagon, but actually sent out letters advising the opposite to its customers (Wolfe, 22 Feb 2002). Edward Jones’ as an entity took the middle of the road ‘tortoise’ versus the speculative ‘rabbit’ approach to investing every time; which lead the company to outperform 14 of the top 15 U.S. brokerages. Employees and customers alike observed what a value driven company with a keen strategy this was, a strategy that acted like permanent glue in Edward Jones’ professional relationships. The key values of conservatism and service of the steadfast investor are just scratching the surface of what makes Edward Jones a truly fascinating company.
CHARACTERISTICS OF MOTIVATION
Looking from the outside in, there are some distinct reasons why Edward Jones kept its employees finely motivated. Using the Job Characteristics Model as a template to analyze how it was done, it is apparent that Edward Jones harnessed for its employees job meaningfulness, responsibility, and demonstrated knowledge of results; which ultimately guided top-notch work outcomes (Louis, Notes on the Job Characteristics Model). Analyzing the ‘job characteristics’ section of the model, it is evident that Edward Jones mastered the concept of autonomy. Evidence presented itself when...