BancorpSouth Bank officer Evelyn Edwards thinks the Tupelo-based financial institution is the best place in Mississippi to work because she’s had the opportunity to grow personally and professionally in her career there. Other employees as well as judges in the Mississippi Business Journal’s Best Places to Work competition agree. The announcement that BancorpSouth Inc. was the top winner was made at a luncheon at the 2009 Mississippi Business & Technology EXPO.
“It is a company that cares about my well being, not just my job performance,” said Edwards, vice president and community reinvestment officer. “It’s easy to say ‘I love my job and working for the company’ because I have a regional president who has an open-door policy and values my opinion. To have a CEO who knows you by name speaks volumes even though I don’t see him every day.”
With 4,500 employees, BancorpSouth won in the mega-large category. Founded more than 130 years ago, the company’s average starting salary is $33,000 and median salary is $43,000. Thirty days is the average length of employment to be eligible for benefits and 83 percent of employees have healthcare insurance. Additional benefits include prescription, dental and vision options. There are 35 days of paid leave/sick time annually.
“In addition to providing an excellent benefits and compensation package, our internal employee opinion surveys show that our employees appreciate the family-type atmosphere that BancorpSouth has been able to provide in the workplace,” said senior vice president and director of human resources W.O. Jones.
Other benefits offered include tuition assistance, relocation assistance, stock options, 401(k), flexible hours, an employee recognition program and a fitness program.
Mark T. Buys, president of the Vicksburg Division, likes the management model of BancorpSouth, decentralizing the loan and business decisions to the local communities.
“That model distinguishes our institution from others in our peer group,” he said. “As presidents, we still make our decisions locally and have the benefit of services that smaller banks can’t offer. We are a great community bank.”
Chief executive officer Aubrey B. Patterson says that while BancorpSouth is a large regional bank serving an eight-state market area, the system is comprised of community banks close to customers and the cities and towns they serve.
“Our local bank presidents have an entrepreneurial spirit and are empowered to make decisions locally,” he added.
Karen L. Moseley says BancorpSouth has leadership that provides confidence and security for employees and customers alike.
“In addition to great benefits and a network of people to help with every situation, there is opportunity for growth and advancement,” said the manager of the Jackson Medical Center Branch. “While BancorpSouth is committed to great customer service, it also provides employees with opportunities to serve our communities through great organizations that make a difference to the people we intend to serve everyday.
“Commitment, confidence, opportunity and service are all great ways to describe why it’s a great place to work.”
Vice president of mid-Mississippi marketing Pam Hart feels that BancorpSouth is a leader in the banking industry because of the emphasis placed on serving customers and communities.
“Management’s attitude creates a positive atmosphere, which instills pride in every employee,” she said. “I enjoy coming to work every day, and that says a lot about the people who work for BancorpSouth.”
The bank began more than a century ago in a hardware store in tiny Verona, and now spreads from east of Dallas to St. Louis to west of Atlanta. This market expansion has been matched by the continuous growth in new products and services.
Contact MBJ contributing writer Lynn Lofton at email@example.com.