April 01, 2017
The Best Places to Work in Direct Selling 2017 Honorees
by Andrea Tortora
Table of Contents
As the big employer in a small town, LegalShield knows a thing or two about creating and maintaining a family atmosphere at work.
For the second year in a row, the company has earned the Best Places to Work in Direct Selling achievement. It’s no surprise then, that many who work at the Ada, Oklahoma business consider themselves a tight-knit community, where everyone sees each other at church or at school functions for their children.
Today, the company employs about 750 people in Ada, and it maintains offices and remote employees across the country, from Seattle to New York.
“Now that our family has grown, we do a lot of video conferencing,” said Jeremiah Brooks, Director of Desktop Services. “That really helps the personalization with new coworkers. We get to put a face to the name and the voice, and we get to talk with lots of different people with different work backgrounds.”
From a home office situated on a hill that overlooks town, LegalShield connects individuals, families and business owners with a network of provider law firms who assist members with a variety of everyday legal issues.
For many employees, the chance to make a living close to home is a blessing. Stacy Whelchel grew up in Ada but moved away to work as a journalist.
Eventually she and her husband returned to raise their children near family. “Due to the fact that we have all chosen to live and work in a small city, having a strong, supportive atmosphere at work makes it nice to be there,” said Whelchel, a senior writer and editor.
Ada is a town of about 17,000 people. So many employees already know one another from their life in town. That just adds to the family atmosphere.
“There are lots of family members who work here, but not in the same department,” Whelchel said. “If you’ve lived here for a long time, you’re related to somebody and we definitely recommend working here.”
LegalShield is powered by a desire to do good, improve people’s lives and improve society, said John Long, Senior Vice President of People and Leadership Development.
To accomplish all of those things, the company provides its employees with many opportunities for professional and personal growth.
Employees can complete up to 400 online training courses or sign up to take college classes at nearby East Central University or other institutions.
LegalShield provides tuition reimbursement of up to $2,000 a semester for undergraduate and graduate classes, including a master’s in management program designed in collaboration with ECU, Long said.
CEO Jeff Bell encourages employees to explore career options in other departments, too. Employees benefit by learning new skills and gaining new experiences and the company gains more highly trained, well-rounded workers and managers.
Long is a great example of the opportunities available within LegalShield. In his 18 years with the company he worked in marketing and communications, corporate development and compliance before jumping to HR.
“I still feel like I’m going through my own orientation,” Long said.
Many LegalShield employees have long tenures, including Brooks. He’s been with the company for 19 years, having started in distribution while going to school before moving to IT.
He cites work-related travel as a great growth opportunity. He’s been to Hawaii, Toronto, New York and Los Angeles—many big cities he said he would not get to see on his own.
To retain employees and uphold its status as a desired employer, LegalShield offers rich benefits to employees, including many onsite services.
An onsite restaurant offers healthy meals. A doctor’s office provides convenient health care and an exercise facility is available, too. Family members can also access all of these services.
“This all ties into a healthy lifestyle approach that we want to advocate and foster,” Long said.
Other benefits include frequent recognition for good work, plus monthly and annual employee awards.
Employees can earn referral and performance bonuses, too. Other perks for employees and their families include discounts on cellphones and other services, a LegalShield membership, access to Teladoc for 24-hour medical care, free parking and a casual dress policy.
LegalShield also is an early adopter when it comes to technology, using advanced web and cloud-based services to improve the customer and employee experience.
What LegalShield really offers is a marriage between customer service and the practice of law, as it works to bring legal access to those who need it.
“We are growing and we are moving up and looking to advance in all ways so that we can to help support our clients,” Brooks said. “We are ready for the challenge.”