Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. provides more than 300 services and products that help financial and technology companies process transactions. When the economy went into a tailspin in 2008, many major financial firms downsized. Jack Henry looked for solutions to keep its more than 6,000 employees, including around 150 in the Charlotte office, employed.
“We felt as an executive team that if we laid people off quality would suffer, and we knew when the economy returned we would need them again,” says Debbie Wood, general manager of marketing. The company asked executives to take a 10 percent pay cut, and those with smaller salaries to take a 1 percent cut. “We didn’t lay off anyone,” she says.
Employees introduced an initiative to take unpaid time. Management listened. It wasn’t mandatory, but on average each employee gave back three days of paid vacation. When the economy returned, the company restored salaries and gave bonuses and raises. “We believe if we take care of the employees they take care of the company,” says Wood.
The Charlotte office is multifaceted. It employs client support representatives, installation managers, human resource professionals, and assistant vice presidents. It is a disaster recovery site, a data center, and an education provider.
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Wood was a banker who joined the company through an acquisition. “We are an acquisitive company, and a large number of the people acquired move up,” says Wood. When Jack Henry pursues an acquisition, it looks for a motivational fit.
“If you acquire a company that looks and sounds like you, and has same ethics and morals, that’s the most important piece of an acquisition in addition to the bottom line,” she says. Post-acquisition, Jack Henry leaves the company intact, and is slow to eliminate duplicity.
“We look for people’s skills and talents and see how they can be used in the company,” says Wood. “We wait until there’s time for them to know us, and us to know them.”
Tonya Fluellen is an events coordinator who was hired in 2008. “From day one you weren’t a stranger,” she says. She was provided with a team that made her feel like an insider. “We cover each other’s backs.”
Fluellen enjoys coming to work every day. “It’s like one of those family reunions where you can’t wait to see what’s going on, and to catch up, because that’s the connection that we’ve made. It is family.”
The company’s three slogans are imprinted on every employee’s business card. Do the Right Thing. Do Whatever It Takes. Have Fun. “If you take care of these three things you will always be successful,” says Wood.