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    Rockland Trust named No. 1 largest company

    The community bank’s CEO calls every new employee, fostering a caring atmosphere where staffers are eager to serve customers.

    Keith Bedford/Globe Staff
    Rockland Trust CEO Christopher Oddleifson.

    In recent years, community bank Rockland Trust has expanded well beyond its South Shore origins. And as the bank has grown, chief executive Christopher Oddleifson has tried to keep the concept of caring about his 1,000-plus employees a central principle of the operation. The result, he says, is workers who are eager to serve their clients — and customers who are loyal to Rockland Trust.

    Thoughts from the top: “I call every single person who joins the bank and welcome them,” says Oddleifson. “You wouldn’t believe how many people are absolutely flabbergasted when I call.”

    Magic moment: Heidi Yates, now a commercial loan officer with the bank at its downtown Boston location, knew she was in the right place when she met her first manager, an industry veteran who was eager to mentor a new hire. She helped Yates decide to pursue an MBA and helped her plot out her career path. “The people you work with here is a really big thing,” Yates says.


    Thinking ahead: Early in each employee’s career, Rockland Trust starts helping him or her figure out what comes next. Regular feedback keeps employees focused on what path their careers might take and what they need to achieve to earn a promotion. The Rising Stars program provides one year of mentorship and training to promising college-educated workers; more than 60 percent of the first class has been promoted.

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    Off hours: Rockland Trust encourages its employees to help out in the community with its in-house volunteer service, RockCorp. Nonprofit organizations apply for assistance, and workers are given two paid days off a year to help execute the projects.


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    What sets the company apart, in a word: Relationships

    Sarah Shemkus is a freelance writer. Send comments to