Out of the gate, we make every effort to hire someone that fits our culture and then to train and equip our staff. We also take the results from the ‘Best Banks to Work For’ survey to heart. Our Executive Team comes together creating an action plan from those results and incorporating them into our strategic plan each year. Each member is accountable to brainstorm new ideas and track the progress. There is never a ‘set it and forget it’ option in an environment that is always changing. That plays out in each and every employee review and coaching session thereafter.
CEO Jeff Szyperski calls every employee on their birthday. He frequently shares legislative updates with staff so they know where and why they should be involved. The entire organization meets together four times per year, to reinforce our unity, to find out how we’re doing, to train, and of course to have a little fun. His accountability reminds us why we’re here — to serve.
That trickles down and it’s shown throughout our community. We’re grateful that our employees love to volunteer and give back. We frequently share events that we sponsor but we also encourage our employees to serve for causes important to their own heart. (Like with our #ICareAbout campaign.) But it’s not just serving. It also requires an education in all areas. In the words of our HR Director, Pat Lewis “We would rather invest in training an employee that ends up moving on, than not training and developing those that stay with us.” We want everyone to learn and grow, because when our employees grow, we grow. It’s a win-win.
On the business level, we’re committed to that growth as well. We are proud of the ways that we can extend our reputation as more than just a ‘brick and mortar’ bank. From a ‘Boating Bank’ designed to meet the needs of its local watermen to now having 15 branches in 4 regions. We also have three additional lines of business that handle investment and trust services (Chesapeake Wealth Management), accounts receivable financing (Cash Flow), and our merchant services program (Chesapeake Payment Systems). We’re frequently reaching out to our customers so that we can learn about their needs and the challenges that they face. A great business will stimulate the local economy and we want to facilitate that as much as possible. We attempt to do this through our calling officers and the ‘Buck Stays Here’ program.
Coupled with the #ItsAllAboutCommunity campaign we can invite those in our communities to get involved on every level. In order to make this happen, we must make our organization a ‘Great Place To Work’ so that our employees are not only inspired but allowed to be the change in the areas that they want to serve. We see this as a critical component to being chosen as a Best Bank To Work For and continuing to maintain that designation.
* Best Bank To Work For is an annual survey by American Banker