ABA Banking Journal - September 2011 - (Page 26)

PaSS THe aSPiRin ThE BANkER-TO-BANkER ExChANgE The Headache: Pass the aspirin: Holding onto key employees With many traditional ideas not practical in the current environment, how do you keep your stars interested in sticking with your bank? You can read more headaches and remedies, and can weigh in yourself at www.ababj.com/blog/277. Remedy 1: Share the decisionmaking Keith E. Pollek, president & CEO, Fox River State Bank, $102.3 million-assets, Burlington,Wis. The key to retention of our staff is to keep them involved in decision-making. Employees who are involved with why we do something the way we do it, have ownership of the process. And that enhances the quality of the decision made, while also enhancing desire to remain with the team. Remedy 2: Stress the team Frank Sorrentino III, chairman and CEO, North Jersey Community Bank, $656.2 million-assets, Englewood Cliffs, N.J. Most bankers would immediately respond by talking about compensation and incentive plans. Those are probably the last things we are thinking about here at NJCB. Creating a company culture where everyone feels they have a purpose, and are contributing to a strong, stable, and growing institution, is what keeps all of us motivated. It is about understanding how individual roles come together to form a greater organization, and the satisfaction of seeing one’s efforts translate into winning strategies. It is also the desire to strive that binds together a group of individuals into a team and allows for them to share both the pain of their mistakes as well as glory when all goes well. At NJCB, creating a dynamic environment where the organization is constantly outpacing its rivals, or showcasing employees and winning awards amongst our peers, or working hard to invest in the professional growth of our team members, creates an environment that attracts the best; allows for upward mobility within the organization; and certainly provides for great retention of key members. Our philosophy of being “a better place to be” does not only speak about our customer base and our shareholders, but also about how we think about our employees. For the CEO, at the end of the day, it is really about how honest you are about your dedication to your most valuable asset, and your willingness to protect it. Sometimes, that means letting people go that do not share the vision, or the staff’s sense of purpose. At NJCB, we are clear in our direction and purpose; we work very hard to demonstrate that we care about our team members, and provide an exciting environment that money alone cannot rival. Remedy 3: Keep up a competitive carrot Kevin M. McCarthy, president and CEO, Newport Federal Savings Bank, $449 millionassets, Newport, R.I. To hold onto key employees, we continue to provide competitive salaries and a strong benefits program, even in the ongoing difficult economic environment. Our benefits are excellent, particularly retirement plans. Only a couple of our 80+ eligible and enrolled employees do not contribute to the 401(k) plan. The majority of participants contribute at least enough to benefit from the full match offered by our bank. Our medical benefits are good and there is little complaint, even with employees having to pay the first $1,000 of the deductible out of their pockets. In addition, we make an effort to keep the staff motivated by implementing creative and fun elements to the job. When decisions need to be made that impact them, we ask for feedback before making a final decision. Recognition of their opinion with regard to their role results in greater buy-in. Remedy 4: Look to the future Charles G. Brown, III, chairman and CEO, Insignia Bank, $158.4 million-assets, Sarasota, Fla. Constant feedback, public and private praise, as well as providing a sense for their future at the bank as well as the future of the bank. Headache 2: Best cost-cutting ideas Remedy 1: Talk turkey to suppliers Jane Haskin, president and CEO, First Bethany Bank & Trust, $164.1 million-assets, Bethany, Okla. The most successful cost cutting measures our bank has taken this past year is to contact companies we do business with and ask if there is any way they can help us cut costs. We have done this on all of our contracts, even if they are not up for renewal. Some of our vendors have required us to renegotiate and extend the length of our contracts, but it has always been at a cost savings to the bank. One of our most successful negotiations was on our copier and printer contract. We were able to install newer copier machines and more printers plus still save a small amount each month. Another source of savings has resulted when purchasing items. We ask if there is a discount for paying upon delivery for larger purchases. This has saved us as much as 5%. 26  |  ABA BANKING JOURNAL  |  September 2011 http://www.ababj.com/blog/277

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - September 2011

ABA Banking Journal - September 2011
Contents
Chairman’s View
Editor’s Column
The Economy
Bank Notes
ABA Community Banking
Pass the Aspirin
Tech Topics
Cover Story: Mobile money at stake
Insurance revival
The long and short of annuities
Compliance Inbox
ABA Resources
ABA Annual Convention
First Person

ABA Banking Journal - September 2011

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