Strong Bank Culture Starts with People

Employees need to feel inspired by the company mission and values, because raw talent is meaningless without the will to create results. - KISSMetrics

Life is a continuous journey of learning and development.  Success along that journey is often defined by the cultures we experience in our youth, education, and career. As a leader, building and nurturing a strong organizational culture represents a great opportunity to create an abundant future for our families, communities, and even our corporate bottom line.

Widely cited research from Success Profiles reveals that businesses that create a culture of shared vision, mission, and values see profit per employee increase from $7,802 to $27,401. Organizations that also focus on engagement and feedback see revenue growth jump from 18.6% to 113.1%. That kind of powerful growth starts at the human level.

Most parents would say that they are very intentional about the culture they create at home. My wife and I strive to engender an environment where our children can explore, learn, and develop a unique perspective and skillset. The ultimate measure of success in that effort comes as we see them engage these tools to make a positive impact on the world.

Within corporate environments, fostering a clearly defined culture should be as intentional. At HORNE, we call it building a Wise Firm. It is based on the foundation of We & Service because we see it is as a journey we take alongside our clients. At HORNE, team members are given the opportunity to reach his or her full potential through their contribution to this philosophy. Our culture is deep rooted, but still requires consistency and intentionality.

For the banking industry clients I serve, building a strong internal culture is incredibly important but can be equally as challenging. Faced with ever-growing regulatory burdens, increased consolidation and technology disruption, banks operate in an almost constant state of flux. As a people-based industry, bank culture is noticeable to clients – it’s important to the success of your brand and client relationships.

Why Bank Culture Matters

Culture may be an intangible asset, but it can define the success of your bank over the long-term. Leadership is key to fostering an environment in which challenges become opportunities, and everyone works in lockstep toward a shared objective. A recent article by Joe Sweeney, Why Your Company Culture Matters, and How to Improve It, highlights six vital attributes of a strong culture:

  1. Core Values  Your core values are integral to your overall business strategies. They are the guiding principles that help shape not only your culture, but your brand as well.
  2. Clear Vision  Your Company Vision Statement defines your core ideology and the idealized future the individuals within your company are working together to create.
  3. Hire the Right People  Teamwork is vital to the success of your organization. High-functioning, empowered teams produce better results than those not focused on key objectives.
  4. Help Employees Reach Their Goals  Helping employees grow personally and professionally is a good idea in and of itself; but it is also shown to generate the satisfaction that keeps top performers engaged and leading within your culture.
  5. Corporate Wellness  Our health is our wealth. At the end of the day, healthy team members bring more energy, have a better attitude, and perform at a higher level.
  6. Reinforce Vision and Culture  Do whatever you can as often as possible to remind employees of your vision and values, and strengthen your company culture with offerings and activities that support them.

At heart, these six steps toward building your ideal bank culture are built on three vital ingredients – commitment, trust, and communication.


There’s no doubt that bank culture has a direct link to the success of its people, the organization and the community. What are some of the ways you are putting these key values and actions into practice? What have been some of the results?

We’d love to hear your ideas for building strong bank culture. Share with us at @HORNEBanking with the hashtag #culture and follow @JoeyHavensCPA for more actionable insight on what it means to be a Wise Firm.


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Topics: Culture, Bank Growth

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