What does “we’re all in this together” look like? Join us on this episode as we sit with Terry Turner, the President and CEO of Pinnacle Financial Partners. Today we’re talking about cultivating a culture of ownership, keeping employees engaged, and how love can still manifest in action — even at companies like banks.
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Pinnacle associates are treated like they’re owners — because they are. Everybody wants to feel valued, included, and that they’re part of the company, so it’s been an important concept at Pinnacle to give shares to all associates in the firm. It gives them a sense of being in the game, a part of the family, a part of the team. Everyone is pulling in the same direction.
Engagement begins with whom you hire. If you want happy, successful people in your firm, then make it a point to hire happy and successful people. They also have employees go through a three-day orientation process where they take the time to explain the company’s values and what they’re trying to achieve.
Another thing they do is hold the leaders accountable for engagement. You can fill a company up with good people, but the question for leaders is: have you done what is necessary to engage your people? That’s a crucial relationship, because people leave managers, not companies.
Live life with your associates
This idea builds on the sense of family. If we’re all in it together, then I’m excited about what you’re excited about, and hurting and concerned whenever you are. It’s company culture to be in touch with the people you work with and what their life situations are.
Leading with love at a bank
As mentioned earlier, Pinnacle grants its associates equity — today, to the tune of 400 million dollars. People’s lives have been changed by that, and it’s what Terry calls a compassionate system.
They also include 100% of their associates in annual cash incentives, and the way those incentives are earned is based on corporate results, not individual scorecards. If the team succeeds, then everyone succeeds.
But what really makes Pinnacle a great place to work is how well you love each other, picking up the phone when somebody needs help. It’s not the kind of systems you have running.
The Wow Budget
You can’t treat your associates like dogs and have them run out and give unparalleled service. That’s not going to happen.
One of the things they try to get right is the associate experience, like, for example, with the Wow Budget. It’s money that can be spent to wow a client: no guidelines, no script. They simply hire people who have a heart, tell them to act like it’s their money (“Does this make sense to you? Is this an appropriate amount to spend? If it is, spend it”) and turn them loose.
Turn the command and control management style around
The first step, says Terry, is to research and find out if leading with care and kindness really works. It sounds counterintuitive, but the reason he says to start there is because you can’t fake it. You have to believe that it works. Invest the time to develop a genuine and firm commitment to it before you launch.
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