What would it feel like to arrive at work on a Tuesday or a Friday, focus on your to-do list, and out of nowhere the CEO and senior executives hand you a crisp large bill of cash?

Well, employees at Citizens Union Bank know exactly what that feels like because it’s happened more than once – a spontaneous gesture of appreciation given to all 180 employees after a company-wide job well done.

According to CUB CEO David Bowling, “Our employees really are the ones who make things happen around here.  When something big gets done at CUB we like to put our money where our mouth is and reward the people who got it done.  Cash is King and we are all in this together.  We feel everyone should get rewarded when the team achieves a major goal.”

Such cash giveaways are in addition to CUB’s program of monthly employee appreciation during which each employee receives anything from a basket of goodies, a handwritten note praising his or her individual qualities, pizza for the whole bank, stress balls, and all kinds of other extras.

You are appreciated

Employees have no question that they are valued and respected at CUB for their achievements.

“With each of the 180 handwritten notes, it was genuine to each person,” says Melissa Banta, vice president of human resources. “It wasn’t that repetitive ‘thank you and we appreciate your work’. No, it was about each person’s unique skills and kindness, their ability and compassion. It doesn’t just come from human resources, but it comes from their managers. I still have mine on my desk.”

Banta estimates that CUB’s Employee Achievement Committee spends 80 to 100 hours yearly creating and implementing events and gifts that honor employees’ contributions.

“It’s not the kind of thing someone does in 30 minutes one afternoon,” Banta says. “It’s the entire culture at this company. I definitely think employees feel valued when they’re recognized whether that be a cash award, days off or a basket of gifts.”

Jessica Dobner, assistant vice president of marketing who sits on the committee, says that the idea for cash giveaways came from the top.

“Our executives didn’t wait ‘til the end of the year or six months later. They said thank you right then,” Dobner says of acknowledging employees’ hard work during CUB’s recent implementation of a new core computer system as well as a superior compliance exam by auditors last year. “There’s no differential between employees’ title, level or longevity. Everyone was treated the same and given the same amount of money.”

Banta shared that some employees who worked “days, nights and weekends” implementing the new computer system were also taken out to a local winery for a reception with hors d’oeuvres and a chance to mingle.

Recognized by peers

CUB also gives annual recognition awards to selected employees including “Beyond Expectations” Awards, TIGER Awards, and SPARC Awards. The winners are voted on and selected by their peers.

Bowling commented, “People like money of course, but more often than not, they truly appreciate being recognized in front of their peers.  We try to find ways to show people we value what they do.”

CUB’s commitment to “Beyond Expectations” runs deep and wide. Employee recognition is part of the bank’s strategic plan each year, not an afterthought.

“I think it’s an internal thing that we have to live out,” Dobner says of “Beyond Expectations.” “It’s got to be top of mind.”

Want to be part of CUB’s family?

Interested in being appreciated and recognized for your work?  CUB is currently hiring for various positions. Learn more on their website.

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