In an era of instant messaging, SnapChat, and immediate gratification, Citizen’s Union Bank pursues the quiet practice of appreciating and elevating its long-term employees whose wisdom and experience help guide newer generations.
CUB attracts and retains talented staff by showing them respect, inviting their input, and promoting from within.
Doris Taul, now 66, was just 20 years old when her high school teacher recommended that she apply for a job at what is now CUB in Shelbyville.
Forty-six years later, Taul is still at CUB serving as an administrative assistant to the Commercial Loans Department.
“People see that employees have been at CUB so long, and they think that there must be something good going on here or employees wouldn’t stay so long,” says Taul, who’s one of many employees who have 20, 30 and 40-plus years of tenure.
Taul says that seasoned employees at CUB provide customers with a sense of stability and security during mergers, acquisitions, and turbulent financial markets.
“The customers want to recognize people,” Taul says. “They don’t want to see only new faces every time.”
Taul says CUB fosters a very strong sense of employee loyalty because the bank also demonstrates respect and loyalty toward its staff.
She gives an example of when her daughter, Kimberly, had a very bad case of the chicken pox in second grade and had to stay home from school for 14 days.
“I was off two weeks taking care of her and I never felt stressed about work,” Taul, a single mother, says. “I didn’t worry that my job wouldn’t be there when I got back. My boss said family comes first and I could make up the time later.”
Standing by its employees
Lucy Harp, vice president of accounting at CUB, has a similar story of CUB’s loyalty to her during a difficult life experience.
“I had cancer and they were so good to me,” says Harp, 61, who has worked at the bank for 40 years. “Some days I could only make it in for half a day and that was okay.”
Harp says that CUB’s secret to retaining employees is finding ways to leverage each employee’s skills and adjusting job positions over time.
“It’s a good place to work because they try to fit you to the right job,” Harp says. “One of my jobs outgrew me because of technology so they moved me into accounting and I love it!”
“We are a team, we are a family, and we help each other,” Harp says. “We don’t say, ‘That’s not my job. That’s not my area.’ This is my love, this is what I love to do. I have the greatest boss. He always takes time. If he says ‘I’ll get right back to you,’ he does.”
One for all and all for one
Seventy-year-old Wilana Roberts, who has worked at CUB for 43 years, serves as the executive administrative assistant and assistant vice president for the executive leadership team.
“I feel like I’m respected by the executives and all the employees and customers,” Roberts says. “I think it’s because I have a good attitude and am willing to take on anything they give me. A good attitude is key.”
Roberts says CUB has always had a flexible hierarchy in which executives and leaders are willing to roll up their sleeves and work for the good of the whole.
“Everyone asks me when I am going to retire and I always say, ‘well, you never know. I just might up and surprise you one day,’” Roberts says laughing.
Retirement on the horizon
Wanda Dunavent, 64, was not quite 19 years old when she accepted a position at First Farmers’ Bank in Owenton, Kentucky, which was acquired by CUB in March. She plans to retire some time toward the end of 2017.
“My boss asked if I could stay until the end of the year to help with the transition,” Dunavent says. “He wants our customers to see me and know that things after the acquisition by CUB are going to be just fine.”
Dunavent says, “I’ve worked with some really, really wonderful people. They’re really like family. I’m going to miss that.”
Dunavent says that she’s watched the bank over the years work to be profitable for shareholders and also spread that profitability around to employees.
Dunavent added “Just because I’m older, I have never felt not valued at CUB. I know it isn’t that way at a lot of other places. I’ve always been treated with the utmost respect.”
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