Best Banks to Work For 2021

The following article originally appeared on November 8th on AmericanBanker.com.

Good employees are hard to find — and keep.

Competition for talent has been intense, and worker shortages are expected to persist in years to come as Baby Boomers retire.

This year, American Banker asked executives at the 90 banks that earned a spot in the annual Best Banks to Work For ranking how they’re handling challenges associated with hiring and retaining talent. Many highlighted internal development programs for employees, increased 401(k) matches or remote working arrangements. Some talked about changing the ways they’ve been looking for talent, expanding the search outside their footprint now that they are offering remote working and seeking new skill sets and backgrounds instead of focusing on bank experience.

The chief executives at the Best Banks also emphasized the importance of making employees feel valued and shared some creative ways that they’ve been making that happen.

At the $4.3 billion-asset Community Bank in Brandon, Mississippi, there are both small and large gestures of appreciation. Employees are treated to surprise doughnut deliveries and visits from taco trucks. The bank also offers every employee a clothing allowance, full reimbursement for undergraduate college courses and stock ownership in the bank.

If the Best Banks ask employees for extra effort, there is generally some extra effort from the bank in return to offset the stress that can create. BankPlus was in the midst of overhauling its core operating system when the pandemic hit. So it treated operations center employees to gourmet lunches and dinners every day. It also aimed to provide additional encouragement in the form of surprise deliveries of coffee, snow cones, ice cream and entertainment.

“A challenging project that could have potentially damaged morale became a true team-building event,” said William Ray, president and chief executive at the $5 billion-asset BankPlus in Ridgeland, Mississippi.

Fifteen EPCOR members ranked among the Best Banks to Work For 2021. Congratulations to the following:

5. Nebraskaland National Bank in North Platte, Nebraska
16. FNBC Bank in Ash Flat, Arkansas
20. United Community Bank of West Kentucky in Morganfield, Kentucky
23. Independence Bank in Owensboro, Kentucky
24. First Internet Bank in Fishers, Indiana
57. Heartland Bank in Geneva, Nebraska
58. Marquette Savings Bank in Erie, Pennsylvania
59. Enterprise Bank & Trust in St. Louis, Missouri
64. Stock Yards Bank & Trust in Louisville, Kentucky
65. Guaranty Bank in Springfield, Missouri
67. Peoples Bank in Marietta, Ohio
68. Kentucky Farmers Bank in Ashland, Kentucky
71. First Bank & Trust Co. in Duncan, Oklahoma
77. First Busey Corp. in Champaign, Illinois
86. Civista Bank in Sandusky, Ohio

Click here to view the full article, see all 90 banks that earned a spot in the Best Banks ranking for 2021 and get insight into their hiring and retention strategies.

The banks were also ranked by asset size:

Source: American Banker