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The Role of a Chief People Officer in a Community Bank

An organization is only as good as the people that work there.

People are the only strategic advantage that any company has.

I’ve had business owners push back on this before. They’ll say, “But I have the best products,” or “My technology is better than anything else on the market.” I push back and say, “That may be right—but if so, it is because your people made it that way.” The reality for anyone in any business is that people are all we have to be more competitive in the marketplace today.

In my role at Quontic, I’m setting out to create what I call a “destination employer”—that is, a business that understands their people are their greatest asset and that it’s the right thing to do, to invest in your people and make them the best version of themselves that is possible. The more we do that and make people better, the more successful we’ll be and people will be in their own lives.

Quontic has decided people are going to be the main arrow in their quiver to be competitive in the marketplace.

At Quontic, we invest in our employees. We make sure that our people can make a very good living, financially speaking, and we’re committed to developing the capabilities of our employees. On top of that, we’re creating a culture of fun while operating as a high-performance team and a family. In many ways, from a community bank perspective, we’re leaders in the banking industry when it comes to our company culture.

If you know us, you know that setting ourselves apart is basically our M.O. at Quontic. And we always use data to decide on our goals. To become a “destination employer”—the proof and research is clear. There are 5 things people are interested in relative to their employer. When people join a company, it’s because they offer these 5 things. And if people leave, it’s because they don’t.

Meaningful Work

People want to show up to work every day knowing that, by doing so, they’re creating a real difference in people’s lives. It’s part of the employer’s job to help people find that meaning.

At Quontic, our products are solving real problems for people. Our loan officers and our branch staff tend to act as our front lines in this regard, so they see the impact getting a mortgage has on those that have been told “no” everywhere else, but one of the things we’re working on is to help everyone inside the bank understand the role that they’re playing. We need the processors, the underwriters, the closers, the receptionist at the front desk to understand the meaning their job creates for other people.

Environment for Professional and Personal Development

Employees are looking for a place where development—both professional and personal—is encouraged and fostered. These days, there’s no such thing as work-life balance, it’s all about work-life integration. Employees want to make sure they’re in a place where families and personal lives are honored while being offered opportunities to take on additional responsibilities in their job.

A few weeks ago, we launched a new benefit for our employees called Your Money Line. It’s a call line and online hub that our employees can use to get help with all of the personal financial questions they might have. They may have questions like: What should my ideal budget look like? How do I pay down debt faster? Should I take advantage of the student loan deferment program? On the other end, there’s a professional, personal financial expert helping our employees solve big issues, and get a good, well-rounded education in all aspects of their life so they can be fully present at their job.

A job where you can continue to take on new responsibilities that also encourages you to achieve personal goals be they education, fitness, personal finance, or something else entirely is the kind of job you stay at.

Opportunity for Career Advancement

New hires naturally ask: As I grow and develop, how can I take on more responsibility? How do I handle more complex projects and responsibilities?

If you’re joining a company in its initial stages, it’s important to know that you can establish a career for yourself. Talent seeks opportunities for career advancement, and our job is to create a roadmap for our employees to have those opportunities.

And that brings us to our next point.

Clear Expectations

Have you ever walked into a performance review without really knowing what you were going to get from an evaluation perspective?

We’re big believers that job expectations need to be crystal clear. If employees know exactly what’s expected of them, only then can they deliver it. To make this a reality, Quontic puts a huge focus on communication. To us, this means that everyone at our company should know exactly where we’re going, what our priorities are, and what our expectations of employees are within that journey.

Meaningful Relationships

People want to be seen as more than a social security number or employee number. They want to know the business owner knows their name, their kid’s name, and what they’re all about.

When a company can master these five areas, they’ll attract the right talent. The cream is always going to rise to the top, as we like to say. When it comes to hiring, Quontic is on the offense; Even in the midst of the COVID-19 situation, we’re pursuing opportunities to attract top talent. My job as a Chief People Officer is to make sure that we have a steady stream of highly capable professionals joining Quontic, and developing within the bank, so that we can make sure we’ve got the talent to grow the business. Another one of our mottos is: Businesses don’t grow—people do.

At Quontic, we hire first for culture fit, and second for skill fit. We’re looking for folks who work hard and have fun, who aren’t afraid to take risks, and who can showcase their ability to align with our core values. Take the hint. If working for the type of company described above is your dream job, we’re hiring. Send us your resume. Show us what you’ve got.

By Mike Lantz

Get to know our Chief People Officer, Mike Lantz, here.

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