“Bill Ray has been at the bank 33 years, and I’ve been here 34, and probably we would both say it’s the best partnership we’ve had.” – Gee Gee Patridge, BankPlus Chief Operations Officer, referring to The Pacific Institute – BankPlus relationship.
BankPlus® is a full service financial institution, that has total assets of more than $2.7 billion, with 57 locations in 33 Mississippi communities.
Through their intentional steps to optimize their work culture, the BankPlus organization has experienced dramatic increases in revenue and performance metrics – resulting in their most profitable quarter in bank history.
In 2015, the BankPlus senior leadership team, led by CEO Bill Ray, looked to take the organization from “good to great.” The bank was coming out of the recession, and strategically wanted to focus on returning to high performance. To the team, this meant being within the top 25% return on equity (ROE) of their peer group. BankPlus also set out to reduce their efficiency ratio, which had consistently been higher than that of their peers. With these as their main goals, the senior executive officers approached Human Resources and gave them the task of finding a company that could help them achieve this objective.
Initially, the focus was to develop the sales and production departments within the bank – to grow the bank through increased, better quality loans. The Director of Human Resources had narrowed down the search to two vendors who specialized in sales training, until they heard about The Pacific Institute®. Through a strategic consultant, BankPlus found another bank that, in partnership with The Pacific Institute, had been extremely successful in growing their organization. So, The Pacific Institute came on site for an assessment to identify target growth areas, thus beginning their business relationship.
After the senior management team went through a three-day TPI HeadCoach® training, they realized the information was so valuable, they didn’t want to limit its delivery to just the production group.
BankPlus proceeded to roll-out the Thought Patterns for High Performance® curriculum to all of its 850+ employees; from management through to the front line tellers.
In 2016, the production group (consisting of commercial lending, commercial real estate, private banking and wealth management) also began The Selling Mindset™ - a program that’s designed to develop the mindset, beliefs and skills of a sales professional. This uncovered limiting beliefs within the sales team, that were holding them back from maximized performance, including the belief that it was the bank’s responsibility to make the phone ring with leads.
As they began the process and started moving towards a new sales culture, the team felt some push-back and resistance. But, The Pacific Institute® helped guide the organization through the period of transition and began to develop new patterns of thought.
The implementation process consisted of bringing employees from different areas of the bank to work with one another. By interacting with team members that they did not normally interact with, it helped to build communication and comradery across the lines of business within the bank. This strategy played a key role in bringing awareness to each team member of the role they each play in the organizational structure, resulting in effective cross-selling and increased familiarity with the bank’s products and services. Joint sales calls have become commonplace, where they were a rarity before. BankPlus customers now get to meet more than one officer with the bank, truly making them customers of the whole organization.
This constructive culture is implemented on all levels, in all facets of the business. BankPlus managers are now challenged to manage in a way that utilizes The Pacific Institute’s concepts. Each weekly meeting begins by reviewing the vision, values, and mission statement. This reinforcement has driven ownership and pride amongst the teams. An Empowerment Initiative has been created within the organization, to help empower employees with a sense of accountability and ownership around the bank’s strategic goals, as well as build the belief in the employee’s ability to execute on the desired goals.
The results of their efforts have been impressive. The partnership with The Pacific Institute began in 2015, and since then, the projected savings and additional fees collected have increased significantly.
The bank has also seen their origination fees increase. In one group, from January – June in 2016, origination fees were $29,000, but from January – June in 2017, they rocketed to $138,000. Coupled with a loan growth increase of 18.3% year over year, this tremendous growth can be attributed to the private bankers’ shift in mindset that they were no longer a “free bank” and an understanding of how they have a positive effect on the numbers. Gabe Baldwin, President – BankPlus Mortgage Center and Director of Business Development/Private Client Group, states, “We were able to go in and look at the fee structure and price competitively with the market. We’re not the most expensive by any stretch. So, coming up a little bit has had a big effect on our bottom line. We would have never been able to accomplish this had our employees not been through this mindset training - learning how to think through things, set goals and understand that process. Each employee learned how to set goals and set their career path. They also learned what sustainable change is. You can change anything for a short period of time, but they learned how to commit to processes that make change last, so it’s been a huge advantage for us.”
- Easier to communicate new strategies and get buy-in vs. resistance to change
- Shift in sales mindset - more ownership and accountability for sales outreach
- Letting go of old outdated practices
- Production team has more ownership and is more outward focused
- Increased awareness to sales opportunities outside of work
- Maximizing return on investment from sponsorship opportunities
- Reduction of silos - opened awareness through interdepartmental collaboration
- Increased interactions and cross selling
- Employee celebrations when the results are achieved
- Co-accountability to the bank’s mission
- Meetings are run differently – “Think Sessions” were created where team members can
collaborate and participate
- Leadership and staff communication is more transparent
- Permission to challenge one another towards growth is part of the culture
To communicate, align and sustain the culture and TPI concepts, requires ongoing effort and
dedication. CEO, Bill Ray, has committed to traveling to all BankPlus locations communicating
the message, the vision, and letting the employees know that what they are saying is being heard. Before every meeting that Ray opens, he refers to TPI concepts, and shares the progress the teams are making due to these initiatives, and how each person’s role fits into the bigger picture – reinforcing how each individual matters in accomplishing corporate goals.
With ambitious strategic goals, including the reduction of the bank’s efficiency ratio to under 60%, the team has embraced the journey that lays before them.
In September 2017, all managers will attend a one-day TPI refresher – over 750 people.
Gee Gee Patridge, BankPlus Chief Operations Officer, stated, “We realize if we don’t sustain it, the processes and practices that we’ve learned through Thought Patterns with The Pacific Institute®, we will lose it. Our employees are really excited. We told them we made a commitment to it, but they are seeing that we truly are... It’s (the training) being honed and made applicable to the vision, values and culture at BankPlus so that we are all reinforcing the behavior that we want. It’s really helped us turn the corner.”