A common question asked by many outside the organization, “how does Stearns Bank perform so well year after year?” Many people wonder how Stearns Bank consistently remains a high performing banking company, especially when coupled with significant growth. This phenomenon is rare whereby many high performing banks achieve such success at the price of growth.
As in the case of most high performing companies, it is the people that achieve the results. But the environment of Stearns Bank mirrors the values and beliefs of the chief executive officer, Norman C. Skalicky. Under Norm’s leadership, the company has grown from a small rural bank to a very aggressive profit oriented commercial banking company utilizing a keen appreciation for risk and reward. It is Norm’s style that has developed through the entire organization, and it is his style that has become the culture of the company.
Certain values found in small banking companies, continues to be a significant part of the Stearns Bank culture. Communication is open, verbal and often. Rarely does Stearns Bank communicate with its employees through formal memorandums or formal meetings, but relies heavily on open discussions and two-way interaction. Effective listening and the respect for each other are requirements for success with the bank. Caring for others is a common thread throughout the entire organization. The bank is constantly evolving, and relies on the gathering of the employees’ ideas and opinions in order to achieve its aggressive goals and objectives. Its dedication to a team or family orientation is built on the premise that the result from the efforts of several supersedes the result of one acting alone.
Employees who enjoy working at Stearns Bank are assertive, creative, and intelligent, and rely heavily on the use of common sense. Being proactive is a necessity to partaking in the enjoyment of careering with the company. With its open communicative style, coupled with its high “sense of urgency” mentality, the work environment is highly stimulating, challenging and rewarding. On the other hand, little time is available for idleness, petty politics and procrastination.
New employees coming from formally structured companies find Stearns Bank very different in its mode of operation. At Stearns Bank much attention is afforded to each employee by senior management and co-workers. Support is available to all, because management believes that employees are most effective when they know management cares.
Stearns Bank is an evolving institution that will probably never arrive. The Bank constantly strives to improve, develop and expand its operations. The efforts and interaction of its employees, customers, and peers have become the foundation for which the bank will build its future.