Achieving – and Continuing – Our Quest to be an Employer of Excellence

11/09/21 / Anita Drentlaw

Even prior to COVID-19, the competition for team members who can serve our customers to our high standards was intense. That competition has intensified as many people re-evaluated their career priorities and employment desires during the pandemic. Businesses everywhere are extremely short staffed, to the point of affecting their operations.  

Like many small businesses, New Market Bank doesn’t have pockets as deep as big corporations that can offer top dollar to lure someone to work for them. We need to be creative and leverage our strengths as a family-owned, community bank to compete for team members just like we do for customers. We have spent years intentionally cultivating a workplace that is attractive to potential team members, helping them feel valued day-in and day-out. 

We know our strength lies in our relationships with our communities, our customers and our team members. We strive to create a company culture and atmosphere in each of three locations that feel like family. There is camaraderie and familiarity. There is mutual respect. There is commitment to helping resolve problems. 

We also know many prospective team members, especially those who were born and raised in the area, appreciate our support and involvement in our local communities. New Market Bank invests in our communities through participation in local civic and business organizations and our “Giving Back to the Community Program,” which in 2020 totaled nearly $30,000.

Many prospective team members find us because we’re close to home. While there are certainly many people who aspire to climb the corporate ladder, we’re finding more and more people who value short commutes, free parking and a more flexible, laid-back workplace. That’s what they’ll find at many small businesses. 

In addition to the less tangible benefits to team members, we’ve worked hard to develop and refine our training program to help employees grasp daily responsibilities as well as the priority we place on relationships and mutual respect. We offer a Health Savings Account that is matched 1:1 up to $1,000 for the employee and $2,000 for family. Our Personal Time Off (PTO benefits) including regular PTO, Purchased PTO and a PTO Donation Bank, which can help team members in need.

These practices have paid off. We have 8 team members who have been with us for 10 years or more. The Dakota-Scott Workforce Development Board also recently named New Market Bank one of 10 Employers of Excellence for 2021, based on the results of a 40-question survey of our employee retention, compensation and training practices.

I’m extremely proud of this award because it reflects the results of years of intentional planning and hard work. It indicates our team members approve of our hiring and training practices and appreciate the culture we’ve nurtured for more than 100 years. 

We also need to continue to refine our offering for potential team members to remain competitive. What people seek in a potential employer today will change in time. We will continue to listen to our employees, adapt our processes and focus on our uniqueness as a family-owned community bank.