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By Bridget McCrea December 1, 2023

Leading With Humility

When MainStreet Bank in Fairfax, Va., rolled out its Miracles on MainStreet program in 2023, it gave the $2 billion- asset community bank’s employees a new way to give back to their neighbors. The program gives the bank’s 190 associates $1,000 each to contribute to their chosen charitable organization or individual in need, as well as eight hours of paid time off to volunteer.

Marc Batchelor, SVP for credit administration, donated his $1,000 to his son’s school and also volunteered to help with student eye and hearing exams there. It garnered the attention of two more team members who also decided to give their $1,000 donations to the school. “Miracles on Main Street has really ignited my group,” Batchelor says. “Soon, my $1,000 donation from the bank turned into $3,000.”

Batchelor especially likes MainStreet Bank has inspired him to become even more involved as a parent. “This is one of the best places I’ve ever worked; it really is,” says Batchelor, who also likes the open lines of communication that run across the entire community bank. “I never feel like I have to stifle or be guarded with my communication. I always feel like I can speak very candidly.”

Addressing emerging needs

Employees’ glowing feedback about this and other initiatives resulted in MainStreet Bank being named one of the Best Community Banks to Work for 2023. Founded in 2004 and led by chairman and CEO Jeff Dick, the bank takes its role as an employer and community pillar seriously. It has a Community Committee that recently organized a successful food drive for the Arlington Food Assistance Center; it offers flexible work arrangements that were in place pre-pandemic; and it is always looking for new ways to address emerging needs.

“About a year and half ago, when gas prices were spiking, the bank gave out gift cards to all employees to ease the financial pressure,” recalls Debra Cope, EVP and chief corporate communications officer. Cope credits the bank’s “down to earth” leadership approach with helping to create a workplace where people want to come to work, serve customers as a collaborative team and give back to the surrounding community.

They lead with humility and with a very unpretentious style. That’s the tone from the top, and it’s one of the things that makes MainStreet Bank such a great place.

– Debra Cope, MainStreet Bank

Adding some cheer

Trish Smith, EVP of human resources, says she joined MainStreet Bank after meeting its CEO and seeing just how employee- and culture focused the organization was. One of the first things she did was set up a Cheer Committee. “That’s one of my babies,” she says. The committee includes representation from various departments and finds team members getting together monthly for cookouts, wearing their favorite teams’ jerseys to work or enjoying an ice cream cone from a food truck.

The Cheer Committee also holds “Snack Chats,” where associates get time away from their desks to enjoy a snack, fellowship and fun. “We also try to do one virtual event monthly, with bingo being the most popular,” says Smith, who is looking forward to closing out 2023 with the bank’s “12 Days of Cheer” event, which includes activities like holiday ornament decorating and an ugly sweater day.

Looking ahead, Smith plans to continue building out the Miracles on MainStreet program and says the bank is in the early stages of putting together a diversity equity and inclusion (DE&I) council. “We’re getting feedback from our staff on that right now, and we have a third party doing some assessment work with a survey,” says Smith. “We’ll continue working on that next year.”

Posted with permission from Independent Community Bankers of America independentbanker.org.
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