We often talk about how Litchfield Bancorp is “locally owned and locally grown,” and it’s the truth! For more than 165 years, we’ve been here helping businesses, individuals, and community organizations succeed.
We pride ourselves on being community minded. Our small town roots keep us grounded and in touch with our customers. We’re drawn to community banking in part because of the inherent opportunity it provides to build good relationships with a wide variety of folks.
But we don’t just wait for people to walk in the door. You find us shopping at local stores, coaching Little League games, serving as elected officials, and volunteering throughout the county.
Maybe you think this type of attitude makes sense for a community bank, but isn’t applicable for your company. But trust me, creating a culture that engages with your community — a culture of caring — is good business no matter what your business may be.
When you make a conscious effort to give back as an organization, it provides a number of benefits.
Raise employee engagement levels — According to a 2014 Gallup poll, the lack of engagement in the workplace is pretty staggering. Less than one third of respondents (31.5%) reported feeling engaged in their work, with 51% disengaged and 18% “actively disengaged.” One way to combat this unhealthy trend is to create opportunity for your organization to give back locally in a serious way. Not everybody can work for an organization with a save-the-world mission, but every organization, every widget producer, can make a tangible difference close to home. Employees who get to participate in efforts like this are far more likely to feel good about their organization and to remain engaged.
Raise the standard of your internal culture — By regularly spending some time face-to-face with people who are less fortunate, with neglected buildings that need attention, with animals that need care, you exercise the muscle of empathy we all have. Lending a hand in an organized way is a bonding experience for those participating. It softens hard edges and reminds people of their good fortune and to be considerate of others. For a company that takes its community commitment seriously, this kind of experience creates a kinder, gentler culture at work. It fosters an atmosphere of openness that allows good ideas to flourish. Again, this is just good business!
Raise your market knowledge — What’s really going on out there? It’s a question marketers and business owners ask themselves constantly. How in touch with your customers are you really? What are their pain points…not just related to your industry, but to their needs as a whole. Being community minded and “out in the field” on a routine basis will help you develop actionable insight — while doing good things to boot! Again, this is really healthy for your business.
Staying grounded, staying in touch with your customers, and fostering empathy are hallmarks of the Litchfield Bancorp culture.
What are you doing to create a culture of caring at your organization? I’d love to hear about it.
Paul A. McLaughlin, Jr
Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer