Vernon Bryant, Chairman and CEO of Southwest Bank, and a Dale Carnegie graduate from 1993, told me that his people have been the key factor to their growth and success.  Southwest Bank, which was formed through acquisitions in 2007, has grown over 10X from it’s initial capitalization.  Mr. Bryant has done a lot of things right, and he told me that hiring and retaining the best team, and maintaining a strong culture, are the most important contributors to their success.

There are a frightening number of leaders that leave “culture” and “organizational development” to their HR or training departments, assuming that the “people” side of the business will be dealt with as needed, and they can’t carve out time for the “soft” areas of the business.

They miss that these factors directly affect profitability, most notably in reducing employee turnover.

As an example, Southwest Bank’s turnover at the teller level is 10%, compared to the industry average of 17%.  According to a CAP Study, when front-line team members leave, it costs the company 16-20% of the annual salary of that position.  Southwest Bank is absolutely and undeniably more profitable as a result of their lower than average turnover.

Here are 3 ways that Mr. Bryant takes the temperature within his organization to ensure that a culture of retention continues as they grow:

  1. Annual “culture” assessment to identify problem areas/managers.
  2. Individual hiring assessments to determine if a person will fit well into a role, and into the culture of the organization.
  3. 360 assessments for existing leaders to ensure that key team members continue to improve their leadership skills.

The great things about assessments is that they can be summarized in concise, usable reports that leaders can use to make immediate decisions.  If you want to take the temperature of your organization, call us at 972-702-9664, and we can talk about how our assessments can help you increase profitability.

Posted by Ryan M. Akins

Investor, Entrepreneur, Listener and Learner. Ryan currently serves as Regional President of Dale Carnegie for the North Texas region. He graduated from The Dale Carnegie Course in 2011.

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