Best Places to Work Honoree 2022

Organization Name: The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod
Address: 25 Benjamin Franklin Way Hyannis, MA 02601
Phone: (508) 568-3328
Describe in detail the culture of the company and a recent experience supporting that.
What makes The Coop extraordinary? An authentic passion for our people that we demonstrate every day through unique and rewarding programs like people-centric and transparent corporate communications; generous and fun peer-to-peer recognition and rewards programs that celebrate our corporate values and create a recognition-rich culture; rapport building leadership training; dynamic opportunities for career growth; and interesting opportunities for participation in cross-functional project teams and innovation initiatives. Our employees consistently describe our culture as a community, inclusive, friendly, collaborative, and caring environment. In 2021, the Bank launched its 100th Anniversary celebration which was a year-long celebration of our history, clients, and employees that included a family-oriented carnival celebration for employees and their families and an opportunity to help direct a portion $100,000 in community giving.
Has the company/organization offered rewards or incentives for great customer service or a positive employee attitude?
Our culture of recognition is demonstrated every day through our multiple recognition programs that acknowledge exceptional customer service, and positive collaboration and recognize employees for going above and beyond. Our popular peer-to-peer recognition program empowers employees to acknowledge colleagues and grant points for their assistance, performance, and unique contributions. Points are redeemed for an extensive offering of online gift cards or highly valued paid time off. Each week our CEO personally acknowledges outstanding employees during her bank-wide video call. In addition, we host an Annual Employee Celebration that is a night of recognition and inspiration. In 2021 we held a very celebratory and creative virtual event during which employees were recognized by their leaders and peers, with more than 50 award winners being celebrated that night. Among the awards presented, we recognized Unsung Heroes, Good Community Citizens, Business Partners, and employee-voted award winners who demonstrate the Bank’s core values.
Does the organization offer training for levels of advancement? Is there room for growth?
The Bank consistently provides virtual on-demand training, and instructor-led training through our in-house department and supports many employees’ continuing education through our Tuition Assistance Program, which provides funding for Bachelor’s, Master's, and Doctoral coursework. Our Leadership Development Program, Leading the Way, provides a three-year learning experience for emerging leaders that encompasses key leadership skills, group projects, and meaningful exposure to experienced leaders across the organization. Growth opportunities are routinely available for employees interested in expanding their careers, with opportunities to shadow other departments as requested.
Does this organization promote from within, or hire outside when looking for employees?
The Coop has a long history of promoting from within! Position openings are publicized internally for employee consideration, and our internal interest in career expansion is very active. On average, each year 20% of the Bank’s employees expand their banking careers through promotion, internal transfer, or Officer appointments.
Provide an example of how this organization has recently gone above and beyond for an employee, team or client/customer.

Every day we demonstrate our commitment to our colleagues by providing an exceptional experience and an environment of mutual respect where each individual is appreciated. Banks are known for their comprehensive benefit programs and we’re no exception to that. We provide a variety of options and tiers for health, dental, and vision insurance; bank-paid life, short term and long term disability insurance; tuition assistance for Undergraduate and Graduate degree programs; a monthly daycare subsidy; bank-sponsored opportunities for community involvement; and a 5% employer 401(k) match. Our engaging wellness program provides each employee with a Fitbit, an onsite fitness facility, an online wellness portal, corporate discounts at local yoga and spin studios, engaging competitive team challenges focused on physical fitness, healthy eating, mind-body-spirit, and financial wellness.
An example of how we’ve gone above and beyond has been our commitment to our employees during the pandemic. In March 2020 we quickly implemented pandemic mitigation programs and policies to ensure the safety of our employees and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Paid leave programs were provided to assist employees with illness and childcare issues. In addition, when our retail branches had limited hours and lobby closures, we compensated employees working onsite at 1.5 their regular rate of pay; and provided full pay even when they did not work their regularly scheduled hours each week. We worked with each individual employee that had scheduling issues or concerns due to childcare or school closures to ensure all employees could balance work and family commitments. Our Wellness program offerings were greatly expanded to include new mental well-being resources, webinars, and services and we continue to offer full reimbursement for meditation apps that support employees’ overall well-being. Several programs initiated during the pandemic, such as our expanded wellness offerings and remote work arrangements have become standard elements of working at The Coop.

Communication is key, how effective is the organization at communication with their employees and/or client/customer? *

Thorough, timely, and transparent communication is valued and prioritized at the Bank. Employees receive up to the minute communication through our bank-wide intranet, visible online and through a mobile app 24/7. Our CEO holds a weekly virtual meeting with all employees to personally connect and communicate with all employees. "Lisa's Friday Connection Meeting" held each Friday morning is very popular and a great way for employees to hear the latest news, celebrate successes, and connect. Through routine surveys, our employees have consistently reported feeling well-informed about important decisions at the Bank, and have noted the Bank encourages new ideas and different points of view. Managers have regular 1:1 meetings and team meetings where ideas are exchanged, issues are resolved and contributions are recognized.
Through video, we have been able to educate and communicate with customers throughout the past several years, especially during the pandemic. We found it important to send out important messages to the community, clients, and even our employees. These videos have received over 300K views over the past 2 years, including our “It’s Time to reCOOP” video. This communication appeals to our clients and the broader community to reCOOP their lives, businesses, and life on Cape Cod as we entered the summer of 2020 after the intense changes we all experienced. When we welcomed employees back to a more regular schedule and to HQ, the Senior Leadership team made a lip-dub video for employees to the tune of Pharrell’s “Happy”, communicating how happy the team was to welcome back all employees and the joy of seeing everyone’s faces in person again.
We have also launched the Business sCOOP, a Question and Answer video series designed to provide local businesses, nonprofits, and entrepreneurs with critical financial information and insight to succeed in the region’s unique economy. Each installment offers access to the bank’s subject matter experts and special guests, who address a range of topics pertinent to business and financial best practices. We launched this video series in March and plan to add more videos in the future.

In what ways does the organization give back to their community? Please provide an example.

As a community bank, it’s our mission to support our community, and giving back to the communities where we live, work, and play has been at the heart of everything we do. In 2018, the bank launched The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod Charitable Foundation Trust, doubling the number of donations we are able to give annually. Over the last two years, we have increased our giving by over 50% in order to meet the essential needs of our community. While everyone suffered from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Cape was hit especially hard and most of the challenges already affecting year-round residents were exacerbated by the mass exodus out of cities to places like Cape Cod. One of the aspects of the Cape that is so special is how the community comes together to support each other in times of need, and the last two years are no exception. We immediately released an additional $200,000 to local nonprofits that were directly helping those impacted by the pandemic. $150,000 was disbursed to community health centers, the United Way, the hospital, and the local housing authority; the remaining $50,000 was reserved for micro-grants to smaller nonprofits. Last year, in celebration of the bank’s 100th anniversary, we released another $100,000 to 34 nonprofit organizations working to alleviate challenges around housing, social justice, financial literacy, and ongoing Covid health impacts.
In addition to our financial giving, our employees donate hundreds of hours of volunteer service to local organizations. Our employees aren’t just bankers, they’re community bankers. And they’re passionate about it. They live in the same neighborhoods as our customers, send their children to the same schools, and face many of the same issues. They embrace volunteerism with fervor. Our team includes board members of numerous charitable groups, weekend builders for Habitat for Humanity, leaders of Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, and volunteers with countless non-profit organizations. They support the arts, veterans, natural resources, our children, families, and seniors. They genuinely want to make our communities better.
Through these efforts by the bank, the foundation, and our employees, we support over 100 nonprofits every year.

Are you actively hiring/recruiting outside your organization?