You’ve probably heard of a company’s mission and vision statement, but have you heard about its core values? Core values are the root beliefs of an organization and a model for which they plan to operate. They are the organization’s identity, serving as the North Star for your team’s daily activities and decisions.
While you may expect to primarily see C-level executives executing the core values of their organization effectively, it is crucial that companies train their employees and engrain the core values across the entire organization. FNBC–a $600 million bank in North Arkansas–used storytelling as a training and motivational vehicle, resulting in a video book of meaningful stories that reflect the bank’s core values.
Thoma helped the FNBC Brand Council to tell effective stories, and equipped them to share this training across the entire bank using a story-building model that facilitates developing an anecdote into a powerful story that conveys the power of lived core values.
Once training was completed, FNBC executives and Brand Council members challenged their teammates to share the stories of themselves or others living out the core values of FNBC at work. Select stories were shared by the bank President and CEO, Marty Sellars, and all were compiled into a video book.
One particularly compelling story was that of an FNBC banker’s experience with a struggling father. His wife was battling cancer at the time and he had young children to care for. He was behind on the money he owed the bank; yet, he went in, reached into his wallet, and pulled out everything he had to hand over to the bank president. The banker chose to take this opportunity to ask the man how his kids were doing at home, and then continued to ask if they had groceries. The father responded that things were thin but they were making it. The banker went a step further and counted out $100 from what he had just been given to pay on the loan and passed it back to the father. He said, “Go get your kids some groceries. When you have more money, our bank will still be here.”
In this scenario, the banker went above and beyond his calling in the workplace, and it drove home the bank’s core value of “servant leadership in relationship.” He showed his customer that the bank will always support him, even through life’s biggest struggles.
While not every bank may have the opportunity or authority to give a customer their money back, the story underscores the bank’s values: it’s the principle of how you treat your customers that truly matters. Asking about their day, their life events, their families, allows you to build an undeniable relationship that will continue to flourish with time.
Generating a treasure trove of stories across your organization can be a powerful tool for building culture. If you are looking for a way to tell your story, and if you’re interested in the power of story inside the organization, consider a discussion with Thoma’s brand leadership development experts.