Bank Iowa Empowers Team Members to Deliver Best Possible Client Experience

January 13, 2020


Iowa’s second-largest family owned bank articulates purpose for 278 team members across the state of Iowa


Earlier this month, Bank Iowa announced its new purpose statement: Empower people. Inspire success. Foster growth. The newly articulated purpose comes on the heels of the recent Gallup study showing more than a third of millennial workers agree that understanding a company’s purpose makes them feel connected to their job.


In April 2019, Bank Iowa team members participated in the Gallup Q12 engagement survey. A series of 12 questions measured the team members’ level of engagement with the company. The response showed that almost 25 percent of team members did not feel connected with the company’s purpose.


“Bank Iowa’s purpose has always existed, whether it was articulated or not,” said Bank Iowa CEO Jim Plagge. “Our purpose, vision and values inspire greatness in our most important asset – our team members.”


After developing the purpose statement, Bank Iowa leaders wanted to captivate team members with the new message and be intentional about conveying the importance of the purpose. Bank Iowa’s marketing team created a direct mail piece that plays a video on a small, digital screen when opened. The video, which can be viewed on the bank’s YouTube channel, explained how each individual can live out the purpose within the workplace, as well as in their communities. The video mailer was sent to all 278 team member’s homes to provide spouses and children a chance to understand the bank’s purpose, as well.


Leaders at Bank Iowa are increasingly aware of the generational shift in the workplace, and the need to adapt as millennials and younger generations become a part of the work force. According to Gallup, millennials make up 38 percent of the U.S. workforce. Not only that, 40 percent of working millennials seek out an organization with a strong purpose that they can personally connect to.


Thirty-two percent of current Bank Iowa team members are millennials, making it the second largest generation employed at the bank just behind the Generation X.


“Most professionals, but particularly younger generations, are drawn to careers that allow them to make a difference,” said Kate Wolfe, the bank’s chief administration officer and human resources director. “A clearly stated and consistently supported purpose helps our team members see how they are part of something bigger than themselves.”


Bank Iowa’s purpose is not only intended to serve as internal motivation; it is also a vow to fulfill promises made to the bank’s clients and communities. More than 30 percent of Bank Iowa’s clients were born after 1981, and this is the fastest growing segment of new bank clients. Younger generations consistently report they prefer to associate with businesses or organizations that have a clear purpose.


Bank Iowa’s purpose will be the foundation of future branding efforts. The bank’s team members and clients play a huge role in telling the organization’s story across the state and will be the main focal point of bank messaging and the bank brand’s promise moving forward.