Best Community Banks to Work For in 2021

As the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) ranks their top banks to work for, we look at what makes a great workplace

It’s no secret that happy employees make for better workplaces. As organizations of all sizes compete for talent amid the Great Resignation, good employee experience is the primary way banks are building a talented workforce. In community banking, a new ranking shows those efforts are bearing fruit.

Ask any community banker and they’ll say that it’s their people who make a difference. In fact, one of their most important commitments to their community is cultivating strong workplace culture – providing competitive salaries, first-class benefits and signature perks to make employees feel valued and important.

How each bank lives their purpose may be slightly different, but each of this year’s Best Banks to Work For demonstrate a commitment to creating exceptional work environments where their employees can thrive.  

Key Community Bank ($80 million) in Inver Grove Heights, MN

With a singular branch and 13 employees, Key Community Bank is an exemplar of community banking culture. As a tight-knit group, they value open communication among all employees and lean on transparency and employee empowerment to match people to jobs that play to their strengths. This paid off in dividends when the whole bank had to quickly navigate the Paycheck Protection Program.

First Federal Savings & Loan ($325 million) in Pascagoula, MI

In addition to fostering a strong sense of purpose in their business, First Federal Savings & Loan bank prides itself on developing the skills of all of its employees. This community bank encourages bankers to network with other bankers and attends professional development conferences, so the bank is always growing and retaining skilled talent.

Mauch Chunk Trust Co. ($578 million) in Jim Thorpe, PA

Mauch Chunk checks all the boxes; in addition to cultivating a positive work environment and supporting their community, they have a strong communications culture, leveraging social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to engage with their customers and communities. Not only are they posting about community service and charity donations, but they also prioritize financial literacy and education and customer safety and security.

Community National Bank & Trust of Texas ($968 million) in Corsicana, TX

Another strong communicator via social media, Community National Bank & Trust of Texas uses all of their channels, but especially YouTube exceptionally well. Their video channel spotlights helpful, instructional content that teaches people how to use digital banking features like mobile deposit and online funds transfer and even included a very timely video on how to navigate the Paycheck Protection Program in April of 2020.

First State Bank ($1.5 billion) in Gainesville, TX

First State Bank has probably done the most to invest in their employees and the community – with literal capital! During the Great Recession in 2008, they provided employees a “summer fun package”– a $150 monthly stipend for four months – to ease the financial burden during difficult economic times.  In the earliest days of the pandemic shutdowns and during the long hours of PPP processing, the bank ordered meals for all 300 employees from local restaurants – which also provided much-needed income to those local businesses.