I sat enjoying a glass of wine with Wells Fargo Bank Executive Vice President George Larribas in the Phoenix Ritz-Carlton bar after a long day of meetings at an annual Wells Fargo internal event. We discussed business in general and solving all the problems in the world. (Just a light chat, really—ha!)
As other members of this annual gathering trickled in after the breakout sessions, Larribas would casually mention something about each employee, giving me fodder for my speech the next day.
One thing began to stand out and catch my attention—the longevity of many of these particular employees within this division of the Wells Fargo organization. "He has been with the company over 30 years. I have been working with her for 17 years." And the list went on.
Longevity with a company is not something you hear about anymore. Instead, we are now a workforce of nomads, jumping from one job to another as opportunities arise. I speculate that much of that movement is spurred by the lack of company loyalty to employees.
Larribas himself has been with Wells Fargo Bank for more than 24 years. He oversees 850 customer-service professionals, delivering service and support to business entities that have relationships with Wells Fargo.
According to Larribas, Wells Fargo has a long-standing culture of supporting and developing its team members, along with giving back to the communities in which these team members live and work. Life and work balance is stressed as an important philosophy within Wells Fargo, something unheard of with many large corporations in these economic times.
Within Larribas’s part of the Wells Fargo organization there are:
- five team members with 40-plus years
- 51 team members with 30-plus years
- 133 team members with 20-plus years
So how do you create the same loyalty within your organization? Larribas listed these leadership tenets:
1. Value the contributions your team members make towards the success of your company.
2. Listen to your team members’ ideas and take action on those ideas to help improve and streamline activities to support your customer base.
3. Ask for help. "When I was a new manager," said Larribas, "I thought I needed to know all the answers. When I came to realize that great leaders listen to others and utilize their professional network to obtain help, this was a defining moment for me. No matter what level you are at, we all need help and we should embrace the help of others. There are so many people willing to help."
4. Celebrate success openly and loudly!
When asked for a final statement to sum up his success and that of his team and Wells Fargo Bank, Larribas replied, "Today’s ‘wow’ is tomorrow’s expectation."
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