APA Center for Organizational Excellence: Best Practice Honoree

The Awards

Checking Employee Stress at the Door

Illinois – In 2009, Leaders Bank redesigned the employee stress management program it had developed and implemented in 2006, as staff shared the stress they were feeling over the economy. By focusing on employee well-being, the bank has been able to attract and retain a high quality professional staff that is well equipped to provide the personal service its customers expect.

As the ramifications of the economic downturn weighed heavily on employees, team leaders reported the need for an organizational response. A comprehensive Adapting to Change and Effective Stress Management program was motivated from the ground up and endorsed by senior management. The objectives of the training program include understanding the functional components of change, examining the effects of stress, and learning and practicing techniques for effective coping during periods of significant change.

Employees are taught specific methods for recognizing the early warning signs of stress and how to implement prevention and stress management interventions. Follow-up training sessions and EAP services are also made available. The design of the program is tailored to each employee group, so that sales personnel navigating relationships with customers and backroom operations workers managing productivity and deadline pressures have custom-tailored workshops designed to meet their specific needs.

The stress management program is a natural outgrowth of Leaders Bank’s long-term commitment to wellness throughout the organization. Anchored in this philosophy and practice, the bank’s culture remains resilient during difficult times and strong during cycles of growth.

"Winning this award has validated the hard work all our staff put into their work every day. In an industry that has high staff burnout and turnover and is usually in the press for failing, Green Chimneys strives to change that paradigm. We celebrate our successes and learn from our failures."

Joseph A. Whalen
Executive Director
Green Chimneys