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Our Strong Team Keeps Getting Stronger
At Regions, creating value for all of our stakeholders and achieving top-tier performance depends upon the dedication and strength of more than 23,000 associates. Recruiting, developing and retaining associates to build the best team is a core strategic priority. Today our diverse, inclusive and empowering workplace is attracting some of the strongest talent in the industry. We’re also doing more to invest in our human capital and strengthen engagement across all of the organization’s functional areas and geographies.
From top graduates at leading universities to proven performers from the financial industry, premier talent is choosing a career at Regions because of our unique, compelling culture.
When associates join Regions, they are provided with training and development to quickly become oriented with the complexities of banking. Throughout an associate’s career, various types of training are available where the curriculum is designed to strengthen their skills. Individual training experiences are also available that focus on leadership development, which may last six to nine months. These and other development programs emphasize active learning, peer interaction and a healthy dose of regular self-assessment.
Investing in our associates also comes as part of our annual talent management evaluations, where some 4,200 managers are assessed on their leadership competencies – to identify associates’ potential and possible career progression. Regions also utilizes tools to help associates identify their own particular strengths, which helps to pinpoint areas where an associate demonstrates exceptional skills or ability. These assessments give associates insight into themselves and provide education about how to leverage those skills to increase opportunities for advancement.
From top graduates at leading universities to proven performers from the financial industry, premier talent is choosing a career at Regions because of our unique, compelling culture. The Regions workplace environment is collegial and team-oriented, and the opportunities for growth are significant. For new hires, our signature leadership development initiative is the Management Associate (MA) program, reserved for the most promising recruits from colleges and universities and the U.S. military. This important and long-standing program has been part of the bank’s training program for more than 50 years. The program is comprehensive and demanding and leverages training insights from senior Regions management. MA graduates can be found in some of the most important leadership roles throughout every level of the Regions organization, including current Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Grayson Hall.
Meeting our business objectives also requires that we onboard leaders with extensive industry experience. In 2014, we were successful in attracting impressive candidates in critical functional areas, including specialized lending and wealth management, and operational functions such as audit, compliance and risk management.
According to Dave Keenan, Regions Director of Human Resources, “We are able to attract the best because we offer a work environment where people care about one another and their success. For some experienced bankers who have joined us, it’s getting back to banking the way they remembered it years ago. At Regions, they can see the fruits of their labor and they have the ability to control and influence outcomes.”
Along with key organization performance results – financial, risk, credit and service quality – we employ associate engagement as a key metric to measure our success in building the best team. Since the initial benchmark study of associate engagement in 2012, we have recorded significant gains in associate engagement. Managers are now assessed on the engagement of their direct reports, and impact planning meetings are held to map future goals and progress. By opening lines of communication, overcoming systemic barriers to getting the job done and promoting an environment of transparent communication where every associate feels they have a voice, we are on track to continue to strengthen our level of associate engagement.
Gus Cobeaga: His Work Starts With RespectCourtesy of Mark Wemple
For Management Associate (MA) Program graduate and Regions’ Naples City President Gus Cobeaga, a single word describes his approach to leading teams and building customer relationships: respect. “Our work starts with respect because that’s the foundation to building relationships that are built on trust and communication and candor,” says Gus. “When you look at the mission of our bank, we’re really here to serve, to deliver advice and guidance to our clients and businesses to help them make better financial decisions. And respect is the foundation for all of that.”
Regions’ MA program is designed to identify and launch the banking careers of high-achieving, high-potential candidates – and Gus is one of the program’s graduates. A West Point graduate who served as an Army officer in Iraq and earned a Bronze Star for his service, Gus was selected for the MA program in 2008. He has advanced quickly at Regions to become city president in one of our most important Florida markets, and he credits the MA program for positioning him to excel. Unlike typical financial training programs, MA class members learn banking directly from experts and senior leaders. “The thing that really stands out was the engagement and support of the key leaders at the top of the organization,” says Gus. “I was very impressed that, to be entirely new to an organization, we were receiving a lot of the guidance and feedback a lot of time from the key leaders at the top of the bank.”
The MA program’s emphasis on leadership development resonated with the former combat artillery officer. “Embedded within the program is a great deal of leadership and professional development that I really appreciated, especially coming from the Army and West Point.”
Regions’ objective is to increase share in the highly competitive Naples market. It’s not an easy task, but Gus is used to challenging assignments. As he targets profitable growth, Gus is excited at the high level of engagement and sense of common purpose among his team in Naples. “The common theme is we’re proud of this brand. We’re happy to wear the Regions nametag. When we get asked about what we do when we’re within the community, it brings a smile to our face to say, ‘Hey, we work for Regions. This is a really cool bank, and it’s a bank that cares about us.’ And it’s important to be able to say that.”