Posted 9/23/2013 12:00 am
There are hometown banks, and then there are hometown banks. Union Bank of Mena has been a true hometown bank since 1934, serving Polk County and treating customers like members of the family.
It treats its employees the same way, and that commitment has earned Union Bank recognition as one of Arkansas Business’ 2013 Best Places to Work.
Union Bank is invested in each of the communities it serves, and that’s a big part of its draw. It employs about 60 at full-service locations in Mena, Hatfield and Wickes, and each of those employees and their families, from officers on down, actively participates in community activities. Plus, the bank invests in local schools, civic groups and businesses.
Union Bank offers a wealth of employee benefits, including attractive health and retirement packages. It provides flexible hours, an annual Christmas party and bonus, service and attendance awards, pizza parties and summer ice-cream socials.
But many places offer those things. What truly makes Union Bank so special is perhaps best said by Union employees.
Melinda Edwards Howell, a teller, praised the bank for its health and retirement benefits, among other things.
“They support higher education, enabling employees to work and take classes,” she said. “Also we are very active in community services. There are many things that the board members and directors do for the employees because they are also hometown people.”
The hometown approach resonates with many employees, including loan assistant Melody Adair.
“Union Bank is a great place to work because they embrace family values and strive to be a pillar in our community,” Adair said. “We are a small-town bank, and the familiarity between employees and customers is very refreshing. I am very grateful to be a part of the Union Bank family.”
And “family” is the operative word for Holly Skiles, a customer service specialist at the bank.
“There are so many great things about working for Union Bank, but for me the best thing is the people,” Skiles said. “We aren’t just co-workers here, we are a family. We work hard, but we have a lot fun doing it, and Union Bank truly embraces that. There is something very meaningful about being able to walk into work every morning and know that I am not just an employee, I am part of a team.”
So, just what makes working at Union Bank of Mena so special?
According to bank president Philip Hensley, if customers like bank employees, and bank employees like their jobs, it becomes contagious.
“If we have a high degree of likability from our customers, it becomes contagious – working becomes something that you like to do,” Hensley said.
Hensley said the bank has always stressed the importance of delivering the best customer service possible.
“We are very focused on developing individual relationships with our customers,” he said. “We literally want all of our people to be involved in making our customers feel they are really important to us.”