Olympia Federal Savings Named a Top Ten Company to Work for in Washington


Olympia Federal Savings, or Oly Fed to locals, is a unique financial institution in a landscape of corporate giants. The 110-year-old company has stayed true to its mission of promoting strong community involvement, home ownership and thrift. And above all, they put people first – both their customers as well as the Oly Fed team.

This people first attitude was reflected in Oly Fed’s recent naming as one of the “Top 100 Best Companies to Work For” by Seattle Business Magazine. Not only did our local bank make the list, but they were named in the top ten.

top companies to work for
Everyone at Oly Fed, canines included, is excited about their top ten placing in the Seattle Business Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list. Photo courtesy: Oly Fed.

The list is compiled annually with rankings based on employee surveys completed by a third party company. Being ranked so highly by their own employees is a signal to the Oly Fed leadership that their consistent efforts to foster a strong, positive culture are working.

Olympia Federal’s CEO Lori Drummond, has been with the company over 32 years. She started as a receptionist and worked her way through the ranks, a story that is echoed throughout the company’s leadership team. It is these roots in the “trenches” of banking that set Oly Fed’s leaders apart. Vice President and Marketing Director Sandy DiBernardo also started at the reception desk in 1986 and has seen the bank grow from 60 employees to 107 employees today.

And these women are not alone. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average tenure of the American worker is only 4.6 years. At Oly Fed, workplace longevity is considerably longer. Currently, the bank boasts 32 employees who have been with the company over 10 years. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 12 employees with 10+ years
  • 5 employees with 15+ years
  • 6 employees with 20+ years
  • 9 employees with 30+ years
top companies to work for
Gatherings like this quarterly social with an Olympic Games theme are the norm at Oly Fed to build community within employees. Photo courtesy: Oly Fed.

“Our employee longevity speaks to the culture we’ve created,” says DiBernardo. And that culture starts at the top. Drummond emphasizes the importance of employee communication. “In a radio address each Monday Lori highlights successes, positive things that have happened, advancements we’ve made as a company and includes thank you’s to the people who helped make them happen,” she continues.

In addition, Lori and our Chief Human Resources Officer host monthly breakfasts and randomly selects 10 or so employees for a round table discussion. “We ask questions like, ‘What do you wish Oly Fed was doing?’ We are pretty open and they can share concerns or positive aspects of what’s happening right now,” DiBernardo explains.

best companies to work for
Senior managers at Oly Fed were thrilled when they learned employees ranked them highest on Executive Leadership in the independent survey conducted for Seattle Business Magazine. Photo courtesy: Oly Fed.

This focus on communication, promotion from within and a genuine ear for employee ideas and concerns earned Oly Fed their highest ranking in the Seattle Business Magazine survey for Executive Leadership. “The people here want to do the right thing and we stand behind what we believe,” DiBernardo continues. “Oly Fed is not a stock-owned bank and the leadership has a little more flexibility. We want a thriving community with happy customers and happy employees.”

On June 24, a group of Oly Fed employees including branch managers, assistant managers, HR staff and more, loaded up a van and headed to Seattle to attend the Seattle Business Magazine awards dinner. Noticeably absent were the top company leaders and this was by design. “We wanted to recognize the positive impact everyone makes here, not just the executives,” says DiBernardo. “Our employees care for customers. Our sincerity and integrity is genuine and that’s not common. All our employees have that within them and demonstrate that daily to our customers.”

top companies to work for
Olympia Federal Savings’ 110 year history of serving the community was reflected in their recent award. Photo courtesy: Oly Fed.

In 2014, the bank was number 29 on the list and this year they nabbed the number 10 spot. “We are growing, but at a sustainable and profitable rate,” DiBernardo explains. Oly Fed has recently added business banking services with a full suite of checking and lending options, along with commercial real estate lending as well. Coupled with enhanced online banking options and industry leading customer service, Oly Fed can provide “big bank” products with small town service.

“People come from other places to work here and say, ‘Wow! I’ve never experienced this kind of culture in my other workplaces,’” says DiBernardo. “To hear this first-hand reinforces the culture we have created and is inspiring. We are a bit like Baily Savings and Loan from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ We are your community bank.”

To learn more about Olympia Federal Savings’ products and services simply stop by one of their eight branches throughout the South Sound, visit Oly Fed online or call 1-800-865-3470 where a live, local person will pick up every time.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email