To make a difference, it takes a committed group of compassionate people willing to go the extra mile. Olympia Federal Savings (OlyFed) is full of exceptional individuals that have continued to work together through the pandemic to support small businesses, nonprofits and individuals in the community.
In fact, nothing represents that commitment to community more than the record-breaking $465,000 OlyFed donated in philanthropic gifts and sponsorships to area nonprofits this past year. In addition, the bank’s employees contributed more than 1,000 hours of service including representation on the board of directors with more than 20 local organizations and associations.
“Throughout the pandemic we have worked extraordinarily hard to serve the needs of our customers and community through the advancement of more than 110 health and human service, arts, education, environmental, housing, and youth‐focused organizations striving to improve the quality of life in the South Sound,” says Ryan Betz, VP marketing & public relations manager. “Over the last year, this team has exemplified excellence as they continued their humanitarian efforts and sought out new means of serving the community they love, even from a distance.”
OlyFed has witnessed a commendable drive in their staff despite the adversity they faced over the last year and when asked where this care and commitment comes from, Ryan points to the organization’s ongoing commitment to building its culture of excellence. They wanted to be able to recognize the tremendous efforts of their staff, so OlyFed’s Better Fedder Committee, a culture crew comprised of employees across the organization, continued to meet regularly to plan virtual employee events, deliver surprise care packages, and create fun activities that helped them strengthen and live out their mission. In times of struggle and uncertainty, the Better Fedder Committee gave OlyFed’s staff something positive to look forward to on a regular basis.
Continuing to Care For Staff, From a Distance
The pandemic has been hard on many people and businesses, and few people were exempt from new challenges brought on by working remotely. OlyFed wanted to maintain consistent communication and ensure their staff felt supported and stayed connected during their virtual employment. “We went from just a few people working remotely to more than half our workforce taking care of business from home,” says Ryan. “We were no longer in meetings every day talking like we used to.” To combat this separation, OlyFed leaned on its use of an online tool, which allows employees to respond to regular survey questions, make suggestions for improving the organization and praise each other for jobs well done. “This amazing tool has helped us gain so many greater efficiencies in how we operate and allowed us to be more effective in serving the human needs of the people we work with,” Ryan adds.
Another way OlyFed helped their team stay connected was through their weekly radio address. “Each week someone from the bank’s senior leadership team hosts a radio show that’s sent out to all employees company‐wide,” Ryan shares. This weekly recording has been used as a way to continue to celebrate employees and talk about progress and accomplishments within the organization remotely. “It features stories about ongoing wellness competitions, product and service updates, employee milestone anniversaries, significant organizational or individual accomplishments, progress towards strategic goals and much more,” Ryan shares. It has been a fun way to share information about the organization and recognize the wonderful team at every level of OlyFed.
In addition to regular gifts of thanks, OlyFed’s Better Fedder Committee puts together quarterly virtual celebrations as way to further commemorate their staff’s continued efforts. The entire company meets via Zoom to play games, acknowledge accomplishments, and present awards to employees who have lived out the organization’s values. “OlyFed is about celebrating and elevating people,” Ryan shares. These remote celebrations are the perfect way for the team to stay connected and for OlyFed to commend its staff for all of the hard work they do every day for the community.
This core value of caring for people has translated into exceptional contributions by OlyFed to the surrounding communities. Their commitment to excellence has not gone unnoticed. OlyFed has received a five‐star superior rating by Bauer Financial for the last 131 consecutive quarters, which equates to 33 years. “Only 1% of the nation’s banks have earned Bauer’s top rating for so long and with such consistency,” Ryan explains. This speaks to the incredible innovation and integrity the organization presents at every level, which is only possible through the culture of caring they have fostered over the years.
OlyFed exemplifies the true meaning of humanity and lives out the mission to use their resources to better serve the needs of their staff, customers, and community as a whole. “The ethic of giving comes from a culture that has been with us for 115 years,” Ryan says. “It is all about taking care of our neighbors, and we are still fully committed to being the best for the community both personally and professionally.” It is through this holistic and compassionate approach that OlyFed and its team have been able to make such a huge impact. Our community is fortunate to have such a wonderful organization and committed community members striving to make Olympia a better place to live.
For more information, visit the Olympia Federal Savings website.