Graystone Bank

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By Scott A. Heintzelman -

Graystone_bank_2 Like I did in an earlier post about Cargas Systems, I like to profile companies that understand the idea of employee engagement. At McKonly & Asbury we’re lucky to work with a lot of clients that “Get It.” Cargas, having been named the #1 Best Place to Work in PA in the past certainly would be one example. Imagine how proud we felt when another one of our clients reached that milestone last year!  Graystone Bank, a start-up financial institution which began operating in 2005 is another one of those companies. We’re fortunate to work with Graystone through our banking internal audit outsourcing affiliate – Financial Outsourcing Solutions (FOS), and know what a special company they are. Something they proved with outside affirmation by being named the #2 Best Place to Work in PA in 2006 and then receiving the #1 ranking in 2007.

Graystone Bank opened for business in November 2005 with a vision for a different type of financial institution. Since their opening, they’ve experienced exponential growth, attaining profitability in their 6th full quarter of business. The core of Graystone’s strategy is based on local, relationship oriented bankers with a passion for their customers and the local communities they serve.

“Our customers can expect exceptional service as a standard at Graystone,” said Andrew Samuel, the founder and CEO. “It’s been our philosophy since inception. We’re committed to attracting and retaining employees that are passionate about providing uncompromising service to our customers with a sense of warmth, integrity, friendliness, and company spirit.”

They get the importance of culture in engaging employees and getting them all working on the same page. This is evidenced by Andrew’s philosophy, “We value and respect each other because we truly believe that our success only comes from working together for our team’s success.” They have a unique approach to meetings where they reinforce the Graystone culture every time a group of employees gather. They call it “Stone Worker Stories.” “The purpose is to use the power of stories to clarify and perpetuate the bank’s culture,” says Samuel. “An organization’s culture is the glue that holds together our values, beliefs, sense of belonging, self confidence, and the trust in people around us. It’s the ‘intangible’ how we operate.”

At any meeting where 3 or more employees are present you must tell a story that illustrates the Graystone culture. As you can read at the link, whether it’s keeping a clean customer area, or literally giving someone the shirt off their back, their employees get it, and work together as a team to reinforce their values, culture, and brand.

Andrew and the whole team at Graystone understand the premise that providing great service begins with having great people. Keeping and attracting great people requires great managers. They’re living the principles of the Gallup Model every day by following a servant leadership approach and truly placing the needs of employees first, and reaping the rewards – not just growth – but, also in building a special place to work.

We are fortunate to work with Andrew and Graystone and Andrew feels the same way. “I have known the leadership at McKonly & Asbury a long time; I serve on the Messiah College Board with Scott and know his character.” When it was time for us to select an internal audit firm to partner with us, the FOS team at McKonly was an easy choice.” They too have a Best Places to Work Culture and they understand how important engaged employees are to customer service.”

This is an organization that “Gets It.”


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