Sunrise Banks combines social responsibility, culture, and technology to achieve its mission to empower underserved communities.
In visiting Sunrise Banks’s website, you may notice that they don’t look like a typical bank. As a social engine for good, Sunrise focuses on serving and giving back to inner city communities. Sunrise believes that by investing in Twin Cities communities the bank will thrive along with them. This has grown to become an internal culture of Sunrise Banks, and now they provide all full-time employees 40 hours per year to volunteer; 20 hours for part-time employees. Simply put, Sunrise Banks flips every stereotype we may have had about banks on its head, and is leading the banking industry when it comes to social responsibility and company culture.
We sat down with three members of the Sunrise team to discuss how employee engagement and communication collide in the Structural platform which Sunrise rolled out company-wide in December 2017. "I use it daily. It is a critical part of our culture,” shares Becca Hoeft, Chief Marketing Officer. Now, ask Culture Coordinator Brianna Oliverius, and she’ll tell you that historically, Sunrise’s employees could sometimes be resistant to change; but, with Structural, “it’s simple, it’s easy to use, and they like it.” “Once it was launched, people took off. We expected to build out a content calendar. After the first month, we didn’t need it, because our teams were immediately active without much direction,” adds Hailey Johnson, Brand Manager.
It’s true, Sunrise employees are some of the most active users on the Structural platform. Since rollout, Sunrise’s approximately 230 employees have logged over 36,000 Structural sessions; they’ve shared over 450 internal posts and photos; and they’ve conducted over 23,000 searches for internal team members. So what exactly are employees using Structural for? Hailey and Brianna share a few simple ways, from knowing who works in what branch, to putting faces to names, to learning more about people’s backgrounds.
But there’s more to it for Sunrise than that. “We get to see employees live our mission day in and day out,” shares Hailey. Structural also “brought out a lot of personalities you wouldn’t normally get a chance to see”; it’s “a voice for the employees that is being heard throughout the whole company,” adds Brianna. For example, the St. Paul-based employees don’t often have an opportunity to visit the Sioux Falls location, but with Structural, they get to know what that office looks like, what they do, see the same “culture corners” set up in the office, and the Sioux Falls team shares their victories with the larger audience. “We would have never known that if we didn’t have Structural”, explains Hailey.
Furthermore, Structural has helped Sunrise employees build more robust teams. Hailey and Brianna are part of the internal “Engagement Crew”, a group that coordinates events, drives culture, and leads communication efforts. Having StrengthsFinder data stored on Structural profiles allowed Hailey to get different types of people involved in the Engagement Crew. She can see where people thrive and what might be missing from the team. “It’s that one source of truth that’s always with you, it’s available on the go versus digging through emails for data that may or may not be correct,” adds Brianna. Sunrise Banks does use an intranet, but, as Hailey and Brianna aptly explain, it was “meant for the bank to talk to employees. Structural is meant for employees to talk to each other”.
Just a glance into Sunrise Banks’ Structural account proves that employees from all branches and at all levels are involved extensively in Sunrise’s numerous volunteer events, celebrations of bank wins, and driving the mission forward. According to Becca, “Before Structural, we didn’t have a channel to communicate with employees located in another office. With Structural I can virtually get to know all employees. The data has shown the level of engagement our employees have with each other and how its increasing monthly.” Sunrise Banks holds an intrinsic belief of looking for the good in people and is trusting of its employees. Clearly, this approach is visible in their employees’ use of Structural as well as in the bank’s notable impact in its communities.
To learn more about how Structural can connect employees, create teams, and break down barriers at your organization, get in touch with us.