How banks sweeten the pot for employees with (extra) time off

For the institutions on the Best Banks to Work For list, it certainly isn’t all work and no play.

The 85 banks on the sixth annual list reward employees with paid time off. Ninety percent of employees who work at banks that made the list this year said they were satisfied with the amount of vacation they receive.

These banks also try to be flexible and accommodate the personal lives of their employees. Ninety-two percent of banks on the list said they provided employees with flexible hours to allow time to take care of personal needs, such as attending school events or taking a family member to the doctor. Three quarters of the banks on the list require no or minimum overtime of employees.

A number of these banks have come up with creative ways to give their employees extra days off, whether that’s celebrating little things like birthdays or big milestones like getting married.

Here is a look at some of the ways employees at the Best Banks can get extra paid time off.

birthday cake
Happy birthday to you!
Several banks on the Best Banks to Work For list, including First Green Bank in Orlando, Fla., and Forward Bank in Marshfield, Wis., give employees a day off to celebrate their birthdays.

To celebrate its 150th anniversary, First Busey Corp. in Champaign, Ill., gave employees an extra day off, which can be used at any point throughout the year, for their birthdays. The gesture was meant to thank employees for going above and beyond in delivering great customer service every day, the bank said.

At Independence Bank in Owensboro, Ky., employees who take less than the average number of sick days bankwide can get a paid day off to use on their birthdays.
You are appreciated
Extra time off is also used as a method for the Best Banks to show employees they are appreciated and thank them for a job well done.

For the past several years, Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank in Harwich Port, Mass., has given away four days off through a random drawings in addition to mini vacations as a way to celebrate employees. Past trips have included a Patriots game day package, tickets to opening day at Fenway Park, an overnight stay in Boston and a spa day.

At City Bank in Lubbock, Texas, every January the 12 Employees of the Month winners from the previous year are treated to a gourmet dinner the night before a board meeting, where the Employee of the Year recipient is announced. The winner is voted on by peers and receives $1,000 in cash and a paid day off.

Benjamin Bochnowski, the president and CEO at Peoples Bank in Munster, Ind., annually selects a department or group that had the greatest impact on the bank. The winners receive an additional day off with pay.

Employees at Enterprise Bank & Trust in Clayton, Mo., get an extra personal day when the bank receives a good rating on regulatory exams.
More than just weight loss
Being physically fit can have its benefits. Best Banks, including Martha's Vineyard Savings Bank in Edgartown, Mass., Peapack-Gladstone Bank in Bedminster, N.J., and Bank of Tennessee in Kingsport, award extra time off for employees participating in wellness programs, such as attending seminars and competing in fitness challenges.

Somerset Trust's employees can participate in health campaigns to be entered into drawings for days off. For example, the Pennsylvania bank hosts an annual Maintain Not Gain program over the holidays. If the employees lose weight or maintain their original weight from before the holidays, they are entered into a drawing where they can win more time off.
Love is in the air
Employees at some Best Banks are pleasantly surprised to find they can get extra time off for their weddings.

Veritex Community Bank in Dallas gives employees who are getting married two extra days of vacation that can be used whenever they want.

At Peoples Bank in Munster, Ind., engaged employees get an additional day that can be used for anything related to the wedding or honeymoon.

First United Bank in Lubbock, Texas, gives newlyweds time off based on their years of service.
Service before self
Many institutions on the Best Banks list give employees extra time off for being charitable.

At Kentucky Farmers Bank in Ashland, Ky., each January employees can set up a payroll deduction of $5 for each pay period or do a one-time donation of $130 to the United Way in exchange for one paid day off during the year. The bank matches the contributions up to $130 per person.

Savings Bank of Walpole in New Hampshire enters the names of all employees who contribute to the United Way into a raffle for a chance to win a day off.

At Machias Savings Bank in Maine, the winner of the Edward L. Hennessey Volunteer of the Year Award, which is named for a former longtime CEO of the bank, receives five days off and $1,000 to be donated to a charity of his or her choice.

Through the PTO for Doers program at River Valley Bank in Wausau, Wis., employees can earn a half day of paid time off for every 16 hours they volunteer. They can earn up to two extra days off through the initiative. In its first year in 2017, 36 employees earned a total of 26 days off.
Shop till you drop
A dedicated day for shopping has proven to be popular at some banks.

For more than 20 years, Community Bank in Brandon, Miss., has given employees a day off between Thanksgiving and Christmas. They can use the day to take care of holiday shopping or just to spend more time with their families.

Almost since its founding in 1999, TowneBank in Portsmouth, Va., has provided tellers with an annual stipend to be used for clothing, along with access to a personal shopper to help them find work apparel without breaking the budget. This also comes with a dedicated shopping day.
Valuing family
Bell Bank in Fargo, N.D., has a “friends and family program” where every employee receives an extra day off and a gift card — $500 for full-time workers and $250 for part-timers — each year. The only requirement is that the day and the money must be spent with family or friends.