When the markets are in tumult as they are now, when senior executives are consumed by the credit crisis, managing angry shareholders and explaining themselves to indignant politicians and regulators, it can be easy to overlook the morale among rank-and-file bank employees. Even with all the market brouhaha there's a job to do every day, and the employees that remain want to feel like they're doing something worthwhile. They want to believe they're contributing to the organization, and the organization appreciates their efforts.

Wachovia's Cece Sutton is one who has not forgotten. Indeed, she has made it one of her top priorities to meet regularly in person or video or communicate through email with the 33,000 people that work within her retail and small business division. "The key is keeping them energized and excited and feeling good about what they're doing. Because they have done a great job," Sutton says.

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