Location: Nashville
Assets: $6.3 billion
Employees: 750
President and CEO: Terry Turner

Pinnacle Financial Partners does many of the things that make for a good employer nowadays — wellness initiatives, flexible scheduling and a cash incentive plan that paid out $15.2 million to employees in 2014. It even boasts a well-attended book club.

But Chief Executive Terry Turner credits an unusually high level of empowerment as key to making Pinnacle a good place to work. The bank doesn't have a trainee program. People usually need about 10 years of experience somewhere else to get hired. The 750-person staff has an average of 26 years in the industry, which means Pinnacle doesn't require the same "lowest common denominator" controls as other banks, he says.

Employees find the experience liberating. In a recent company survey, they cited "no micromanagement" as the attribute they value most about Pinnacle. "The idea of hiring experienced people and not micromanaging creates a great level of engagement," Turner says. "Our people know what they're doing. They appreciate the autonomy."

It's been a formula for success for the 15-year-old company. Shares of publicly traded Pinnacle have increased in value tenfold since 2000, including a tidy 38% gain for the 12 months ending in June, making it one of the industry's top performers.

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