Banks understand that an institution's greatest asset is its people. How employees feel about their organization affects loyalty, performance, culture and the ability of the institution to attract and retain top talent in the financial industry. It's an element of brand equity that few banks have chosen to capitalize on-or learn from.

Now you can do both.

In May 2009, the magazine is proud to debut the first-annual "U.S. Banker's Best Banks to Work For" ranking. Working exclusively with Best Companies Group, an independent research company, U.S. Banker will provide industry players with the only bank-focused ranking of top-performing companies based on leadership and planning; corporate culture and communications; role satisfaction; work environment; team building; training and development; compensation; healthcare and wellness benefits; diversity programs; and overall engagement.

The collection of confidential survey information by a third party is integral to the ranking's integrity. Best Companies Group conducts such research across many industry verticals and on behalf of state and local governments. It seems many organizations are interested in knowing what factors make one workplace environment so much better than another.

We thought the banking industry would be just as curious. U.S. Banker's commitment is to identify what the most employee- and policy-savvy banks across the industry are doing right with workplace practices, how it favorably affects their employees and how other banks can replicate those successes.

The survey process begins this month. There is no fee for banks to participate in the confidential survey. Interested institutions can register to participate at www.BestBanksToWorkFor.com. The ranking is based on results from two surveys: an employer policies and practices benchmark report and an employee engagement benchmark report.

U.S. Banker will rank the overall top-performing banks in the industry based on total score, but also will break out rankings based on total number of employees, asset size and best practices in specific areas (leadership and planning, compensation, diversity, etc.)

What banks learn about their employees' overall engagement and their organization's employment policies and practices up against industry peers will prove vital in attracting and retaining top talent in today's business environment. (c) 2008 U.S. Banker and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.americanbanker.com/usb.html/ http://www.sourcemedia.com/

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