Although it doesn’t show up on our balance sheet, at Greenleaf Trust our greatest asset is our team of talented people who we often refer to internally as “Greenleafians.” Our unique culture would not exist without them. And that is why we invest so much in their selection, development, and growth.

We are a talent-based organization and believe talent lends itself more to success in our organization than raw experience. From a selection perspective, we want to make sure new hires possess the talents required to both be successful in their role and thrive in a culture that is built on teamwork and service. There has to be a cultural fit. We can teach people how to do a specific job. It is much more difficult to teach someone how to be ethical, responsible, results oriented, others focused, positive, empathetic, team oriented, influential, innovative, etc. Finding the right talent can take time and as a result our hiring process is often described as thoughtful and thorough. We want to find one more like our best.

Once we find those talented people, it is up to us to develop them further. It starts with our onboarding process. The focus of our onboarding process is to provide each new hire with a relationship and knowledge foundation from which to build upon and be successful. We want them to feel supported. Over the course of their first month with Greenleaf Trust each new hire spends most of their time meeting with new teammates as well as all the division leaders to better understand everyone’s role in the organization. This is essential because in our team-based work environment they will collaborate with teammates from all across the organization. They also spend a lot of time with their new coach who has the paramount responsibility of helping them develop in their role and grow within the organization. Coaches at Greenleaf Trust are developed over time based on talents possessed, career growth alignment, and extensive training. Coaching is more a career choice than a promotion. As a coach, I want to deeply understand my new teammates’ talents so that I can effectively manage to their strengths and provide opportunities for them to excel. Time spent with coaches can be both informal and formal. Formal coaching sessions occur quarterly, focus specifically on the teammate’s development, and involve written feedback.

Through our selection process and one-on-one coaching sessions focused on development, we can better understand how our teammates want to grow within Greenleaf Trust. Do they want to manage people? Do they want to grow technically? Are they desirous of growing into a different role in a different division? In any situation, their growth is built on a purposeful plan with their coach and their successful execution of that plan. Promotions are based on merit, not time in role.

In 2020, can you imagine doing all of this virtually? Neither can we, but we did it. We successfully hired and onboarded 15 new talented teammates. Many still have not set foot within our offices, but all feel connected and supported. At the end of the year, we also announced 21 promotions. These were teammates from throughout the organization that successfully executed customized growth plans and I am extremely proud to share their names and new titles below.