Walk into your local branch of Citizens Union Bank (CUB) and you may see red and gold dragons and lanterns, Rapunzel’s Tower, a Smart Car, a motorcycle, or even a full-size bed. If you are there on a “Big Day,” employees may greet you wearing pajamas, Hawaiian shirts, or a chef’s hat and offer you fortune cookies.
“Big Day” is part of Citizens Union Bank’s People Helping People (PHP) program. “We created PHP to generate fun and excitement in our branch locations for both potential and existing customers,” says Jeanne Willard, Vice President-Retail Training and Support Administrator. “Every six to seven weeks CUB has a new gift offering and kicks off the cycle with a “Big Day” to showcase the creativity of our employees in developing a theme centered around the gift offering.”
For 128 years, Citizens Union Bank has been committed to its Kentucky communities and employees. They know that creating a fun workplace is important to their business. It helps improve communication and collaboration among employees, and it encourages others to engage with your organization. “Our local businesses have joined in on the fun and allowed us to showcase their products as part of the decorating themes,” says Willard.
Movies help spark themes
“We went a little out of the box for our decorating theme for this cycle’s frying pans,” says Stefanie Hardin, assistant branch manager of the Elizabethtown branch. “I’m a Disney fanatic and thought of the movie “Tangled” where Rapunzel uses a frying pan to knock out Flynn the thief.” The branch decorated its lobby with Rapunzel in a tower and a window with the phrase “Hit in the face with fees, we offer free checking and a free gift.”
Each branch has a decoration budget, but many said they also bring in things from home, recycle previous decorations or borrow from another branch. “My daughter will be glad to have her Rapunzel doll returned,” says Hardin.
Crystal Walker, branch manager at the Weissinger branch also likes to think outside the box for decorating themes and ideas. “The Imperial Home name on the frying pans and my kids’ love of Disney got me thinking about ‘Kung Fu Panda’ and ‘Mulan.’” With a mostly red and gold color scheme, Walker used paper lanterns seen in traditional Chinese celebrations along with dragon faces and bodies. “On the Big Day we set out fortune cookies and Chinese good luck coins with a note wishing customers ‘good fortune and luck in the new year,’” says Walker.
The team at CUB’s Walmart branch went with a breakfast theme using the movie, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” to spark decorating ideas. A smaller branch, the team placed pictures of breakfast foods, Audrey Hepburn, and the iconic blue pearls around the branch. “We like to dress up and have fun for our Big Days,” says Tate Wilcox, customer service leader. He and another team member wore chef’s hats and others dressed up like Hepburn.
Employees and customers get involved
“Here in E-town, we go big or go home on our decorations,” says Hardin. “Employees like the program because it makes us different than other banks around here. It’s not an old stuffy bank, it’s lively, it’s fun. Customers come in and ask us about the decorations. They want to know what we’re doing next.”
Most Big Day celebrations occur on Fridays. “Since the Walmart branch is open on Saturdays, we usually get a rush on new accounts after the Big Day,” says Wilcox.
“I always have so much fun with each Big Day cycle,” says Walker. “The program sparks a lot of conversation with customers. Sometimes customers want to wait for a specific gift before opening a new account (information on upcoming promotions is posted in the lobby), but others decide to open the account now and provide a referral to get a future gift.”
Sharing customer and employee favorites
“Our customer favorite was the rolling luggage gift offering,” says Hardin. “We decorated the branch like an airport – complete with arrivals, departures and baggage claim. On the Big Day employees dressed as pilots, flight attendants, and tourists.”
Wilcox’s favorite was a Pyrex bowl gift offering, a “Keeping it Fresh” theme and ‘90s movies and music decorations. His favorite customer reaction came recently from an older gentleman who said his granddaughter asked him to take her to the bank to see how they had decorated the horse in a prominent branch photo.
When asked which cycle was her favorite, Walker had a hard time picking one – she’s loved them all because it allows her and the other employees to show their creative sides. “If I had to pick one though, it would be an early ‘Alice in Wonderland,’” says Walker.
Want to work for a company that encourages fun?
If you’re interested in employment opportunities at Citizens Union Bank, please access their CUB Employment Center for any current open positions.