News Releases

How EX leads to CX

Nov. 5, 2019

By Owen LaFave
Senior Vice President, Pinellas County Market President at The Bank of Tampa

Employee experience (EX) holds a direct correlation to one of the hottest buzzworthy concepts in business today—the client experience (CX). More than just buzzwords, EX and CX directly impact return on investment (ROI), and ROI can be amplified significantly with giving a little attention to EX.  And the results are impactful to a company’s performance.

Essentially, engaged, creative and energetic employees outperform the competition. Especially when it comes to performance, customer service, valuation and revenue. So, how do you get highly engaged employees? It’s simple, really:

  • Employee/Leader Connection: The Bank of Tampa’s mission is we build relationships—and that’s not by accident. As the largest and oldest community bank in the Tampa Bay area, our driving force since our inception has been to build rapport with our clients and community. As leaders at The Bank of Tampa, we aim to do the same with our teams internally. It’s important that employees can trust that their leader will go to bat for them. Leaders gain employee trust by keeping their confidence, being approachable, showing support and being respectful. When employees trust their leader, they are more engaged and are more likely to come to leaders with ideas for improvements. Our best client-focused process improvements at The Bank of Tampa were thought up by employees. We’re proud of that.
  • Aligned Mission, Vision & Values: Knowing the bank’s values, and the work I do has meaning for our clients, drives me to succeed. And that’s true for many employees. Understanding your company’s vision, and the meaning behind what you do each day, gives employees a sense of purpose.
  • Giving Back: Employees want to make an impact—on the projects they work on, on their teams, with each other, and within the communities where they live, work, and play. Companies that encourage and enable this phenomenon have highly-engaged workforces. At The Bank of Tampa, we encourage all employees to volunteer and serve non-profit organizations throughout the Tampa Bay area. Last year, we volunteered over 5,500 hours. By encouraging them, our employees get to know our community better and they build long-lasting relationships that drive the client experience. But they also feel a sense of long-term satisfaction because they’re making a positive impact in their community.
  • Employee Recognition and Appreciation: Receiving real-time feedback and for the work that is being done helps employees feel valued, appreciated and respected. Recognition and appreciation don’t have to be monetary. It can be as simple as a thank you, a small token of appreciation, a recognition lunch, or recognizing a job-well-done during a meeting. Employees want to be recognized for their hard work, especially by their leaders, and a simple gesture can make a big impact.

The Bank of Tampa’s founder, Jerry Divers, has long advocated that if you treat employees well—by investing in their growth and treating them with respect—you will have “happy employees.” In turn, happy employees are engaged employees that not only create a positive client experience, but are also highly engaged in the community. At the end of the day, it’s a win-win for shareholders.

While this has been the bank’s charge since 1984, our nation’s most important business leaders are seeing the value of the employee experience. In August, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Business Roundtable, an association of America’s leading CEOs, changed its statement of purpose stating that corporate leaders should take into account all stakeholders—that is, employees, customers, and society at large—a sharp move away from economist Milton Friedman’s theory that a companies’ primary objective is to maximize value for shareholders.

At The Bank of Tampa, we’ve always strived to put “community” back in community banking. And that concept starts with our employees—The Bank of Tampa family.

About the Author

Owen LaFave serves as Senior Vice President, Pinellas County Market President at The Bank of Tampa. Owen has nearly 20 years of experience in banking, all of which has been spent in the Tampa Bay area. He is a graduate of the University of South Florida and holds a Bachelor of Arts in business finance. Owen serves on the board of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, the Neighborhood Lending Partners, Inc., the Tampa Downtown Partnership, as well as First Housing, Inc. In 2016, he was selected as an Up & Comer by the Tampa Bay Business Journal in the 40 under 40 category. Additionally, he is a graduate of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Tampa Class of 2015.


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