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WaFd Bank named one of America's Best Employers

Finding Meaningful Work in a Tangled Workplace

As we continue to slog through the “Great Resignation,” employers are looking for new recruitment and retention strategies to keep employees happy. Let's face it, people don't want to return to the daily 9-to-5 slog of long commutes, little to no flexibility, stringent dress codes and boring workspaces. We've enjoyed the new-found plasticity discovered during the height of the work-from-home phase of the pandemic. On the other hand, employers have struggled with how to keep their teams connected and engaged (and apparently wearing pants).

As we reemerge from other side of the pandemic (fingers crossed), employers must be ready to do things differently to attract and keep a dedicated workforce. Ernst & Young, a professional services network, released a segmentation study in 2021 on Gen Z which found younger employees are willing to push for change and are more interested in working for an employer that demonstrates shared values and authenticity. They are looking for employment with meaning.

America's Best Midsize Employers

Forbes recognized WaFd Bank as one of America's Best Employers

Explore WaFd Careers

How WaFd Provides Meaning in the Workplace

So, how do we give employees more meaning and purpose to create long-term value? To prepare for the future, we must look to companies and employers who are already winning the race to attract and retain good talent. Recently named one of America's Best Employers by Forbes, WaFd Bank continues to move the needle when it comes investing in our employees, giving workers meaning and creating shared value.

“We've been working diligently to make WaFd Bank an employer of choice,” said Brent Beardall, president and chief executive officer, “We realize we are only as strong as our colleagues' commitment to the WaFd Bank team. The strength of WaFd is our people, we genuinely care for our clients and one another.”

What makes WaFd such a great place to work? We take the same long-term perspective with our employees as we do with our clients. “We've grown as a community bank for the past 105 years,” said Beardall. “We value our employees by investing in what matters to them. Things like a healthy work-life balance, continuous learning opportunities for advancement, vibrant and collaborative workspaces, hybrid work opportunities, a diverse workforce, transparent senior leadership and most importantly, a mission-driven culture. People love working for WaFd Bank, and this award shows it.”

Why Employees Love Working at WaFd

We asked a handful of employees from across the bank's eight state footprint, about what they value about working at WaFd and here's what they shared.

“I love working for WaFd Bank because of our fantastic leadership team,” said Jen Peterson, senior vice president of lending operations at the downtown Seattle headquarters. Peterson, who has been with the company for 17 years, has grown her career from a teller to lead Lending Operations for the entire enterprise. she continued, “They inspire employees and truly embody the WaFd saying 'Love what you do. Make a difference.' Because of the on-going education I've received while working for WaFd, I now volunteer as a treasurer for a local non-profit that provides resources to unhoused community members. I would recommend WaFd Bank to anyone looking for an inclusive and amazing work culture where you can be yourself and truly make a difference.”

Nevada Retail Division Manager and Senior Vice President Lynn Lundahl echoes the same ideals. “In all my time in banking, I have never worked with a company that was as committed as WaFd Bank to the financial success of each client, and to the professional success of each employee.” Lundahl sees how the company has instilled in each employee the motto, “Love what you do, and make a difference.” She added, “It is because of this, that I don't just work at a job, instead I live my passion every day.”

So, what else are we doing to make a difference and create purpose? Ann Hall, vice president of marketing and communications, located in Klamath Falls, Oregon, manages the WaFd Bank Foundation. There she oversees the distribution of grants across the bank's regional footprint. “When I became the Foundation administrator 10 years ago,” said Hall, “The president of the bank at the time told me, 'Ann, the non-profit agencies in our eight states are the backbone of the communities we serve. If we can help them to be healthy, we will help whole communities to thrive.' That directive shaped my thinking. As we flow financial support to our non-profit neighbors, critical services are provided to lift people out of poverty and contribute to their economic stability and mobility. When that happens, everyone benefits. That is why I love what I do!”

Plans to Bring Even More Meaning to Work

So, what's next as we continue to grow and bring meaning to the workplace? WaFd is looking to expand on ESG and commitment to issues which are important to our employees, including increasing our partnerships with organizations like Forterra, a land-based solutions group in Washington that supports sustainability efforts and conservation. We hope to expand on more partnerships like this to enhance environmental efforts and connect employees to additional volunteer opportunities.

Lisa King, WaFd Bank's chief people officer, encourages people looking to either start their career in banking or make a career change to Visit the WaFd Bank Career page to view current openings.

Learn more about what WaFd is doing with Community Relations.