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We comes before me

January 22, 2016

Find out why putting people first is central to Tangerine Bank’s mantra.

Tangerine has never been your average bank, and Peter Aceto plans to keep it that way. The president and CEO of Canada’s leading direct bank is focused on staying on top of rapidly changing technology and consumer tastes by sticking to his mantra of putting people first. Aceto, author of the book, Weology: How Everybody Wins When We Comes Before Me, is immensely proud of his Bank’s purpose to help Canadians live better lives by empowering them to make smart decisions with their money.  This purpose is what mobilizes Tangerine employees and allows the organization to continue to grow beyond its current base of more than two million customers and CA$40 billion in assets.  Aceto discusses, in his own words, four areas of focus for Tangerine to achieve better outcomes, and remain an unconventional bank:
  
Talking about a revolution

I believe we’re in the middle of two revolutions: A social revolution and a technology revolution. The social revolution is spurred on by a lack of trust. Corporations, in general, haven't always behaved in the best way in the past. Employees and consumers are weighing things very differently as a result. They’re choosing which companies they want to work for and buy products and services from. At the same time, you've got this connectivity between people facilitated by technology such as social media. It’s changing expectations around products and services, and giving consumers a much louder voice. Companies need to pay more attention to this to remain nimble, and to stay ahead. I think leaders have an obligation to help their customers and employees work through change. It takes a lot of time, but if you invest in it upfront the change will be much smoother. It sounds like something everyone would understand, but I seldom see it and I'm learning to be better at it myself.
 
Engaged employees = happy customers

The highest, best use for a leader is to focus on his or her employees. If your employees are excited and engaged and believe in your purpose then they’ll give you everything they have to give--and your customers will feel that every day. They'll want to do more with your company, and as a result your shareholders will be happy. I think that’s the winning formula. It’s also a constant journey. You need to make sure that everybody is engaged with your purpose and understands how what they do every day ties to it. We’re very focused on that, I believe, relative to other organizations, but we have more work to do.
 
Targeted technology

We're a bank, so we have to be good at managing risk. Of course we have all of the traditional financial metrics you can imagine. That said, we’re also very focused on the customer and how they want to use our products and services. Technology for us is all about making life easier for them. That's the test we use when making choices about what technology to use. For example, we spend a lot of time and resources measuring both customer and employee engagement, which as I said earlier go hand-in-hand. With clients, these measurements can translate to client profitability through additional products and referrals. We add about 150,000 new customers each year, about 60% of which are referrals. With employees, we measure engagement at a leader level. This allows us to measure the engagement level by teams, and identify opportunities and areas for improvement.
 
Building (and maintaining) trust

All of this leads to trust, which I believe is absolutely fundamental in any relationship and critical to the success of our bank. For us, trust involves a wide-range of stakeholders including employees, customers, shareholders, and communities. We believe trust comes from authenticity, being open and honest and delivering on your commitments every day. We refer to our corporate values as our Promises – a term we think is a little bit more human. Even a kid knows what a promise is and we make – and keep – promises to all of our stakeholders. These are the things that guide our behaviour and help sustain our culture and, in turn, our results.

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