MEMPHIS, Tenn.--Sept. 11, 1997--For the second consecutive year "Business Week" magazine has ranked First Tennessee Bank first in its category in the magazine's rating of work and family strategies in corporate America.
The ranking appears in the Sept. 15 issue, which is on newsstands this week. The article said, "At companies such as MBNA Corp. and First Tennessee Bank, which ranked highest overall, family-friendliness is ingrained in both culture and business strategy." First Tennessee earned the number one ranking in the category of "non-S&P 500 companies," which includes smaller or privately held companies. MBNA America received the number one ranking in the "S&P 500 companies" category. Last year the magazine did not use the two categories, and First Tennessee Bank received the overall number one ranking.
"Business Week" determines its ranking by surveying company managers on available work-family initiatives such as flexible work options, family and dependent care and assessment of strategy and business rationale. The study goes a step further by surveying employees' views of their quality of work life, job flexibility and to what degree their company truly has a family-friendly culture.
First Tennessee's Family Matters work-family program includes flextime, telecommuting, job sharing, prime-time schedules (reduced hours with benefits), subsidies for day care through company-provided flexible benefits dollars, near-site and sick child day care in some locations, family-issue referrals which are primarily used by employees for child and elder care issues, and other resources.
First Tennessee Chairman and CEO Ralph Horn explained the bank's commitment to its Family Matters program. "The winners in a culture like First Tennessee's, which puts the needs of employees in line with the needs of customers and shareholders, are our employees, customers and shareholders," said Horn. "Employees who know they are respected and valued provide an unmatched level of service, which leads to loyal customers and record profitability. We are able to attract and retain the highest caliber employees in large part because of the flexibility and teamwork that form the cornerstone of our Family Matters program."
First Tennessee Bank also has been named two consecutive years to "Working Mother" magazine's list of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers. Next week "Working Mother" will announce this year's Best Companies for Working Mothers at a two-day Work/Family Congress in New York. Pat Brown, First Tennessee's Family Matters manager, will participate in the Work/Family Congress panel discussion on "Making the Business Case for Family-Friendly Programs: Viewing Work/Family Initiatives as a Strategic Bottom-line Issue."
In this week's "Business Week" article, First Tennessee was recognized for linking its work/family programs to the bottom line. The description of First Tennessee that "Business Week" used in the ratings chart said, "One of the few employers to measure effect of work-family strategies on profits."
First Tennessee's loan operations division makes clear the bank's business case for Family Matters. In the five years since the loan operations division began making full use of the Family Matters ideals of teamwork and flexibility, the division has seen loan volume double and customer service scores improve from top-box scores of 12.1 percent to top-box scores of 68.8 percent (top-box scores are the best possible). Yet the number of loan operations employees has not increased. "I attribute all of our improvements -- in production, customer service and employee retention and morale -- directly to Family Matters," said manager Clay Williams. "Because we've been able to hold our number of employees constant at 90 rather than increasing it to 212 as our volume increase would seem to require, we're saving $3.6 million in salary and benefits expense each year. And our customers are telling us that we're doing a better job today than we were before. That's really powerful stuff to me."
And customers of other departments at First Tennessee seem to be equally pleased: First Tennessee has a customer retention rate of 96 percent, well in excess of the industry average of 88 percent.
CEO Horn believes the Family Matters concept gives First Tennessee a unique advantage. And according to "The Wall Street Journal," the company is doing a good job of communicating that message to banking analysts. First Tennessee has the numbers to back up the claims of the strength of its strategy: 1996 culminated a five-year period in which First Tennessee's parent company, First Tennessee National Corp., achieved the highest return on capital of any of the top 50 U.S. banking franchises, as reported in "Forbes" magazine.
First Tennessee National Corp., headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., is a nationwide, diversified financial services institution and is one of the 50 largest bank holding companies in the United States in market capitalization. Banking and other financial services are provided through the regional banking group, including FTNC's principal subsidiary, First Tennessee Bank National Assoc., and three national lines of business: FT Mortgage Companies, First Tennessee Capital Markets and transaction processing. The corporation's common stock is traded over-the-counter on the Nasdaq Stock Market's national market system under the symbol FTEN. It is listed in the financial section of most newspapers as FstTN Ntl and is included in the Standard & Poor's MidCap 400 index. More information is available at the company's Web site at http://www.ftb.com .