What You Should Know
Pinnacle Financial Partners has made a name for itself in the financial world by providing personalized service in an industry bemoaned for its cold, corporate feel. The company extends that touch to its associates, too. And when the firm succeeds, everyone benefits. All associates receive stock shares -- on top of commissions -- and non-commissioned staff receive bonuses that were worth $14.5 million alone last year. Six-plus weeks of paid time off a year is the norm for full-timers and 98 percent of associates confirm work-life balance is within their grasp. Associates nearly universally praise the quality of their managers. Staff are hired primarily by professional referral and usually have 10 years of experience. The employee population lacks significant diversity -- but associates laud the company for being a friendly and tight-knit group that gives back to the community. “Pinnacle actually puts its associates first,” one person says. “I really believe that that is the key to successful business. If your associates are happy, then your clients will be happy.”
WHAT THEY DO
Pinnacle is a financial services firm offering a full range of banking, investment, mortgage and insurance services.
||US Headquarters: Nashville, Tennessee
|US Sites: 34
||Major Locations: Nashville, TN; Murfreesboro, TN; Knoxville, TN
|Stock Symbol: PNFP
||US Employees: 775
|US Revenues: $223 million
||Worldwide Revenues: $223 million
||Industry: Financial Services & Insurance
How much responsibility would I have? What kind of support is there for professional development?
Great Rated! conducted an anonymous survey of randomly selected Pinnacle employees to assess the quality of the workplace challenges the company provides. An average of 96 percent of Pinnacle employees report the company often or almost always provides needed training, fair promotions and personally challenging work. Another 3 percent report the company sometimes provides these opportunities, for a combined positive rating from 99 percent of employees in the Great Challenges category.
Pinnacle employees work in banking and credit services, mortgage, investments and trust, and business and personal insurance. The company has approximately 775 employees in the United States, where they operate 34 locations.
Nearly all employees (98 percent) say they carry a lot of responsibility in the organization, and report that managers trust them to carry out these responsibilities without micromanaging them. For just as many, their work at Pinnacle is more than just a job -- it has special meaning. Employees praise the chance to be part of a family, the opportunity to be an owner and the ability to take pride in offering top quality client service.
At Pinnacle, 95 percent of employees feel they receive the training and development they need to further their careers. While it is often difficult for companies to ensure that promotions are awarded fairly across organizations, at Pinnacle, 96 percent say that promotions consistently go to those who best deserve them, exceeding what one can typically expect even at the very best companies in the country.
Supporting Employee Development
- College Tuition Reimbursement: $1,000
- Average annual training for part-time hourly employees: 15 hours
- Average annual training for full-time salaried employees: 18 hours
- Associates work with their team leader at least once a year to create a development plan that they update throughout the year with formal and informal training opportunities. Pinnacle also has an online learning center for associates to take various training courses on anything from computer skills to time management. A limited number of employees are selected to participate in leadership programs through local universities each year.
It's amazing to be working for a company that gives you all the tools you need to succeed. It's wonderful to be so informed and feel so welcome when you come to work. You can't help but smile. We are not just employees, we are family.
What would my colleagues be like? How do people have fun? How formal a workplace is it?
An average of 98 percent of Pinnacle employees say they often or almost always enjoy their colleagues and find their workplace to be fun and cooperative. Another 1 percent sometimes benefits from these qualities, for a combined positive rating from 99 percent of employees in the Great Atmosphere category.
Pinnacle operates 34 locations throughout Tennessee.
Fun and Celebrations
- Pinnacle associates have fun with family picnics, book clubs, fitness classes, the Pinnacle 5K race, an annual luncheon around Thanksgiving, charitable community projects and various team events like an Easter bonnet contest, Kentucky Derby parties, a Super Bowl chili cook-off and Fat Tuesday celebrations.
Caring and Support
- When employees need to take time off for something personal, they'll find their team is understanding. For significant life events, Pinnacle has a section for celebrations and concerns on the company intranet. This is a place for any associate to post information about what's going on in his/her life and to make it easy to set up meal calendars or offer other support to employees going through crises. One employee says that he felt like "George Bailey with all his friends" when his extended family went through a crisis: colleagues popped out of the woodwork to offer funds, supportive calls and gifts.
- When someone needs extra time off, employees can choose to donate their paid time off to a co-worker.
People celebrate special events around here.
There is a great sense of family. It does not matter the situation or need, your work friends are always there to help in times of need. It is always amazing the support provided company-wide to an associate in need.
What kind of perks and benefits are part of the employment package? What is the work-life balance like? Does the company appreciate hard work?
An average of 97 percent of Pinnacle employees often or almost always find the company compensates them fairly, provides special and unique benefits, supports their work-life balance and shows genuine appreciation for their contributions. Another 2 percent reports they sometimes receive these benefits as well, for a combined positive rating from 99 percent of employees in the Great Rewards category.
Everybody has the opportunity to be a shareholder. Teamwork across departments is common.
COMPENSATION BY THE NUMBERS
Company-paid health coverage for dependents
Weekly hours at which part-timers receive health-care coverage
401(k) match, up to 4% of an employee's salary
Company-paid health coverage for employees
PERKS TO MAKE LIFE EASIER
- Free beverages during the day
- Fitness classes
- Massage therapy
- Weight Watchers meetings
WORK-LIFE BALANCE BY THE NUMBERS
Holidays each year
Job Protected Leave provided above and beyond FMLA
WORK-LIFE BALANCE PROGRAMS
I am able to take time off from work when I think it's necessary.
People are encouraged to balance their work life and their personal life.
I believe that management is truly concerned about quality of life for the associates. They want you to spend time at home with your family, not just constantly working.
HEALTH INSURANCE COVERS
- Dental care
- Mental health care
- Vision care
- Alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, homeopathy or chiropractic
ONSITE HEALTH BENEFITS
- Cholesterol Tests
- Flu Shots
- Fitness Center
- Blood Pressure Screening
- Complete Biometric Screening
What inspires employees' company spirit here? Do people stand by their teams' work? What impact do people have outside the organization?
An average of 98 percent of Pinnacle employees report that they often or almost always carry meaningful responsibilities within the organization and are proud of their accomplishments, community impact and the company's reputation in the world. Another 1 percent report that they sometimes experience this pride as well, for a combined positive rating from 99 percent of employees in the Great Pride category.
Pinnacle prides itself on being "more than just a bank," where top-quality client service is the main priority. In just 14 years, Pinnacle has become the second-largest bank holding company headquartered in Tennessee. The company has grown to nearly $6 billion in assets primarily through one-on-one client interactions and word of mouth.
I'm proud to tell others I work here.
There is a unique atmosphere of family and a sense of pride in taking care of clients the old fashioned way — by giving great service throughout the whole team. In spite of the excessive government regulation our industry is saddled with, this organization is the best I have ever experienced at keeping focused on the things that matter the most and making it a fun place to work.
Supporting the Community
- Philanthropic donations in the last year: $837,267
- Associates give suggestions as to what the charitable budget should be spent on and are significantly involved with the company's community contributions. In 2013, Pinnacle associates logged 17,982 hours for 365 nonprofits in addition to providing more than $800,000 in donations.
I feel good about the ways we contribute to the community.
How easy is it to talk with managers and get the information I need? Will managers listen to my input?
An average of 98 percent of Pinnacle employees say they often or almost always experience a free and transparent exchange of ideas and information within the organization. Another 2 percent sometimes has this experience as well, for a combined positive rating from 100 percent of employees in the Great Communication category.
Pinnacle operates across 34 locations and employs people as service specialists and financial advisors among other roles.
At Pinnacle, managers make an effort to be approachable and communicate well. A striking 98 percent of employees say management keeps them informed about important issues and changes, and just about everyone (99 percent) also says management makes its expectations clear. Employees find Pinnacle management to be accessible and open to feedback. Almost all employees (98 percent) feel management is approachable and easy to talk with and just as many feel they can ask their managers any reasonable question and get a straight answer. Similarly, 97 percent say management genuinely seeks and responds to suggestions and ideas.
Management is honest and upfront with their expectations. They also tell the employees what is necessary to stay an independent bank.
What are managers' leadership strengths?
An average of 97 percent of Pinnacle employees say their managers often or almost always act with integrity and care, are competent in their positions and provide clear directions and vision for the organization. Another 2 percent say their managers sometimes display these characteristics, for a combined positive rating from 99 percent of employees in the Great Bosses category.
Pinnacle employees widely enjoy the appreciative, family atmosphere and transparent, quality communication their leaders encourage at the company. Employees are also largely confident in their bosses, with an incredible 100 percent reporting that management has a clear view of where the organization is going and how to get there. Nearly all employees (99 percent) say their managers are competent at running the business, deliver on their promises and match their words to their actions. A close 97 percent find that Pinnacle management does a good job of assigning and coordinating people. When it comes to ethics, 99 percent of employees trust that management is honest and ethical in its business practices and would only lay people off as a last resort. Almost as many (98 percent) say management shows a sincere interest in them as people, not just as employees.
Top management, especially the president, is accessible and very approachable. He knows people at the lowest level by first name and seems to be genuine and sincere.
Great Perks and Programs
- Opportunity for Ownership: At Pinnacle, every associate receives restricted shares of company stock at the time of their employment. Every year after that, they receive an annual grant. As of January 2014, the value of the equity granted to the associates of the firm exceeded $121 million. On top of this benefit, all non-commissioned associates receive annual cash incentives when the firm meets its financial targets. In 2013, $14.5 million in incentives were distributed among employees.
- Book Clubs: A majority of Pinnacle associates voluntarily read a business-focused book two or three times a year. They get together to discuss the book's takeaways and how they can be applied to the company.
- Monthly Wacky Days: Each month, leaders are given a list of unusual designated days and then it's up to them to come up with a wacky thing to do. Past wacky activities have included jelly bean jar guesses on National Jelly Bean Day and a hat collection for cancer patients on National Hat Day.
- Volunteering with the Special Olympics: Every spring, Pinnacle associates in Nashville and their families turn out for the Special Olympics to manage the bocce ball competition. Associates say that forging relationships with the participants and experiencing their courage and determination firsthand makes it their most rewarding volunteer experience.
- Fitness Classes: Pinnacle helps offset the cost of fitness classes, from kick-boxing to yoga, associates can work out together in centralized locations.
Great Rated! collected feedback from Pinnacle employees via an anonymous survey. Following are common reasons employees said they appreciate their workplace.
"I love the family atmosphere at the offices. Associates really do care about each other. We do things as a team. Management does a great job in keeping everyone well informed. We are free to laugh out loud and to be an owner and to make someone's day. It really is a great place to work."
"I've been amazed by the emphasis placed on letting associates know how much the firm cares about them and their families from sending housewarming gifts for the purchase of a new home, to care packages for associates who are sick and providing snacks to a department where associates were working late to finish a large scale project."
"Pinnacle is very transparent with its employees. We all know exactly where the company stands, what we need to focus on/what our goals are and exactly what we need to accomplish to hit our targets."
"Everyone I work with is a team player and it is so comforting to know that I can come to work every day where we all care for one another and we are all there for each other!"
"Pinnacle is the best place I have ever worked. I feel that management really cares about me as a person — a whole person, not just my work life. I feel that I am given the freedom to do my job in my own way. I am very loyal to Pinnacle."
"This company truly cares about its employees. I know that most companies say that, but Pinnacle puts family into its floor plan and it means it. If you have a family commitment or something to take care of, Pinnacle stands behind you and lets you take care of it."
"They are always great about putting their associates and employees first. It is easy to balance work and personal lives. There are several events that encourage us to get together and enjoy each other's fellowship."
"This firm surpasses any other financial institution that I have worked for. There is really no comparison."
"Hands down this is a phenomenal place to work. All of us are one big family, all working as an incredible team to take care of our clients — and each other. I won't talk to a head hunter as there is nothing they can offer that could remotely come close to the experience at Pinnacle. I love working here!"
"We win together or we lose together. This is one of the few organizations that takes this motto to heart. Everyone that works at this firm is an actual owner in the firm. If we succeed, everyone, regardless of their position, receives a bonus and stock options."
"The physical work environment contains beautiful art and running water walls. Just being inside our four walls, the work space is enjoyable, and combined with wonderful people who work here it makes this a very special place."
"I feel I am enriched personally, professionally and financially through my employment here."
How to Get Hired
We asked Pinnacle for some inside information on how to get hired at the organization. Here is what they had to say.
What key characteristics tell you a prospective employee will be a great fit for your company?
Our stated vision is to be the best financial services firm and the best place to work in Tennessee. We can’t possibly achieve this if we don’t hire the best people. Consequently, we require a minimum of 10 years of experience for most roles and five years for a few. We target candidates who are known to be “happy and successful” where they are. In general, other than a limited number of roles requiring very specialized or technical skills, we tend not to hire anyone circulating a resume or looking for a job because that likely indicates they are either unhappy or have been unsuccessful where they are. We specifically target candidates known by at least one of our current associates.
What can prospective employees do to get your attention?
Generally, we only hire people who have been recommended by our associates based on their previous work experience with them. So to construct our hiring pipelines, we involve our associates in brainstorming sessions to identify top candidates. Because virtually all of our associates have worked at other banks, we know the best players in our markets and have an idea of who would be a good cultural fit for our team. We also offer an online application on our website at www.pnfp.com.
Are there any unusual or especially rigorous steps of your hiring process that candidates should be aware of?
Potential associates are contacted directly by the hiring manager. Each candidate is interviewed by at least three people (one being a leadership team member). We spend a lot of time ensuring that potential associates understand key differences between Pinnacle and the large regional banks from which they are likely coming. It is as critical that they understand our uniqueness as it is that we understand their capabilities. This is invaluable in ensuring we get the right fit.
||8Average number of applicants per opening
|417Applicants in past year
||44Openings in past year
|100%New hires by employee referrals