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Community Partnerships: The key to your diversity and inclusion plan

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So your company has created and implemented a comprehensive diversity and inclusion plan. Now what? A key component of your company’s plan is choosing community partners. These partners provide an expertise and insight on how your company can succeed from a diversity and inclusion perspective.

Diversity Partners

At UMB, we choose organizations and groups that have been identified through our diversity council as major contributors to our strategy. Our goal is to have these organizations enhance our diversity and inclusion strategy in four ways:

  1. Talent acquisition and development – We build a stronger company by hiring and retaining talented, high-performing associates with diverse backgrounds.
  1. Associate engagement – We demonstrate inclusiveness by ensuring each of our associates has a voice and opportunities to share ideas.
  1. Corporate community involvement and volunteerism – Our associates regularly volunteer at the organizations who are our collaborative partners.
  1. Regional cohesiveness – We try to find organizations that have outreach in multiple cities across our footprint (Black MBA Association in Kansas City and St. Louis, Urban Financial Services Coalition in Kansas City, St. Louis and Omaha). But we also will work with independent organizations (The Regional Business Council of St. Louis).

So how do both the company and the community organization benefit from these partnerships?

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Within the company, community partnerships help make associates aware of diversity. Additionally, they help associates stay educated about their community. Some organizations even offer training programs for associates, like a Lunch and Learn, so they can get a better understanding about the community organization and the work they do. For example, UMB works with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Greater Kansas City and they provide our associates with training about how to work with Hispanic businesses.

The company benefits externally from these partnerships by helping us connect with our community. They help us connect with people, resources and other businesses. They help share our vision, mission and values in the diverse communities that we serve.

Community organizations benefit from these partnerships depending on the company. At UMB, we provide them with financial education programs. We also have company officers who serve on boards for the organizations. And we encourage our associates to volunteer for their various programs.

Ultimately it’s important for both the company and the organization to feel like the partnership is bringing some value to them. Both parties should be involved, creating mutually agreed upon activities and goals. Representatives from both organizations should meet regularly to discuss whether or not the partnership is on track. In fact, at UMB we require our collaborative partners to submit an annual report, as well as a scorecard that gives information about their website traffic, how many scholarships they gave out and the amount (if applicable), how many programs they organized during the year, etc.

With the help of these community partners, your company’s comprehensive diversity and inclusion plan will be complete. With your unique combined perspectives, you can be more competitive and create stronger connections within your markets.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Dr. Hendricks serves as senior vice president of Diversity and Inclusion at UMB. She is responsible for the corporate-wide diversity and inclusion strategy. She joined UMB in 2006. Dr. Hendricks earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Development Psychology and Mass Communications and a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan. She also earned a Doctorate in Educational Psychology and Policy Analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia.



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The best way to celebrate turning 100? Giving back.

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How do you normally celebrate a big anniversary or milestone birthday? I would guess most people go to a nice restaurant for dinner or go on vacation. Or, maybe splurge on an expensive gift for yourself or your significant other. Well at UMB, we decided to celebrate our 100-year anniversary with a few million of our closest friends.

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UMB has always stressed one thing above everything else – dedication to our communities. We currently touch 19 states throughout the United States with a physical presence for a wide variety of financial services, and we wanted to celebrate 100 years with the people who have supported us.

At the beginning of our milestone anniversary year, we challenged all of our associates to join together and give back. We asked 500 associates throughout our footprint to volunteer 5,000 total hours to organizations in their communities in 2013. That’s a pretty hefty ask, don’t you think? Our associates didn’t even blink. We still have a few more days left on our challenge, and our associates have already volunteered more than 31,700 hours with more than 1,000 organizations. More than six times the original goal. Now that’s dedication to the community!

But our associates still didn’t think that was enough. After all, turning 100 is a really big deal. So, more than 220 associates in St. Louis, Denver and Kansas City organized three separate days dedicated entirely to volunteerism. Approximately 50 St. Louis associates planted more than 40 trees at a Forest Park playground. Additionally, 70 associates in Denver built storage cabinets, painted rooms and even weeded overgrown flowerbeds for Urban Peak, an agency that offers services to young people struggling with poverty and homelessness. And in our hometown, associates helped spread the support across eight locations in Kansas City by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, American Royal, Della Lamb, and much more. We also spent a day uplifting veterans at the Kansas City Stand Down event in November.

I encourage you to join us in supporting your community through organizations you are passionate about! Cheers to another 100 years!

 

Ms. Vaughn West is the Vice President of Community Relations at UMB in Kansas City, Mo. In this role, she is responsible for managing corporate community outreach, associate volunteerism, charitable giving and the UMB Big Bash concert for a cause. She joined UMB in 2008. She earned a BA in Communications from University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. She also has a certificate of business proficiency from the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.  She has served on many community boards and volunteer councils, including her current position as vice-president of United Way’s Corporate Volunteer Council. 


Ms. Vaughn West is the Vice President of Community Relations at UMB in Kansas City, Mo. In this role, she is responsible for managing corporate community outreach, associate volunteerism, charitable giving and the UMB Big Bash concert for a cause. She joined UMB in 2008. She earned a BA in Communications from University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. She also has a certificate of business proficiency from the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain. She has served on many community boards and volunteer councils, including her current position as vice-president of United Way’s Corporate Volunteer Council.



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What is diversity and inclusion?

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The words “diversity” and “inclusion” are used a lot in the business world. But how many of us understand the scope of what those two words mean? There is still a widely-accepted assumption that the diversity discussion is limited to minorities and women. But it’s so much more than that. Diversity covers race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, geographical location and even generational differences.

The word inclusion is equally important because it takes the idea of diversity from awareness to action. Once you are aware of the vast diversity in the workforce, the next step is to include as many of those diverse perspectives as possible into your organization.

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So where do you start? Diversity and inclusion has to be more than paying lip service to the idea. Your company needs a plan.

Four areas to focus on:

  1. Executive Leadership Support

    Of course your executive leadership should approve of and enable your diversity and inclusion ideas and efforts. And while it’s great to have that endorsement, it’s only the first step. Implementing a successful diversity and inclusion program in your organization starts from the top down. Diversity should be on the agenda of every leadership meeting, just like the status update on the company financials.

  2. Measurement

    Use measurement tools – like a scorecard – to benchmark and then measure how your company is doing in specific areas. The only way to understand if and how you’re improving is to keep track of simple metrics. That way you can understand where the company began and what to do to improve. UMB is currently implementing these scorecards across our company.

  3. Required Training

    Required diversity and inclusion training for every associate in the company is also important. Do not assume that associates at a certain level of leadership don’t need this training.

  4. Collaborative Partners

    Consider working with local collaborative partners in your area. At UMB we work with organizations across our footprint to help us advance our diversity efforts in the areas of talent acquisition, associate engagement and business opportunities. For example, in Kansas City, we work with many organizations, including Urban League of Greater Kansas City, Hispanic Chamber of Greater Kansas City and a new organization called Concord Cultural Center.

Fully integrating diversity and inclusion in your company involves applying these ideas to every part of the organization and including everyone in the conversation. The diverse perspectives will likely make your company stronger. When you have multiple points of view, you can provide your customers with a well-rounded approach to the business.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Dr. Hendricks serves as senior vice president of Diversity and Inclusion at UMB. She is responsible for the corporate-wide diversity and inclusion strategy. She joined UMB in 2006. Dr. Hendricks earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Development Psychology and Mass Communications and a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan. She also earned a Doctorate in Educational Psychology and Policy Analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia.



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Your culture drives innovation

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Mike Hagedorn is back to expand on the idea of company culture. This time, he highlights the importance of allowing your culture to drive innovation.

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Mr. Hagedorn is president and chief executive officer of UMB Bank and vice chairman of UMB Financial Corporation. Prior to this role, Hagedorn served as chief financial officer and chief administrative officer of UMB Financial Corporation. He joined UMB in March 2005.



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Wellness Counts: Invest in You

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Here at UMB, we encourage our associates to take personal responsibility for improving their health and that of their families. Already an important part of the company culture, we saw room for improvement in our current wellness plan and we knew we could do more. So in 2012, UMB rolled out a Health and Wellness program that was more thorough than anything we had done before. I volunteered to be the executive champion for this program because it’s important to me and it’s important to our associates.

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We want to have a healthier workforce. When we live a healthier lifestyle, we can positively affect our team. Living healthy often means you’re more alert, energetic and have fewer sick days. Not all health conditions are within our control, but many of them are. With our wellness plan, we focus on what our associates can control and put into place initiatives that give them the power to change their lifestyles for the better:

  • Medical plan discount incentive for associates enrolled in our medical plan who participate in various activities and receive a discount toward their monthly premium. Activities include completing health screenings (cancer, dental, vision, etc.), engaging in physical activity, and certifying that they are tobacco free.
  • Wellness coaches hired through Wellness Coaches USAto confidentially discuss health and wellness related topics and answer questions our associates might have. They can simply ask questions or even set goals with the coaches. The coaches will give them advice and tools to meet those goals and meet with associates to check on their progress.
  • Monthly newsletters to share our program offerings with associates. It includes an associate spotlight, information about what fruits and vegetables are in season, healthy recipes, and different ideas for exercise.
  • My blog to share with associates my thoughts and experiences on the monthly wellness topics. I also let them know about my wellness goals and how I’m progressing. For example, I’ve shared how I am working with our wellness coach about nutrition so I can develop healthier eating habits. Then in a later blog post I will share how I have been progressing toward that goal.

So far we’ve seen some fantastic progress. Our wellness coaches and health insurance carrier reported these findings over the past year:

Wellness Results Infographic

I’m extremely proud to say we’ve been recognized for the amazing efforts of our associates. UMB has been recognized as a Healthiest Employers finalist in Milwaukee (2012), St. Louis (2012), Wichita (2013) and Denver (2013). Just recently, the CEO Roundtable on Cancer honored UMB with the CEO Cancer Gold Standard for our efforts to reduce the risk of cancer for associates and their family members.

I realize this is only the beginning. We’re starting with awareness and slowly moving into building more engagement in the programs over time. We encourage our associates to evolve beyond any unhealthy habits they’ve developed and learn to lead a healthier lifestyle. As I’ve learned with the goals I’ve set with our wellness coach, the small successes will build over time and lead to a big difference.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Mr. Hagedorn is president and chief executive officer of UMB Bank and vice chairman of UMB Financial Corporation. Prior to this role, Hagedorn served as chief financial officer and chief administrative officer of UMB Financial Corporation. He joined UMB in March 2005.



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Thank you to our veterans

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I was recently at an event hosted by Facing History‡, an organization that creates history curriculum that teaches kids to be more tolerant. One of the speakers at the event was a girl who received an award for an art project. Her guest that evening was her grandmother, a holocaust survivor. They told an amazing story and I walked away from that event with a renewed commitment to never forget our men and women in uniform.

Staff Sergeant James D. Shearer, United States Air Force, and Mariner KemperUMB Bank Colorado honored veterans,
including Staff Sergeant James D.
Shearer, United States Air Force.

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As the last of the World War II survivors pass on, I am reminded that my children, and frankly anyone younger than 60, don’t really know what it is to sacrifice in a time of war. We are currently in at least two wars right now. But do you notice on a daily basis? The answer is probably no. There are no food rations. Or fuel taxes to support the war. It is a shameful reality of our society.

As our men and women return from combat duty, they are not greeted with a hero’s welcome. We expect them to reintegrate into a society that has not acknowledged their sacrifices. Or the sacrifices of their families. These people have volunteered to put themselves in harm’s way to protect us. To protect our children. They ensure we can continue to live our lives uninterrupted.

My father served in the Navy and he still maintains the sense of pride they instilled in him so many years ago. It is incredible to see how these veterans have somehow managed to maintain the lost art of social graces and respect. They stand when someone enters the room and say sir and ma’am, while the rest of us seem to have forgotten how to treat each other.

So, what can we do to support these fine men and women? First and foremost, we can say thank you. We can give up our prime seat on an airplane or offer to pick up their sandwich at the local deli. A thank you can go a long way. But it’s not enough. There are numerous organizations in your communities that are specifically designated to assist veterans and their families, especially those in need. Below you will find a list of websites and resources in your community.

This has always been a passion of mine, and of UMB’s. We celebrate veterans with an annual event across our footprint and help the Marines with their Toys for Tots program. We hire as many veterans as possible. But we could, and should be doing more. Send us your ideas on how we can support veterans in our communities. This is a group effort. We should find as many ways to show our gratitude as possible.

And to veterans past, present and future: Thank you. Thank you for volunteering to protect millions of people you have never met. Thank you for ensuring we have the freedom to express our thoughts and for protecting our rights and liberties. There is no other place in the world where you have the ability to build something; to create a business in our unique free market system. And it is because of these brave men and women. Thank you, from all of us.

Resources:

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Mr. Kemper is the chairman and chief executive officer of UMB Financial Corporation and UMB Bank, n.a. He joined UMB in 1997. Mr. Kemper is active in both civic and philanthropic endeavors. One of the causes he is most passionate about is the arts. He currently serves as a trustee and executive committee member for the Denver Art Museum and is a past board member for The Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City.



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Embracing Opportunities

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Meet UMB’s chief financial officer, Mike Hagedorn. In his eight years at UMB, he has embraced his role as CFO and its many opportunities. Expanding this role beyond the traditional expectations of a CFO, he is a champion of the company culture. Here he shares his thoughts on this important position in the company and what it means to him.

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Bank deposit products provided by UMB Bank n.a., Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender


Mr. Hagedorn is president and chief executive officer of UMB Bank and vice chairman of UMB Financial Corporation. Prior to this role, Hagedorn served as chief financial officer and chief administrative officer of UMB Financial Corporation. He joined UMB in March 2005.



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