A Best Company to Work for

Bank Independent employees at one of many volunteer events. 

SHEFFIELD – Bank Independent has been named one of the Best Companies to Work For in Alabama. This annual program was created by Business Alabama and Best Companies Group and is in its eleventh year. 

This survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize, and honor the best employers in Alabama to benefit the economy, workforce, and businesses. Bank Independent is one of only 18 companies to make the list, ranking 

third in the large company division. 

“The executive team and I try to set the tone by serving the leadership team and managers,” said Rick Wardlaw, CEO of Bank Independent. 

That philosophy extends throughout the company and creates high expectations for its employees, challenging them to continuously grow and learn in their positions. To assist that growth, Bank Independent ensures they have access to resources for professional and personal development.

Wardlaw said Bank Independent’s response to the challenges it has recently faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic illustrates the value the institution places on its employees. 

To be considered for participation, companies had to fulfill the following eligibility requirements:

• Be a for-profit or not-for-profit business or government entity;

• Be a publicly or privately held business;

• Have a facility in Alabama;

• Have at least 15 employees in Alabama;

• Be in business a minimum of 1 year.


“We have challenged ourselves to protect our most vulnerable team members while continuing to fulfill our mission of making a positive difference in people’s lives,” he said. 

That included rapidly implementing telecommuting for as many employees as possible. Bank Independent recruited individuals who were unable to resume their normal duties right away to sew masks for their fellow team members and local healthcare workers.

Companies from across the state entered the two-part survey process to determine the Best Companies to Work for in Alabama. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems, and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25% of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. This part of the process was worth approximately 75% of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final rankings. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process in Alabama, analyzed the data, and determined the final rankings.

The rankings were revealed in the publication of the September 2020 issue of Business Alabama.

Bank Independent was also recently named the Best Bank in Alabama by Forbes magazine based on a nationwide customer survey conducted by Statista.

“We are honored to be on this list because the opinions of our team members put us there, not just what we claim as a company,” Wardlaw added. 

For more information on the Best Companies to Work for in Alabama program, visit www.BestCompaniesAL.com.