Launching the Next Generation of Umpqua Culture

Company culture gets reset through leadership


Following rapid growth and senior leadership transition, Umpqua Bank saw a need to reconnect their culture with their mission and values. Having rapidly grown to become a $2B regional banking force, they sought to revisit and reset company values, and align internal branding with their successful consumer-facing brand.

The Ask

Umpqua Bank engaged Vignette to define and launch the next generation of Umpqua culture and lead them in driving unity and shared values. With new leadership in place, they recognized that it was a strategic time to introduce new ideas with company-wide communications. Starting with existing employee engagement data, from executive leadership to the customer representatives on the front lines of customer service, we extracted insights to drive adoption of new cultural values across the entire organization.

The Approach

Umpqua Bank had insights to their organizational structure and culture from previously working with two consulting firms; they had all the data they needed, but needed support aggregating it to achieve their purpose. Vignette maximized their investment in data collection by carefully reviewing all the assets to-date, and uncovering insights that guided the creation of Umpqua’s aspirational values. With values defined, we got to work driving multi-level engagement and activation across the company.

Activation & Roll-out

Project Leadership

Vignette provided leadership for the internal communications project, from editorial calendar management and meeting facilitation to materials production and procurement, building connections along the way between siloed functional groups, and modeling the new teamwork that the company was committed to fostering.

Senior Leadership Workshop

It was critical for senior leaders to internalize the new values and incorporate them into their leadership style and business goals; company culture starts from the top. Vignette leveraged an existing annual leadership meeting, transforming it into a co-creation workshop supported by a takeaway workbook. The experience fostered a deeper understanding of each behavior, and led the team in aligning their individual professional goals to corporate goals.

Culture and Values Campaign

Vignette created marketing language around the insights that included taglines and subthemes, effectively ‘consumerizing’ the employee education process to create a compelling, accessible digital and print campaign. To further maximize Umpqua’s investment, they built on the existing, successful consumer-facing creative strategy, aligning internal and external branding for a cohesive corporate brand.

Employee Activation

The multi-channel campaign strategy included a weekly rollout focused on an individual value, to give each one its own spotlight and allow for internalization by employees. Managers received a one-page values guide that included an overview, talking points, and additional story content, to use in discussion with employees. Frontline customer-service representatives engaged with members (and with limited time on digital devices) received a custom desktop display featuring a single value on each side. Turned to the weekly focus and positioned in the teller window, it served as a visual reminder and conversation starter, engaging customers in the company’s commitment to foster these behaviors.

Sharing the Umpqua Story & Vision

Umpqua Bank had an existing culture book—a unique cultural artifact coveted by employees, and used to introduce new hires to the company’s values. Vignette leveraged that respect by refreshing, rather than replacing, the culture book, with a new leadership message to reflect the vision of Umpqua’s future, and fresh language to modernize the presentation of mission and values. The end result was a 2.0 version that revisited the company’s roots while respecting and elevating a cherished component of company heritage.

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