Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Bank That Pays it Forward in Fargo, North Dakota

You think everyone would have something they dislike about their job - with the notable exception of the people at State Bank and Trust in Fargo, N.D., CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reports.

State Bank chief operating officer Michael Solberg said, "That's our mission statement: happy employees, happy customer."

To accomplish the company's mission, Solberg says the bank gives a year-end bonus of about 5 percent of salary. They contribute 15 percent of salary to the 401-K, and do a full 20 pounds on the holiday turkey. But the best perk by far is the company Christmas party.

In '06 they staged a game show with COO Solberg as the bald host of Deal or No Deal.

The $500,000 prize was split equally among the bank's 500 employees. That meant everyone got $1,000.

Again this Christmas, the bank gave everyone another $1,000.

But this time the money came with a clever little catch. No, the didn't have to pay it back. But they did have to pay it forward.

"There were three rules. You can't give it to your family. You can't give it to a co-worker. And you have to document your good deed. Other than that, the sky's the limit," Solberg said.

The tapes are just now starting to roll in, and they run the gamut: from the woman who paid for an abandoned kitten to get a life-saving surgery to the guy who gave the money to a friend whose car got stolen.

Read the entire story and watch video at CBS News.

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