As NFM Lending’s employees shifted to telework for an unforeseeable amount of time during the COVID-19 pandemic, CEO David Silverman wanted to make things easier and more comfortable for them.
So the Linthicum-based mortgage lender purchased printers/scanners for those who needed them, shipping the equipment to their homes. He also bought new, ergonomic office chairs for every staffer who wanted one at home.
“I’ve always appreciated how hard our people work because they believe in the mission of this company, but how they have handled this situation with grace and dignity has shown me a whole new level of professionalism,” Silverman said.
Silverman and then-future wife Sandy launched the nationwide mortgage lender in Baltimore with three fellow employees in 1998. The company has since grown from those modest roots to some 1,200 employees at branches across the country. It originates loans in more than 40 states, offering a range of residential mortgage products.
Yet while “sales and profit are the lifeblood of any company, it does not come at the expense of our employee satisfaction,” said Gene DiPaula, a company spokesman. “We consistently survey our employees to determine how we are doing beyond the day-to-day qualitative. The leadership immediately addresses any areas that show potential gaps.”
Developments include hiring Raphael Jordan as a full-time inclusion, diversity and engagement advocate several months ago.
“NFM Lending truly has a strong commitment to driving company culture and it shows with our commitment to make our workplace inclusive for all of our teammates,” he said. “We’ve established diversity education and awareness for continued teammate development and learning on various topics such as inclusive leadership and cultural competence. We understand for us to better serve our customers, be innovative and nimble, the key ingredient is our engaged teammates and leadership support.”
The company also distributes weekly communications regarding mental health and managing personal stress through its employee assistance program and a monthly “Live Well, Work Well” bulletin, which offers information on the five pillars of wellness: emotional, financial, occupational, physical and social well-being.
It hosts regular virtual happy hours, monthly interactive events and contests to engage employees. On NFM Spirit Day, the team gets decked out in company-branded swag and shares the photos. And the company’s employee recognition program, aka the Value Awards, thanks staffers for a job well done.