While Credit Union Boards and managers are embracing their goal to grow, the urgency of growth for future sustainability is sometimes lost on front-line staff. Whilst your employees may know it’s good to grow, they can struggle to understand their place in your strategy, and this means they can become disengaged, making it more difficult to execute on your plans. So how can Credit Union leaders encourage employees to engage in and commit to delivering overall revenue goals?Train staff across all areas of your operations
Do your staff ever see what life is like outside of their department? More staff training in the functions of other departments will lead to greater insight of how your Credit Union operates on every level. Improved understanding of how the different parts of your Credit Union move together helps staff visualise where they fit in - as well as highlight opportunities for personal development. Additionally, lines of communication outside of their immediate team are strengthened.
Emphasise transparency in managerial and Board decision-making
When the understanding of plans and goals is the same from the Board through to the tellers, the potential for comprehensive growth is increased. Leaders should be able to communicate effectively with those further down the chain of command, who in turn should be able to transmit the same information to their subordinates, and so on, in a trickle effect. Operating in a way that creates openness between managers and employees is likely to create greater satisfaction within your organisation, which in turn, will only help the Credit Union with its long-term growth ambitions.
Coach your staff to become brand ambassadors focused on membership growth
According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, 41% of customers believe that employees are the most credible source of information regarding a business. To build a strong corporate brand, you need ambassadors – employees who are engaged, connected and committed to business goals. Execution of business growth goals often fail at the frontline where staff and customers meet. Staff cannot be fully invested in your growth goals unless they are either educated in their importance, or incentivised to reach targets in other ways, such as rewards. Additionally, putting special offers and notices on staff uniforms is a fun and effective way of spreading the word about new services, with the added effect of encouraging direct staff involvement.
Provide opportunities to upskill
The ongoing training and upskilling of all Credit Union personnel has always been key to the success of the Credit Union movement in Ireland. Any staff offering financial products to consumers should eventually become accredited through either long-term on-the-job experience, or by obtaining a Regulator-recognised qualification like ACCUP, QFA and CUA. The branch should support staff aspirations for improvement that will enable them to offer a wider selection of services to members. Currently most Credit Unions have a loan application system that involved filling out a form and then waiting to find out if the application is successful. Providing opportunities for frontline staff to train on calculating credit scores and increasing their confidence in a loan advisory function is empowering, and ensuring that all staff are empowered to make decisions that benefit members could ultimately help grow the branch’s loan book.
Create a fun working culture
A supportive work environment that values staff happiness will result in a workforce prepared to go the extra mile to provide exemplary customer service. If you want them to give you their best performance and share their best ideas, you should have a series of fun focal points throughout the month - meetings that staff look forward to and where they feel like their voice matters. Additionally, you shouldn’t be shy about praising staff or rewarding them for completing that round of quarterly reports in time. If PerkBox isn’t an option, then these meetings should at least have free tea and coffee - and don’t skimp on the pastries!
Creating a culture of happy, motivated staff who understand where they fit within the strategy set by leadership can lead to exponential growth. Ensuring that everyone understands your Credit Union’s plans and the messaging around them means members get far more touch points than they would have done if this information hadn’t gone past your management team. Long story short, if everyone is on board a ship, rowing gets much easier!
Want to learn more about how you can grow, manage and protect your Credit Union? Download our 5-5-5 Guide!