Through the CU Philanthropy Group's partnership with Odyssey Teams Inc., the credit union's senior executives and staffers participated in the team development event as part of a kick-off for OAS FCU's broader staff-development initiative.
"It was a great experience. The team-building promotes unity and helps us focus, communicate and better understand each other," said OAS FCU CEO Carlos Calderon. "It's very important to have a united, strong team that cares and is there to help solve our members' problems because ultimately that is how we bring value to membership."
The Washington, D.C., credit union team built the hands, tested them for functionality and decorated the delivery boxes, which will be distributed through Odyssey Teams and Rotary International to land mine accident victims. All boxes sent included a photograph of the three-person assembly team.
"Participants were fully engaged, not just as teams with a task, but also in spirit as they assembled prosthetic hands and tested them for quality of function," reported CU Philanthropy Group President Frank Hackney. "What begins as a very challenging and highly effective team development and process improvement event quickly shifts to a powerful embodiment of what it means to truly serve a customer's needs."
Calderon added that the event helped reinforce the credit union's vision, mission and goals.
"It is a test of leadership and the ability to deal with different personalities while building something that is extremely difficult," said Calderon. "The whole message that was being reinforced is: We're here to find and provide solutions that help meet our members' financial needs."
Calderon finds such value in fostering internal relationships that six more staff development events throughout the year are in the process of being planned. He said there is an inclusive culture at the heart of OAS FCU.
"Every staff member attends our strategic planning meetings because each is important. They aren't just a member service representative or loan officer, but they are part of something bigger, moving together to help our members," said Calderon. "For us staff development, team-building is an ongoing process."
A nonprofit division of the Conference Group, the CU Philanthropy Group's mission is to deliver customized, on-site philanthropic events to credit union leadership teams and boards while providing full staff training.
"At the core, we're working on staff process and communication, but in the end we're changing the life of another human on this planet. That's what credit unions are all about," said Hackney.