In Feb. 10 Editor-in-Chief column ("Live in the Moment, but Plan for the Future"), there were several good points executives need to consider related to staffing and the member experience. It's important to clarify that training is not a magic bullet. It's typically viewed as an event by employees. This is why development plans, consistent one-on-one coaching, management follow up and leading by example is critical. How many executives still engage in member issues themselves? If we want employees to engage members, we have to engage the employees. We also have to demonstrate we know what it's like to be on their side of a member conversation.
Secondly, you mention employee buy-in. We have quarterly all-staff meetings (we have 37 employees in two locations). During these meetings, we openly discuss the credit union's financials and progress toward set goals and relate them back to staff roles and responsibilities. By doing this, staff understand why we ask them to review the members' full relationship and to identify where we can help make their financial lives better. This can only be accomplished by having a conversation that understands the members' needs versus selling a product.
Finally, looking outside the industry for new employees provides a new set of eyes to understand why we do what we do and how. The right person has the attributes the organization is trying to instill in other employees. It increases the learning curve, but it's a ride worth taking.
Chief Strategic Officer
NARFE Premier Federal Credit Union