Even in this age of hyper connectivity with social media on Twitter and Facebook, the most important ingredient for growth and efficient operations can be recognized from explicitly defining core values and culture.
Sounds easy, but it takes tremendous attention to detail. Creating such a culture is essential to an organization’s efficiency, productivity, and ultimately their growth.
Neches FCU creates their culture through three key areas: signature service, appearance, and communication. “Signature Service” is our Neches FCU brand standard for serving our members. We are trained on a recurring basis and are evaluated and annually tested on our Signature Service skills.
When it comes to communication, we cover mediums like employee intranets, email, social media, and memos. However, nothing replaces good, old-fashioned personal interaction. We still have weekly manager, staff, and departmental meetings. We’ve been doing this since the days of only having one branch. We will build our eighth this year. This is where we compile the important initiatives, goals, and successes for the week. We brief staff on the promotions and special events for the coming week and we review how our loan goals and new account strategies are working.
We encourage staff participation and review our tagline of ‘Family. Friends. Community.’ We work countless hours in civic organizations and community involvement. Part of our staff’s criteria for annual evaluations is their performance with working at credit union endorsed events. All employees are required to participate in a set number of festivals, events, parades, chapter dinners and other events.
We share stories of credit union events and really try to go out of our way to thank employees for helping us achieve our goals.
We also conduct regular training sessions to reinforce our brand. Recently our training department held an excellent session that compared our Signature Service to being in a band. This really helped enforce the idea that nobody is successful alone. Our team is vital all the way through the organizational chart.
The training emphasized that to get a standing ovation we must back up our tagline. That means come to perform, set the stage, connect with our audience, leave our baggage at the door and pick each other up.
In order for the marketing efforts to be successful, it is very important to achieve a genuine level of employee buy-in and accountability. Linking marketing and strategic decisions aids in those efforts to create the most seamless and logical connection possible between the two.
We have to communicate what our mission and brand is all of the time. Our efforts are designed to show how meaningful each individual’s efforts are to that ultimate mission. Here, I really believe our community involvement efforts set us apart from the rest. If you visit our booth at a festival, it’s going to be a “wow” experience.
What we’re not doing is sitting in seats and going unnoticed. Our involvement with civic organizations is also extremely important. Whether it’s local charitable organizations, local youth sports, or high school financial literacy, we really do try our hardest to make a positive impact.
Just as we have a commitment of signature service to our members, Neches FCU has a strong commitment to its employees. We treat our members like family. Our coworkers are provided a positive and energizing workplace. We have a strong commitment to our community to give back and help sponsor as many organizations as possible.
Signature service means serving members with pride, personalizing our service to meet their needs, solving members’ problems proactively and caring about their financial needs.
Jason Duplant is vice president of marketing at Neches Federal Credit Union in Port Neches, Texas.