Happy, engaged employees.

Leading a team of people at a credit union, whether large or small, can be a daunting challenge for even the most gifted managers and leaders. In public relations, we’re always looking for ways to make this work easier through strong internal communications programming and the development of powerful team-building exercises. We know teams that bond together work harder, smarter and more in sync with the credit union’s mission and goals.

Finding ways to get your credit union on the same sheet of music can sound difficult, but it really doesn’t have to be. All it takes is some imagination and elbow grease to turn an idea into an event that brings a team together.

Here are a dozen great ideas to get you started in building the comradery and positive work environment you need to succeed to fulfill an engaging workforce. We know they work because we’ve seen them in action!

  • Break out the Legos! Have a Lego-building contest for each department. Task departments with building something that represents the work they accomplish for the organization. Maybe it’s the credit union logo or something that represents the personality of the organization.
  • Start a running (or recreation sport) club for employees. In addition to helping with health and wellness, running and healthy activities gives participants a chance to get to know one another better. This club will cut across departments within your organization, allowing for stronger communication in the workplace.
  • Adopt local charities and non-profits. We know how much credit unions already give back, but do you know which causes your employees truly care about? Poll your employees on the charities they are involved with away from the office and adopt the ones that show up the most in your results. You can provide material support, or your organization’s expertise, and make a real difference in your community.
  • Break a world record! Find something fun, like a donut-eating record, and see if your credit union can break it. Either way, you’ll gain valuable publicity, a fun internal communications program and happy employees!
  • Dance! Every July, America celebrates National Dance Day. Celebrate with a luncheon where your leadership team shows off their best moves.
  • Celebrate diversity and different cultures by catering food and planning activities everyone can participate in.
  • Fill a bus for back to school. Reach out to a local charity or coalition that provides back-to-school supplies for underprivileged children and youth. Fill a school bus with supplies for them, and make a special delivery that everyone can take pride in.
  • Bring the kids to work! Each April, America celebrates Take Your Kids to Work Day. Next time, make it count with a full day of special ways the children of your employees can get to know your credit union and take pride in the work their parents do.
  • Celebrate the summer! Take a Friday afternoon and celebrate summertime with your employees. Whether it’s with a day at the beach, the local park or your building’s courtyard, celebrate their hard work once a year. This works especially well for organizations that start new fiscal years on July 1.
  • Give blood. Host a quarterly blood drive with your local Red Cross. It’s an easy way to make a difference in the community and give your employees a chance to bond over a simple event.
  • Have a fall carnival for a good cause. Create a fundraiser for a local non-profit with a carnival for your employees and their families. Don’t forget to put the CEO in the dunk tank!
  • Celebrate the holidays. Take time at the end of every year to celebrate the holiday season together. Whether it’s a formal party or just an office-wide white elephant gift exchange, don’t be afraid to get into the holiday spirit together.

These are just some of the ways you can make a difference inside your credit union through a strong internal communications and events program. These easy-to-implement ideas are sure to enhance your workforce environment.

Jennifer Vickery Jennifer Vickery

Jennifer Vickery is President/CEO of National Strategies PR. She can be reached at 813-865-3093 or jvickery@nspublicrelations.com.