Member Education plays a fundamental role in any credit union…everyone would agree! My question to you though is HOW ARE YOU EDUCATING YOUR MEMBERS? and my second question would be ARE YOU EDUCATING YOUR MEMBERS ON THE OPERATIONAL FUNCTIONS OF THE CREDIT UNION? I have written previously on the critical importance of the Education Committee’s role. If the education committee isn’t optimal, the organization will be at a disadvantage. Education delivery is also connected to the strategy of the marketing department.
Use education to:
P1: Develop the members as part of your core CU philosophy – CU Hierarchy of Needs
P2: Position the organization in the mind of the members.
Humans crave knowledge…….use it to your advantage. Education empowers…Education creates opportunities!!! Think of upskilling members which then leads to wealth creation which leads to increased business for the CU and the operating community. Remember the relevance of the CU is LESS about your financial products, ANYBODY could offer that….it’s more about you helping/advance your members which includes your financial products! Every credit union OUGHT TO HAVE A LINKED Educational Development Strategy beyond that of just the act of delivering the education. Think of it as a school with a career guidance department.
The Digital Era has provided countless opportunities for learning in the forms of blogging, video content, webinars, online learning, email listing, etc. The digital era has also changed methods of communication which is connected to our foundation as humans – learning through visual [memes, infographics]. These forms now have a wider reach and in most instances cheaper. As you aim to establish your position in the minds of the members, how are you using these digital platforms to educate your members? By educating I mean on various topics which are seen as important. Given the range of membership demographics, I would suggest a mix of physical and digital learning. Digital allows greater flexibility and it aids in you building around the member. Digital Learning MUST be a KEY PART OF YOUR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION STRATEGY
Here are some points to note:
P1: If ALL of your member learning opportunities are physical, its directly correlated to WHO is on your education committee in addition to the overall lack of digital thrust of your organization which can be tied to where it begins – The Boardroom. Don’t let digital just be an app or website or being on a Social Media Channel. It’s much deeper! Learning/Teaching is a major opportunity.
P2: There are countless websites/Instagram Pages/Thought Leaders which/who provide usable nuggets to engage to teach your audience via your social platforms. For Finance, there is Business Insider, Investing Simple, Business Advice Daily, Entrepreneurship Facts, Inc, Mottley Fool & Harvard Business Review to name a view. DONT USE YOUR SOCIAL TO ONLY PUSH PRODUCT TO MEMBERS!!!!!…….. Empower, Teach and even Edutertain! I’ve noticed in Trinidad and Tobago, Works Credit Union has embarked on an infographic learning/empowerment via their social platforms using information from some of the pages mentioned above which is commendable. I’ve noticed the increased engagement! Sometimes you don’t have to recreate the wheel. There is readily available information. Let’s GO WORKS CU #worksuniversity
P3: Physical Learning is Cost Heavy with many limitations. As the CU grows, ALWAYS AIM to align yourself with a like organization who can take you to the future. If your Learning Partner doesn’t have a digital presence….have a second think. The future doesn’t regress and you need to save cost with increased delivery.
P4: If you don’t know where to start……..you can have a discussion with me. Here is the thing. There are content creators/bloggers/teachers/thought leaders/experts etc. who already provide digital learning. Establish a partnership to deliver learning to your members. There are platforms such as Google Trends, keywordseverywhere,Buzzsumo, Answerthepublic and Ubersuggest which give you insights in terms of what people are searching for, talking about, the best platform to engage, etc. If you realize Video Production Using Smartphones is buzzing……offer that! Remember it’s not about you, it’s about the current and future member!
P5: Offer Your Staff Paid Rewards to Deliver Learning Based on Skillset – My question to this is why not? If your staff members are skilled in something which can be offered to your members…. utilize them!
I do trust that you can use member education to not only enhance member knowledge but also build loyalty and brand awareness as your CU competes in the era of exponential noise.