Credit unions have thrived during the last few months and have been able to make strides in innovation. By the rapid pace of change at all levels, from executives to tellers, everyone has had to think fast and work cooperatively to create solutions for members and the community. Studies show that for the first time ever, there are five generations in the workforce. While the Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, and Generation X have retired or are nearing retirement, it is up to the Millennials and Generation Z to continue to build and enhance daily operations and systems.
As a young professional myself I believe this industry has a lot of high-level opportunities. So, how do we support young professionals in our branches, call centers, and back offices? Here are 5 ways you can support young professionals in your SPACE…
Be Supportive – It is important to recognize that support is different for everyone. As a leader, learning how your young professionals feel supported individually will lead to success. You can learn this by simply having a conversation or even using digital resources to get this information. (My advice, do both and always follow up!)
Be Patient – As young professionals, we often feel like we have to prove ourselves and take on multiple projects at one time. We desire to do and be the best (it’s been instilled in us since birth) and sometimes that comes with being hard on ourselves when we feel like we’ve missed the mark. Patience and understanding allows young professionals (any professional really) to gain confidence in their work and amplifies the desire to strive for excellence.
Be Accessible – With many things, young professionals have to just figure it out on their own (that’s life). Sometimes we just need a leader there to listen; a safe space to share out-of-the-box ideas and think about the process or development later.
Allow Creativity – Despite what many may think, we are not robots. Young professionals love to explore; it’s in our nature. With development comes change and innovation, we like the idea of ‘working smarter not harder’ (and that’s not a bad thing – look at your smartphone for example). Allowing and supporting creative spaces within your credit union will continue to push our competitive advantage by leaps and bounds. Think of it as a ‘think tank’ outside of the Marketing department. After all, these are the individuals that have direct contact with members and hear their needs most often.
Provide Education – Learning is essential to the development of young professionals. Former President John F. Kennedy said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” Often we see not-so-great leadership with those who lack training, experience and information. Providing resources to learn and develop new skills will allow young professionals an opportunity to be their best while strengthening the member experience, creating better solutions, and supporting other young leaders themselves.
Overall, support comes in many different forms and is necessary for the future of credit unions.