Is your credit union a culture vulture?

Culture is the personality of a credit union. It represents your values and how you treat your members, which can attract good personnel and ultimately lead to better member service. 30% of our lives are spent at work! This is why culture is now identified as the most important job benefit for workers of all generations and industries. No wonder why Google offers employees free food! Credit unions that possess a strong culture will retain their best employees longer, leading to energized staff and innovation.

A well-developed credit union culture breeds a dedicated group of individuals who work well together as a team, and have a common desire to grow the credit union. Over time, this bond gets stronger, and teamwork improves, as this dedicated team is more tightly connected to the credit union’s overall mission. But does a credit union’s culture begin and end with leadership? How can your credit union enhance its culture? How can you help your employees think of their jobs as full-fledged careers?

According to Surrey Business School and France’s Grenoble Ecole de Management, collaboration is a key driver to employee success and retention. This report was compiled over four years, and underscores what we already know: losing key staff members causes huge costs in terms of recruitment, training and loss of organizational performance.

One of the key findings of this study is to build a culture where your employees have lively, high-energy interactions with one another on a regular basis. In other words, relationship matters and not just for your members. Credit union leaders have the power to create this kind of open and collaborative atmosphere. You can encourage employees to cross-train and pick up skills from other teams, and you can go out of your way to encourage or create social events that bring staff together. This study also found that people who have ‘energetic activations’ with colleagues are less likely to leave an organization voluntarily than those with low energy towards co-workers. Relationships are also relevant and have a strong bearing on how ‘embedded’ people are within an organization, and how likely they are to leave.

What this study illustrates is that just about any measure that improves the life and satisfaction of an employee will in turn improve their performance at work and improve the credit union as a whole. Simply put, it pays to think from the bottom up when you’re building a culture, and to make sure worker happiness is one of your primary objectives.

The culture that exists within in your business partnerships matter too. Callahan & Associates, surveyed 140 credit unions that recently converted their core system. Interestingly, when asked what the top reasons were for selecting a new core provider, the second most popular response was centered around the company culture of the core processor. Credit union executives who are looking to build a partnership understand and value their partners culture as an extension of their own. Many of the survey respondents expressed interest and importance in the reputation of the core provider and their perceived reputation in the marketplace. They looked at the future of the core processors under review and wanted to know if there were strong growth projections.

This intimates the belief that if a credit union core processors’ company culture promotes innovation, they will enjoy the benefits of deeper pockets, stability, and a realistic view of market demands. Consequently, they are often times better positioned to provide innovation that is not only new and exciting but well planned and timely.

So whether building a staff or selecting a strategic partner or vendor, it is wise for credit union leadership to consider culture as a point of emphasis. Consequently, in all matters ensure culture is at the forefront of your credit union and ensure that your vendors culture’s align with your own.

Preston Packer

Preston Packer

Preston Packer is the Director of Sales & Marketing for FLEX. Preston has been with FLEX since 2000 and has worked in various sales management roles over that time. Preston’... Web: Details