Credit union-specific training is not just beneficial, but essential

by Alicia Steindorf, CUDE, CUNA

In the diverse landscape of financial institutions, credit unions hold a distinct place, characterized by a member-centric approach that prioritizes relationships over mere transactions.

This unique approach requires training programs specially designed to capture the essence of credit union culture. Training needs to offer new employees a blueprint to understand and adapt to credit union dynamics that are unlike any other in the financial landscape.

Day 1 foundation

New staff members stepping into the credit union environment for the first time may find themselves in a culture that is new and not the same as any other workplace they have experienced. To understand how this new environment is different, their onboarding also needs to be different.

Kicking off the experience of new employees on their first day with a focus on building relationships by introducing them to your entire team demonstrates to them how important those relationships are.

Providing specific training crafted for credit unions then sets the foundation for this new career path. Courses explaining the important background and history of credit unions help them understand their role in the credit union movement. This learning can help fast-track their onboarding, enabling them to serve members more efficiently.

Build differentiation

In each business role at a credit union, the foundational difference of the industry is integrated into all operations and day-to-day tasks. To support that difference, credit unions need to have training that includes:

  • Member-centric approach: Equip new associates with the understanding and skills to prioritize member satisfaction over profit, aligning with the foundational principles of credit unions.
  • Personalized service: A personalized, inclusive approach ensures all members and associates feel seen and valued, where members are not just account numbers but individuals with unique needs.
  • Community-centric: Being community-centric, employees foster a closer relationship with members, understanding and catering to local needs more adeptly.

Without training that incorporates this focus on relationship-building, your members will experience the same transactional customer service they might have experienced elsewhere.

Design professional development plans

From tellers to compliance experts, each person can make a difference and should have a learning path for their career. Having in-depth professional development plans is a game-changer for building your team.

Companies whose employees excelled at developing skills in the last 12 months have a 15% higher internal mobility rate than companies whose employees lagged (LinkedIn Talent Solutions). By focusing on building the skills of individuals, as opposed to filling jobs, you can retain staff longer, keep down the costs of hiring, and build a pipeline of talented individuals who understand your unique value to members.

Develop your blueprint

Creating professional development that reflects the credit union difference and builds customized career progression takes time and requires a wide range of content to serve the needs of individuals. Training Solutions provided by CUNA are utilized by more than 1,000 credit unions nationwide, precisely because they save time and offer deep learning:

  • Professionally developed content with hundreds of training courses for onboarding and skill-building are available through CPD Online, a learning management system where training can be assigned and tracked based on individual staff needs.
  • Knowledge building from vetted experts is offered through Training Bundle eSchools at one inclusive price, including critical financial counseling.
  • Behavior-based sales and service training materials from Creating Member Loyalty to build your member experience.

Each affordable solution has been designed to be credit-union-specific, offering a blueprint that nurtures staff into becoming not just employees, but custodians of a legacy. Learn more about the solutions to build this into your team here.