Story telling: A powerful element in credit union staff training initiatives
Every day, somewhere in the credit union industry, a credit union, CUSO, league, or trade association welcomes a new employee. For many of these new additions to the extended credit union family, their onboarding may well be their first exposure to the credit union movement, its value set, and the profound difference credit unions make for their members and communities.
Credit unions are certainly unique in the pantheon of financial services providers. The core values of credit unions – service, trust, and community – have remained unchanged for more than 100 years. The commitment to serving members and meeting their needs along the full continuum of their financial lives is what sets credit unions apart from their competitors. The very reason credit unions exist is to serve those who own them – the over 100 million people who belong to a credit union.
Over time credit unions have adopted new technologies and payments innovations to engage and retain members and meet their needs. But, it is truly the people in the industry who give sincerity and substance to what it means to serve members and make a difference.
When credit union executives interact with new hires or their Board members, they might ask them, “Why are you interested in serving a credit union and its members?” Frequently, the response is, “Because I want to make a difference.”
And in the course of their service, many stories unfold that vividly demonstrate the credit union difference as financial services providers and community-minded citizens. The impact of good old fashioned story-telling can be a great way to illustrate and reinforce why credit unions do what they do.
Some credit unions have awareness and training initiatives underway to uncover the stories in every one of their departments that illustrate how their staff is helping members and meeting their needs. The stories emerge when staff is challenged to tell the stories behind how the service their teams provide is different than what the member will experience elsewhere. Those stories are then shared across the organization.
At PSCU’s 2016 Member Forum for its Owner credit unions, Steve Connell managed in the span of just seven minutes to convey the essence of why credit unions exist and how commitment to serving members stands so much taller that other organizations’ service to customers. It was a masterful piece of story-telling and perfectly aligned with many credit unions’ initiatives. Click here to watch the video.
There is enormous value within each organization in the industry to continually reinforce and affirm the ideals and mission of credit unions. Because credit unions are built on a foundation of service to members, those who accept the responsibility for delivering superior service need to always stay mindful of the credit union’s mission and values.
We have great stories to tell and many people are waiting to hear them.