Most progressive credit unions understand that developing, maintaining and training to a strong brand culture and the member experience is critical to growth. Brand has been and continues to be a compelling buzzword in the industry.
However, one area in which credit unions can improve/enlarge their understanding of brand and branding comes much earlier than employee training. Truly successful credit union brands look at the process much earlier, during the new hire process.
Turnover, especially for certain front-line positions, will likely always be a challenge for credit unions. However, that doesn’t excuse poor and/or quick hiring choices just for the sake getting a warm body in a chair. Your brand deserves the right people in the right chairs and if the hiring process takes a bit longer, so be it.
During the hiring process your credit union must think about propensity of individual candidates to best live your unique brand culture. The interview and hiring funnel should therefore be replete with brand-centered thoughts, ideas, testing and questions for new hire candidates. If your credit union hires people with a greater upfront propensity to live the brand, you’re really accomplishing two things. One – you’re protecting the brand by putting a brand cheerleader in his or her role from day one. Two – you’re actually lessening overall potential turnover since the odds are slimmer with this brand-centered new hire that he or she will either independently opt-out of your credit union brand or be released due to lack of brand adherence.
While a number of retailers have implemented versions of the “pay employees to quit” policy, a more recent and compelling example comes from Amazon. Like any retailer, Amazon has its own unique brand and employee culture which is not necessarily the right fit for every person.
“We want people working at Amazon who want to be here,” noted an Amazon spokesperson. The exact same criteria must apply at your credit union when it comes to hiring to match the brand. If you’re not hiring people that want to be there (or that are there nominally, at best for just the paycheck) you’re not doing right by your brand, your members or your entire team of employees. Those not dedicated to the brand are much more likely to criticize and/or spoil the entire brand culture for everyone else. These “brand poisoners” can drag down the entire brand culture for everyone.
While the “pay employees to quit” model may not be the best fit for your credit union, the philosophy behind it likely is. A key takeaway is that your credit union is less likely to face the “pay employees to quit” dilemma if it take steps now to ensure that brand and member experience standards and expectations are fully in play from the beginning of anyones’ tenure, which definitely includes the new hire process.
At any credit union, the most important title of any employee is “brand ambassador.” By focusing on hiring brand ambassadors, your credit union is less likely to struggle with the challenges of replacing former employees who were never the right fit for your culture.