The Credit Unions Same Old Lang Syne: Part 2

The Dan Fogelberg song “Same Old Auld Syne” seems to be a pretty accurate description of the relationship between credit unions and their members today. If you’re not familiar, here’s a link to Part One of this series.

One way in which credit unions are missing opportunities is by holding onto staff for all the wrong reasons. One great thing about our industry is that we’re very kind natured, but it’s also one of the worst things about our industry.

“I know he/she isn’t embracing our new culture, but they’ve been with us for 25 years and will be retiring soon. We can wait it out…”

It seems like the easy right thing to do. They’ve paid their dues, and it just seems wrong to send them out of the door after so many years of service. But have you thought about the impact it has on your members and your credit union as a whole?

I’ve seen this scenario happen over and over and in many credit unions. You begin hiring into your new culture. You spend time and money on training and making sure that the new team members are saying and doing the right things and understand the vision of the credit union, only to be undone when they’re let loose and encounter the heritage employee. He/she complains, “This just isn’t the same credit union it used to be,” along with a myriad of other negative comments. All of the time and money spent on training your new team members on the culture is undone when this negativity is introduced, bringing any progress you may have made to a grinding halt.

So how does this impact your members? I can always smell a disgruntled employee at any store or business from a mile away. They don’t smile, they aren’t excited about the product or service they represent, and they do the bare minimum needed. If you’re promising a great service experience at your credit union, you can’t make that promise with only a percentage of your team following through on that brand promise. Members don’t necessarily know what the issue might be, but they sure can tell that something just isn’t right. They may stay for the rate or the product they need, but they’re certainly not going to give great reviews about your brand to their friends and family. Did you know that 9 out of 10 purchasing decisions are made based on offline recommendations made by friends and family?

continue reading »