By J. Keith Hughey, Senior Consultant
As consumers continue to have the ability to choose from an increasing menu of financial services options, standing out in the crowd of competitors requires utilizing all of your assets in the most effective way. Leveraging your organization’s human capital to its maximum potential may require changing the way you have always looked at things. But doing so can result in a whole new vision that leads to better service for your account holders and long-term success for your bank or credit union.
Simply stated, excellent service – provided consistently, not just every so often – is the key to account holder satisfaction and loyalty. And the recipe for this non-wavering level of quality service begins with an experienced, well-trained team of employees that share a sense of ownership in making sure an organization is successful.
If you think about it, loyal, long-term member relationships are the “icing on the cake” results of creating a positive work environment where employees are knowledgeable, feel valued and share a sense of ownership in achieving the institution’s goals.
The key to a satisfied staff is effective leadership
In order to build an effective organization and leverage the skills and talents that existing employees possess, an effective leader must be committed to modeling the type of behavior that he or she desires for the staff to emulate on a daily basis and be willing to:
• communicate the organization’s vision to all employees;
• provide the tools and training necessary to empower employees to do their jobs effectively;
• involve staff in making decisions that will ultimately impact them;
• delegate responsibility to encourage professional growth for all employees; and
• listen to employee input in order to create a true sense of teamwork among the workforce.
If implemented effectively, this behavior will result in establishing a partnership with employees where everyone is pulling in the same direction, at the same time, and with a similar effort in order to reach the credit union’s strategic objectives and goals.
Common obstacles to creating effective employee partnerships
Without a clear vision of the benefits of creating this type of work environment – where employees are engaged as true work partners – leaders can fall into one of two categories of reluctance to change: Either they operate from a model where decisions are made based on their perspective alone or they don’t know where to begin to create a more team-based environment.
Unfortunately, some leaders may continue to exhibit bad leadership habits that were passed along to them as they climbed the management ladder. This prevents the creation of a more productive work environment, hinders talented staff from reaching their potential and creates unnecessary attrition. This can ultimately lead to a loss of members if the level of consistent, caring, quality service they expect declines.
Finding the right balance is the key to success
In addition to knowing the right combination of products and services required to compete in today’s financial services environment, effective leaders realize the important role highly motivated, knowledgeable employees play in creating long-term account holder relationships.
Create a collaborative environment where employees are well-trained and empowered to work at full capacity, and people will notice. Because even in today’s highly automated world, nothing can replace the value that knowledgeable, caring member service can bring to a business transaction experience. And when consumers find that level of support, it won’t take long for word to spread to others who are looking for that same type of financial services relationship.
To learn more about how to build a high-performing organization, download the free webinar, Leveraging Human Capital to Achieve your Strategic Vision and Goals or call 800-809-2307.
As seen in:
CU Insight Headline News- March 20, 2014
CB Insight Headline News- March 26, 2014
CUES Website- May 2014