By Rhiannon Stone
From dynamic consumer needs to legislation amending the Dodd-Frank Act, financial institutions face an increasingly competitive environment and uncertain regulatory landscape. To overcome these challenges, credit unions must implement strategies that prioritize establishing resiliency, grit and adaptability within their organizations.
Specifically, credit union managers are positioned to foster policies and procedures that can provide comprehensive solutions to unique 21stcentury issues. However, for success to be sustainable in the 21stcentury, managers have to be clear, consistent, selective and innovative.
Whether setting organizational goals or providing feedback to an employee, managers have to communicate their intended messages clearly. With a substantial amount of information traveling through a variety of mediums, managers cannot afford to make subjective generalizations to their employees.
Rather, through specific, clear communications, managers will minimize the potential for confusion and disarray within their credit union. For example, when setting goals and objectives for your credit union, you need to ensure that the goals are clearly understandable, measurable and achievable. There should be no confusion from your employees on what your credit union’s overall mission is as well as what is individually expected of them on a daily basis.
As the financial industry continues growing in complexity, credit union employees face an ever-increasing litany of malleable external factors, such as regulatory compliance and monetary policy. Unfortunately, many of these factors are completely out of credit unions’ hands. Nonetheless, leaders should focus on the internal processes they in fact can control and how they can superiorly manage their employees through uncertainty. As the leader, you must be the consistent foundation within your organization, protecting against misalignment within your credit union as well as providing clear expectations to your employees and members.
When hiring new employees, you should be extremely selective on who is welcome into your organization. Rather than merely paying the typical due diligence, credit union leaders should determine if the job candidate’s skills and background aligns with the institution’s overall goals, objectives and culture.
A safeguard is to create a rigorous formulaic criterion by which to measure each candidate. This helps to prevent bias seeping into your process as well as allowing for a consistent assessment of each candidate.
Overall, your employees determine the ultimate success or failure of your organization. Therefore, you must go above and beyond to hire the candidate who will bring long term success to his or her position and to the credit union.
With increased competition in the financial industry, members’ demands for the latest and greatest technology continues to progress rapidly. Consequently, for credit unions to differentiate their services, managers should focus on promoting an innovative culture within their institutions, empowering their employees to challenge the status quo and think outside the box for creative solutions.
Resolute leadership is instrumental in building and guiding a winning culture within your credit union. Managers must embody the above principles to keep their credit unions thriving and on the forefront of progress within the financial industry.
Rhiannon Stone is Chief Operating Officer at EPL, Inc. For info: www.eplinc.com.