If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s this: dealing with people problems is never easy.
Your credit union operates in a highly-competitive labor market. It’s hard to keep your best employees. And certain challenges can seem unsolvable:
- Some employees are just here to collect a paycheck
- It isn’t clear what to do in order to become an “employer of choice“
- You have managers who are part of the problem, not part of the solution
- You don’t know which employee development initiatives work and which ones don’t
- The “people side” of the business is messy, fraught with uncertainty, and while important, never seems to actually get addressed since it’s never quite an emergency
Fortunately, there is a solution to these challenges. The same numbers-driven approach your credit union uses to make decisions can be applied to find actionable insights about your people.
Here’s what you need to do.
To drive better business results, you must figure out what your real people problems are and target the most important opportunities for improvement. This will put you on a path to becoming an employer of choice – a place where current employees want to stay and where potential employees want to get hired! If you can get to this point, your people themselves become a competitive advantage for your credit union.
Wondering how to get there? Take these steps:
- Tap into the wisdom of your workforce. Start with an employee survey to help you understand the “human drivers” of your business results. Make sure employees know that their responses will be completely confidential and anonymous.
- Do smart analysis of your people data. Most companies obsess on only the low-scoring items on their employee surveys. Instead, the smart approach is to statistically identify the people-related issues that are the most important drivers of your business outcomes.
- Identify key areas of opportunity. Next, take into account which of the most important drivers are also relative weaknesses in your organization. This will reveal the most important opportunities for both improving business outcomes and becoming an employer of choice.
- Develop a prioritized strategy by tackling your top people opportunities. Use the fact-based findings above to create an overall people strategy with laser-like focus, including identifying which issues should be addressed at which level: enterprise, department, location, or manager.
- Communicate your strategy throughout the organization. Make sure your employees understand you’re serious about creating a better, more rewarding workplace by communicating your strategy clearly, thoughtfully, and transparently to employees at all levels of the organization.
- Empower leaders and managers at all levels to implement your strategy. Help leaders throughout the organization understand the roles they need to play in profitably improving the people side of your business – and arm them with the authority they need to make necessary changes.
- Provide coaching for managers who need to develop better people management skills. Additional coaching will be needed in some areas, both enterprise-wide and on an individualized basis for those managers who don’t yet have the skills necessary for your organization to be an employer of choice.
- Check in regularly on progress. Your employer-of-choice strategy has to be baked into the day-to-day operations of your business. It should be an integral part of the regular touch points you have with leaders and managers (staff meetings, retreats, budgeting, performance reviews, follow-up pulse surveys, etc.)
- Revise your strategy as needed. As you become more experienced with driving better business results through your management of employees, you should revise and hone your strategy based on what you’ve learned along the way. This needs to become the way you do business – not just another program!
- Celebrate progress!! Periodically celebrating your progress throughout the enterprise, while also identifying areas where additional effort is required, is an important, positive, fun way to affirm your commitment to being a profitable employer of choice.
Mini case study: creating measurable improvements for a large regional credit union
McBassi recently worked with a large regional credit union that was struggling with 30 percent turnover in a booming urban area with a highly-competitive labor market and asset growth rates that were falling short of the goals established in their five-year plan.
McBassi principals Laurie Bassi and Dan McMurrer worked with this credit union to implement a well-designed and thoughtfully-analyzed survey that replaced the credit union’s previous survey (which, unfortunately, had created almost no actionable insights for how to improve business results). The findings from McBassi’s analysis revealed a clear and specific path forward for addressing the pain points this credit union was facing.
As a result, the credit union improved its overall employee ratings by 16 percentage points in 2 years, while also increasing its assets by 13 percent and putting it back on track to achieve its five-year growth goals. These results are consistent with our research findings that credit unions with more satisfied employees also have better financial performance.