**Originally posted 6/1/2012 on CU Insight
Credit union leaders need to find ways to keep their employees motivated, energized, and inspired. If employees are properly motivated, they will work harder. If they are able to maintain a high level of energy, they will exude more enthusiasm – and enthusiasm is contagious! If they are inspired, they will look at their jobs in a different light – in fact, they may want a career in credit unions rather than just a job.
Here are 5 steps credit union leaders can take right now to motivate, energize, and inspire employees…and themselves!
The Credit Union’s Mission Statement – make sure that the credit union’s employees know the mission statement, embrace it, and are able to recite it. This is crucial. Sadly, I would be willing to bet that too many credit union employees have no idea what their credit union’s mission statement is. If you expect your employees to work within the culture you’ve set, adhere to your values, and provide exceptional service to your members, they need to understand the mission. They need to live it.
Personal Mission Statements – following up on the above…..encourage employees to write a personal mission statement that answers this question: “how can I, as an employee of this credit union, fulfill the credit union’s mission each and every day?” Encourage the employees to keep what they’ve written in a place where they can see it. This kind of activity will build morale and helps the employees maintain confidence in their ability to get the job done.
The Accountability Factor – put simply, hold people accountable for their work. There is nothing more demoralizing than working for an organization that has no accountability standards. These standards need to apply to everyone from the top down. If people know that they are held to high standards, they will work harder and smarter. If there is no sense of accountability, the best and brightest employees will leave. You’ll be left with lazy and unproductive “seat-fillers.”
Get the employees involved in planning – if employees feel as if they play a part in setting plans and goals, chances are pretty good that they will work harder to follow the plans and reach the goals. This does not mean that they become solely responsible for setting their own goals – it means that management personnel have discussions with their employees to find out what is important to them, what motivates them, and what they hope to achieve by working for the credit union. If you show that you value the input and suggestions from the “front-line,” you’ll enjoy a greater sense of teamwork and collaboration.
Show them the numbers! This suggestion may seem a bit unorthodox but frankly, it shouldn’t seem that way at all. It is important for employees to understand how a credit union works and that means that they should have a basic understanding of the financials. Too many times, credit union management gives directives without any context. For example, they say things like “you need to close more loans.” That is certainly true – especially now. But there is a better way to motivate employees to follow directives such as closing more loans: if they see the numbers and understand how closing loans affects the financial standing of the credit union….and how, in turn, better financials can lead to things like offering more services to members not to mention pay raises and bonuses for them…..well, you get the picture.
If you give them the why and not just the what, the new motivation, energy, and inspiration will become apparent.