Each brand has a culture that drives its identity. People naturally associate different feelings with the brands we interact with, and that can be used as a marketable tool. Does your credit union have a unique culture that your members keep coming back for? Can you think of your competitors' culture and how it differs? In this blog, we'll help you understand how your internal culture can be a very valuable asset for your credit union growth.
Keep Members Coming Back
The most important value of an internal culture is how it resonates with the members you serve. A clearly defined internal culture will set the tone for all employee interactions with members. And let's face it, you're really only as good as your front-line staff. The more empowered and clear on your organization's goals your staff is, the more likely they are to exude your brand's qualities and create positive experiences that keep members coming back. Your front-line staff is the best marketing tool in your arsenal. Whether they are cross-selling your products well or reinforcing the good feeling members get from your brand, these are the people that will carry through the promises of your internal culture. With the amount of competition there is in the financial services industry, it's important to offer that particular brand of service that sets you apart from your competitors.
"You can’t be special, distinctive, and compelling in the marketplace unless you create something special, distinctive, and compelling in the workplace."
I'm sure you're wondering how internal culture can possibly drive productivity — but it can! According to a telling Forbes article, when team members understand their core purpose and contribution, internal culture increases productivity by encouraging:
- Fluid and unified communication
- Efficient decision-making
- Quickly identifying and solving problems
- Faster integration and adaptation
- Breakthrough of corporate and political barriers
- Clear accountability
- Cooperative instead of combative teams
- Reduced team conflict
- Empowerment and owndership
Those are some amazing benefits, all originating from a defined culture. Let's face it. The more productive your staff is, the better chance you have at offering that complete member satisfaction we all strive for.
Hire the right people
A strong set of values should attract the right kind of talented people to your organization. In turn, you'll know immediately who isn't a good fit. Having a defined sense of culture creates a clear set of expectations for employees. And if your leaders are living those values, your employees will have expectations to live up to and a clear path for growth. In the long-term view, the cultural values you've worked hard to establish, with amazing values and a unique point of view, will help retain those employees you spent time and resources to hire. According to the article 4 Surprising Ways That Culture Drives Growth on Inc.com, "If you don't use values to attract and reward talent, you are likely to produce an organization that will not outgrow your industry".
Depending on the size of your organization, chances are you have a couple of different locations with different groups of staff. Each location or branch may have different challenges they face every day. If every employee is clear on the values they should base decisions on or the expectations they need to meet, the more unified the message you send to other employees and members. This creates accountability in each location and across the organization as a whole. With a clear set of values you can promise a consistent level of service for members no matter where they go.
Great marketing is really about building relationships. Whether you're building relationships with members or employees, people are the greatest advocates for your brand. Is your culture creating brand advocates? Are you a little lost on your credit union cultural values? Then maybe it's time to have a deeper conversation about your brand.
At PRIME, we're experienced at helping credit unions find their brand and what makes them unique. If you're looking for a brand refresh that your entire company can buy into and stand behind, reach out to us to see how we can help.