Culture - It's worth the wait
This article appeared in a past issue of the Credit Union Journal.
While cooking breakfast, my grandfather always said, "You can't rush an egg." So it is, too, when "cooking" a sales and service culture.
For example, the sales and service culture efforts of the SUMMIT Federal Credit Union in Rochester, N.Y., are starting to bear fruit after eight months. The first two months of this year, traditionally slow times for the credit union, have shown unexpected growth, says President/CEO Mike Vadala. He cautiously attributes at least part of this result to the credit union's efforts to develop a sales and service culture.
The surer evidence that something good is happening is more anecdotal. One noticeable change is that credit union staffers are actively seeking more information about how they can help make the sales and service culture flourish, says Laurie Baker, VP/human resources and consumer loans.
"Before people would just nod their heads" when asked about sales and service issues, she says. Now, when they don't understand how to sell or serve, they say, "I don't know how to do this, I need help."
After several staff training sessions, establishing a credit union-wide incentive program and training managers to support the efforts, "credit union-wide acceptance is beginning to happen," Vadala adds. "Ninety-five percent of our people are getting it. Even departments that don't have member contact (regularly) realize they have to find a way to support this culture."