From Satisfied to Engaged: Achieving High-Performance Teams in Credit Unions

Increase employee engagement

The success and growth of any credit union relies heavily on engaged and satisfied employees. Although creating lasting relationships with members is the overall goal, it's crucial not to overlook the significance of your employees in providing excellent service.

When employees are disengaged or dissatisfied with their work environment, it can lead to friction and inefficiencies in the workplace, resulting in lost time and resources. The financial cost of disengaged employees is estimated at a staggering $500 billion, highlighting the importance of addressing this issue.

Think of it this way. Imagine if every employee in your branch performed as well as your top performer. How would that impact your credit union? Would you have happier members, higher employee retention rates, and increased productivity? When you increase employee engagement and satisfaction, credit unions can not only reduce turnover and associated costs but also increase productivity and revenue.

The Value Of Engaged Employees

Engaged employees are the backbone of a successful credit union. They are committed to their roles, passionate about the organization's goals, and take pride in their work. When employees are engaged, it leads to several benefits for credit unions, including:

Increases in Performance:

Engaged employees are more productive and motivated, leading to increased performance and output. They are also more likely to go above and beyond their job requirements, providing exceptional service to members.

Increases in Revenue:

Engaged employees can significantly impact a credit union's bottom line. Studies show that organizations with highly engaged employees can experience up to 21% revenue growth compared to those with disengaged employees.

Happy Employees = Happy Members:

Engaged employees are happier and more satisfied with their work environment, leading to increased job satisfaction, higher retention rates, and a positive workplace culture. This, in turn, leads to better member experiences, increased loyalty, and higher member satisfaction rates.

Decreases in Costs:

Having engaged employees can help reduce costs associated with high turnover rates, absenteeism, and workplace stress. For example:

Satisfaction vs. Engagement

Employee satisfaction and engagement are both essential components of a healthy workplace, but they are not the same thing. Understanding the difference between the two is crucial for credit unions looking to improve employee retention, productivity, and member satisfaction.

Employee Satisfaction

Employee satisfaction refers to how content employees are with their jobs and work environment. Satisfied employees may enjoy their job but may not be motivated to go above and beyond their job requirements or feel emotionally connected to the credit union.

While employee satisfaction is essential for retention, it is not enough to increase productivity or ensure high-quality service to members. Satisfied employees may be more likely to stay with the credit union but may not be as invested in its success.

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement refers to how passionate employees are about the value of their roles and how committed they are to the credit union's success. Engaged employees are deeply involved in their work and feel a sense of ownership over their contributions to the credit union's goals.

Engaged employees are more likely to show up to work energized and motivated, be proactive, and strive for excellence. They are committed to the credit union's success and believe that their work has a meaningful impact on the organization.

Employee engagement leads to higher retention rates, additional productivity, improved work quality, and increased member satisfaction.

In summary, while employee satisfaction is vital for retention, employee engagement is essential for credit unions looking to achieve high productivity levels, service quality, and member satisfaction.

The Four Types of Employees on the Engagement Spectrum

Not all employees are equally engaged or committed to their jobs. Understanding where each employee falls on the engagement spectrum is crucial for credit unions to improve employee satisfaction, retention, and even member satisfaction.

#1: Engaged and Committed

Highly engaged and committed employees are the ideal employees for any credit union. They clearly understand the credit union's goals, will make an extra effort to achieve them, and know how their roles contribute to the organization's overall success. These employees are proactive, innovative, and consistently seek out ways to improve their performance. They are invested in the credit union's success and see their work as meaningful and valuable.

#2: Engaged but Not Committed

An engaged employee has a strong understanding of how their role meets company goals and may even go above and beyond in their job. However, they are willing to move to another company if a better opportunity arises. These employees are high performers but are less invested in the credit union's success than the ideal employee. They may be motivated by factors such as career advancement, salary, or work-life balance.

#3: Neither Engaged nor Committed

Employees in this category are not motivated to go above and beyond in their work. They do enough to avoid corrective actions but are not proactive in seeking ways to improve their performance. These employees may be dissatisfied with their work or feel disconnected from the credit union's goals. They are not committed to the credit union's success and will likely change jobs when new opportunities arise.

#4: Actively Disengaged

These employees share a negative attitude and try to undermine workplace morale. They are a drain on the credit union's resources and are likely to have a negative impact on member satisfaction. Actively disengaged employees may be dissatisfied with their work, feel disconnected from the credit union's goals, or have personal issues that affect their performance.

By understanding where employees fall on the engagement spectrum, credit unions can create strategies to increase employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention. Identifying and addressing the factors contributing to disengagement can help you create a more positive and productive workplace culture, leading to higher member satisfaction and increased success.

Working Together, Better

Even if you find that you have disengaged employees, there are several ways you can work to increase engagement for a more productive workplace. Some great ways to try are:

Connection

One of the best ways to improve employee satisfaction and retention is to foster opportunities for employees to connect. Whether it's through mentorships, social hours, or collaborating with diverse age groups, building connections can help employees feel more engaged and committed to the credit union. Encourage employees to get to know each other and form relationships that extend beyond their daily work responsibilities.

Communication

Trust and transparency are critical components of any successful workplace. To build a culture of trust, credit union leaders must be trustworthy themselves. Address office politics and other sources of workplace conflict head-on and work to establish clear lines of communication throughout the organization. This includes communicating changes to policies or procedures in a transparent way that allows employees to feel informed and valued.

Development

Investing in career-long learning is essential for creating a culture of engagement and retention. Credit unions should prioritize creating a learning environment that allows employees to continually develop their skills and advance their careers. Building coaching skills can help managers better support their employees' growth. Focusing on retaining talent can help ensure valuable employees stay with the credit union long-term.

Value Sharing

Finally, it's essential to focus on commonalities and shared values as a team. By emphasizing mutual respect and finding ways to flex work hours, credit unions can create a workplace culture that values work-life balance and respects employees' individual needs. When employees feel that their values are aligned with those of the credit union, they are more likely to feel engaged and committed to the organization's success.

Creating Purposeful Workplaces

Employee satisfaction and engagement are crucial to the success of credit unions. Engaged employees not only perform better and increase revenue but also contribute to a positive workplace culture. However, an increase in employee engagement cannot be achieved solely by focusing on satisfaction. It requires creating purpose, meaning, and trust in the workplace.

This may require a shift in perspective on what management looks like, but the benefits of an engaged workforce are well worth the effort. By investing in the development of engaged employees, credit unions can improve their branch's performance and create a more positive and fulfilling work environment for their staff.

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