How to Rewire Employee Engagement

Charlie, Frank Allgood's dog

Our family dog, Charlie, is a delightful Cock-a-Poo – the offspring of the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel. These are two of the most intelligent dog breeds. Charlie is hypoallergenic, easygoing, affectionate, and will melt your heart. He can sit, stay, shake hands, stand on two legs and occasionally will bark on command.

And that’s all.

Charlie will still dart away when he sees a bird or squirrel, and he loses his mind anytime anyone rings the doorbell. Even though he’s not supposed to, he will rest his chin on the dining room table. His puppy dog eyes will land him a few table scraps from mom, and yet, mom wonders why he always comes to her and not dad.

So, if the Poodle is the second smartest dog breed, and the Cocker Spaniel ranks No. 20 overall, why doesn’t Charlie know more tricks?

It all goes back to who trained him. Oh, wait…. That’s us!

Nowadays, employee engagement is at center stage. A Gallup poll shows highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability and helps reduce absenteeism and turnover. However, if you are going to take a deep dive with your credit union or community bank staff, look inward first.

In other words, you need to find your “why,” and occasionally cover it in peanut butter.

What’s your core purpose? Is it the same as it was decades ago? Chances are, you have tired language within a mission or vision statement that says you will do what’s right for members or customers.

Oh, gee. Thanks. Your organization is so much more than that.

Here are four things to boost employee engagement:

  1. Define your value proposition. – We all want a job that has a sense of meaning, purpose and accomplishment. Your “why” doesn’t have to be long or complex. Reassess what’s important. It’s more than money.
  2. Develop a brand voice. – From onboarding content to staff training to strategic planning, integrate internal brand training. Help each employee understand their role in growing your credit union or community bank.
  3. Teach and reward self-improvement. – Let’s face it, self-improvement isn’t easy. If it was, we’d all have six pack abs. Show your employees how to become the best versions of themselves. Balance that with your brand vision, encourage problem-solving and praise them for their choices.
  4. Gamify the workforce. – A simple incentive concept can encourage a desired behavior. They can be used to reach sales goals, build internal engagement, and foster awareness and accountability.

Charlie is a good boy, and while we are content with giving our puppy belly rubs, you don’t really have that option. Actually, that would be a serious HR issue.

You do, however, owe it to your employees to make your credit union or community bank a best place to work. Change the discussion, and inspire people to get behind your cause. Training and career development are key to attracting and retaining the best employees.

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Reh Harvey

Vice President of Digital Strategy

Reh Harvey, our Vice President of Digital Strategy, leads with diligence and fervor. Having previously been a member of Team YMC, he is excited to return to such an amazing culture and even more amazing people (his words)! Through his experience in the marketing world, he’s found the key to success is to stay on the cutting edge and to always keep evolving.
Although originally drawn to marketing for its lack of math, Reh now finds himself doing more math than he would’ve bargained for. But his self discipline and positive attitude make it easy for him to laugh and take it in stride. Hoping to one day visit Japan and enjoy some premium Sushi, Reh lives life by his creed: Be a good human. Do good work. And above all, just keep going.

Hailey Madej

Graphic Designer

As YMC’s in-house Graphic Designer, Hailey possesses an eye for detail and a drive to innovate. It’s no surprise though since being creative runs in the family! Inspired from an early age by her mom’s work as a Graphic Designer, Hailey is a seasoned expert whose talents bring vitality and accessibility to every project. As a UX/UI designer, she expertly blends the intuitive and the creative for all to enjoy.
In addition to the occasional freelance project, Hailey also lends her abilities to supporting art initiatives within her community, such as the Belleville Mural Project. Her favorite aspect of joining the YMC team is the friendly, uplifting culture and breadth of design tasks. When it comes to marketing, she believes in pushing boundaries and maybe breaking some rules to capture her audience’s attention. Her advice to those just starting out? “Always seek quality over quantity.”

Dexter Ochoa

Development Assistant

When it comes to blending logical thinking and creative problem solving, Dexter’s abilities are undeniable! Beginning his career as a Web Developer, he’s no stranger to the wide world of Marketing and Advertising. Calling Biñan City in the Philippines home, Dexter has a burning desire to visit the Alpine peaks and valleys of Switzerland. While that journey may be far off, he is still no stranger to international travel. While visiting Japan, he was able to enjoy his favorite delicacy: Sushi and Sashimi. He also learned unexpected facts about Japanese Yen, specifically that it has special markings for the blind to know its value!

Living life by his motto to “Do good even if the world is unfair,” Dexter would also advise his younger self, “It’s hard, but you’re doing good!” Whether he’s enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning or the occasional Pale Pilsen in the evening, Dexter is eager to work with the talented professionals of YMC, and we’re just as eager to add his talent to the team as well! His marketing words of wisdom? “Be creative, and just do what you want!”

Andrew Wyche


Hailing from the NC state capital (that’s Raleigh if you didn’t know), Andrew is YMC’s Copywriter extraordinaire. That’s why he knows that “The verb form of ‘reconnaissance’ is ‘reconnoiter.’ The former is, strictly speaking, a noun.” Seriously, he knows his words and he’ll use those words to get bold and weird (in a good way) with his copy. Fuelled by a love for pasta, shellfish, a good single malt, or a meal consisting of all three, Andrew navigates life with a motto engraved in his heart: “Choose kindness. Always.” It is this guiding principle that has led him to explore the realm of marketing, driven by a desire to connect with people in meaningful ways. As he continues to chase his dreams, one bucket list item stands out above the rest – a pilgrimage to Scotland. With his heart set on adventure and his pen poised for creativity, Andrew’s journey is far from over.

Alex VanHaasteren

Senior Web Developer

Alex is YMC’s Senior Web Developer and, as the title suggests, she is an absolute pro! While she initially started in graphic design – working long and hard to expertly bring concepts to life – she also felt drawn to technology and applying her natural ability to problem solve. Web Development proved the perfect blend of her creative passion and technical savvy.

When Alex is out with friends – including her YMC colleagues – she’s up for Greek cuisine or some good pulled pork BBQ washed down with Diet Coke. Or an Old Fashioned, if the occasion demands. Someday, she hopes to go to Africa on a safari. Hopefully she’ll see a giraffe in the wild, because – as she’s pointed out – its neck is too short to reach the ground!

When she isn’t jamming out to T-Swift, she’s happy to impart some marketing words of wisdom, “Aim to create something unforgettable.” For day-to-day inspiration, she would remind you of two fundamental truths: You decide your happiness, and Ice cream is its own food group—not just a dessert.

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