The Number of Fs Your Credit Union Makes

Graded paper with a F circled and a pencil beside it

Count the Number of ‘Fs’ Your Credit Union Makes

There’s evidence to suggest a cooling economy. Economists point to GDP growth that is limping at a slow pace. Even the Credit Union National Association is predicting “slower economic growth, more uncertainty and more consumer caution will slow credit union growth.” In CUNA’s third quarter report, after a five-year average of 10.1% loan growth, the national trade association is predicting 5.5% growth for 2020.

So, it’s time to cut expenses fast, right? Well… not so fast.

A Harvest Business Review study found companies that do that have the lowest probability (21%) of pulling ahead when times get better.

Should we invest boldly? HBR’s study suggest only 26% fare well after a downturn.

Actually, HBR’s study suggests a balance of “defensive and offensive moves” having the highest probability (37%) for success.

How do you avoid failure during an economic slowdown? How will you weather the storm?

In this report, these are the five “Fs” you actually want to achieve this year.


Even if you are entering this year having suffered serious setbacks, your credit union can still have its best year ever. Focus is about alignment and clarity. The best way to predict the future is to create it, so take the time to develop a strategic action plan.

What are your big three goals you need to accomplish, and what steps do you need to take to get there? Your goals should align with your credit union values. Not sure what those values are? Take a time out and examine those closely. Yes, you need achievement goals, but you and your team may also need habit goals, too.


A Columbia University psychologist, Kevin Ochsner, suggests people apply only 30% of the feedback they receive. Most choose to ignore, reject or evade feedback altogether, and when there is an economic downturn, finger pointing (aka unhealthy feedback) becomes widespread.

How you ask for and receive feedback is key to increased engagement with your board, leadership team, frontline staff and your members. The key to great feedback is focusing on a future that you and your team can control, not a past that you cannot. Use feedback to fuel well-defined objectives that will move your organization forward.


When it comes to improving our credit union, we should always be looking at ways to minimize costs and eliminating waste, particularly when we look at servicing our members. How can we deliver the best quality with the shortest wait times for our members?

What often gets forgotten, however, is the importance of worker involvement and empowerment. As a CEO, are you inspiring your staff to follow you or your credit union’s value proposition? How you pivot or change the flow within your organization will resonate more with a clear cause than simply playing “follow the leader.”


How do you cultivate steely resolve with your workforce? Frequency. How do you establish unshakable trust with your members? Frequency. How do we attract more consumers? Frequency.
We know “Flo” as the spokesperson for Progressive because the insurance company has high frequency on the airwaves. By simply writing out “do-do-do-do,” you know I’m referring to McDonald’s.

Frequency is essential to the success of your advertising. Of course, small- and mid-sized credit unions don’t have the budgets of these national players, but you can achieve a high level of frequency within your own market, particularly using digital media. Here’s the kicker: The price of advertising drops during recessions, and studies have shown that those who maintain or increase their ad budgets during a weak economy gain more brand awareness.


Your beliefs shape your reality. What are you holding onto that you really need to let go? There are some things that keep us from a more fulfilling and rewarding work environment, such as an old way of doing business or a checked-out or even abusive employee.

Let’s face it: Truly forgetting something negative is next to impossible. But sometimes we need to put the past behind us and start fresh. Where are the opportunities to rise above within your credit union?

Ready to start over with your credit union?

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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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