The Power of Personal Development


Let’s get real: You’ve hired people at your credit union that didn’t work out. Some were never the right fit, while others lost something over time. 

I’m reminded of when one of our credit unions hired a marketing specialist. She was rather boastful about having earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and she was quick to point out to others at the credit union who did not have degrees. She created waves fast, and clearly hadn’t mastered what it takes to build and maintain great relationships. That’s not always taught in college.

After seven months, she was fired. She continues trying to find herself, with short stints in car rentals, manufacturing sales, and now a nursing student. Now, sharing this story is not to belittle her. I am also not discounting her value as a person or the value of a quality education. I think she’s learned some valuable skills, albeit the hard way; however, what I am championing is the importance of personal development.

What the former credit union marketing strategist didn’t see in her colleagues was just how much they had invested in themselves. Things like improving self-confidence, problem solving, stress management, emotional intelligence, time management, goal setting, and project management. This is a high performing credit union because it has an amazing team that values personal growth.

Here’s the truth: What’s the one constant in our credit unions? Change. 

What’s not? Progress. 

So, when it comes to increased productivity, employee advancement, enhanced adaptability, and improving teamwork within your credit union, personal development must be at the forefront. Now, we’re not taking about BSA training. Nor are we talking about a book club, which often clashes with differing interests and mismatched expectations. 

Let’s take a closer look at six practical strategies to create a culture of learning:

Personal Development Policy – Do you have one? If not, consider allocating funds for training programs, online courses, conferences, and workshops. Note Well: Don’t be that credit union that sends their leadership team to every conference under the sun, which becomes more like vacations. Invest in your team in other ways. With a personal development policy, you are showing you are committed to fostering a culture of learning. 

Encourage External Learning – Support employees who want to learn. Now, you may be saying to yourself, “We do that, and we get nothing.” You’re forgetting the “personal” in personal development. Truly get to know the individual. When you do, then you’ll know what direction to point them in, and they may even come to you with what areas they are passionate to learn about.

Gamify Learning – When employees embark on tasks, solve problems, or acquire new skills, make it a competition. You can award points for achieving milestones or even create a leaderboard to show top performers. The key here is to make these opportunities challenging, enjoyable, and relevant to your credit union.

Bite-Sized Learning – Examine videos, podcasts, and online modules that are easy to access and complete. While this shouldn’t be your only form of personal development, these often help you build momentum and promote positive reinforcement. Side Note for YMC clients: Staff have access to a Learning Resource Center, where credit union staff can learn skills in sales, productivity, leadership, and more. 

Offer Coaching/Mentoring – Senior employees can give new employees guidance and support. Sometimes, it pays to use an external mentor for an objective perspective and specialized development – especially if you are going through organizational change or restructuring. 

Onsite Staff Training – Having dedicated onsite staff training helps eliminate distractions and allows for interactive sessions with your credit union team. From technical skills to soft skills, leadership development, and team building activities, you can motivate and engage your team to a whole new level.

Stepping out of one’s comfort zone can be intimidating, and we all give excuses: Lack of time, perception of being expensive, lack of support, fear of being overwhelmed, etc. Work with your team to identify priorities when it comes to personal development. I promise you, for most of your employees, they have strong aspirations and desires to be a better version of themselves. 

Start implementing strategies gradually and celebrate incremental successes. If you’re in a leadership position, having YOU championing personal development is critical to buy-in. Do it, and you will see individuals work toward being more skilled, engaged, and productive at your credit union. 

As Vice President of Brand Experience for Your Marketing Co., Frank Allgood works with credit unions to develop strong leaders, create effective training programs, and build powerful brands. Want to connect? Call 864.326.8740 or email

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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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