Too Good to Be True? Think Again.


Want the easiest way to increase sales by up to 21%, lower turnover rates and increase market share by 25%? 

If you’re reading this and thinking, ‘This is too good to be true,’ it might just be. There’s no easy button to press and no magic elixir to make this happen. What you need to do is empower your employees. In a financial world where we are often constrained or choked by regulation and processes, there is often a workforce who is also experiencing the same feelings due to internal processes, bureaucracy or even micromanagement.

The inability to act autonomously or within personal discretion goes out the window. It’s easy to see that due to past incidents, employees or members there may be constraints or processes in place that limit the discretionary capabilities your team otherwise might enjoy. Seldom are these processes in place due to new leadership, longtime employees or your ideal members. If you realize your team isn’t performing at its peak, the culture has diminished or even experiencing higher turnover rates recently, it may be time to hit reset and give more power to the people with expected higher returns. The more empowered your team is can translate into a better informed, engaged and qualified pool of applicants when the time comes to fill higher-level positions in the future. 

What your Credit Union can Achieve with Empowered Employees

  1. Increased job satisfaction:
  • According to a study by Gallup, organizations that prioritize employee empowerment experience a 20% increase in employee satisfaction and engagement. (Source: Gallup, “State of the Global Workplace Report”)
  • Empowered employees are 50% more satisfied with their jobs and report lower stress levels. (Source: Society for Human Resource Management, “Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement: Revitalizing a Changing Workforce”)
  1. Enhanced productivity and efficiency:
    • Empowered employees exhibit 21% higher productivity levels compared to non-empowered employees. (Source: The Ken Blanchard Companies, “The Empowerment Compendium”)
    • Organizations that embrace empowerment witness a 17% increase in task efficiency and a 10% reduction in operational costs. (Source: Corporate Leadership Council, “The Impact of Employee Empowerment on Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction”)
  2. Improved employee retention:
    • Companies that prioritize employee empowerment experience a 50% decrease in employee turnover rates. (Source: Corporate Leadership Council, “Driving Performance and Retention Through Employee Engagement”)
    • Empowered employees are 60% more likely to stay with their current organization. (Source: Center for Creative Leadership, “The High Cost of Low Empowerment: Unlocking the Power of the Workforce”)
  3. Fostered creativity and innovation:
    • Organizations that encourage employee empowerment see a 25% increase in new product development and market share growth. (Source: Corporate Executive Board, “Driving Performance and Retention Through Employee Engagement”)
  4. Better customer service:
    • Empowered employees contribute to a 12% increase in customer satisfaction (Source: Harvard Business Review, “The Power of Employee Empowerment: Antecedents and Outcomes”)
  5. Leadership development:
    • Empowering employees helps identify and nurture future leaders within the organization. 86% of employees feel that empowerment positively contributes to their leadership development. (Source: Deloitte, “Global Human Capital Trends Report”)

By implementing strategies to empower your staff, such as delegating authority, fostering a supportive work environment, providing learning opportunities and recognizing achievements, you can reap these benefits and create a thriving and successful credit union.

Implementing Empowerment with your Credit Union Employees

  1. Provide decision-making authority: Grant frontline employees the authority to make certain decisions within their roles. Clearly define the boundaries and guidelines to ensure responsible decision-making. This empowers employees to take ownership of member interactions and resolve issues promptly without unnecessary escalations. According to a study by the Corporate Executive Board, frontline employees who have decision-making authority experience a 33% increase in job satisfaction and a 35% improvement in customer satisfaction. (Source: Corporate Executive Board, “Empowering Employees in the Front Line”)
  2. Foster a culture of trust and open communication: Create an environment in which frontline employees feel comfortable expressing their ideas, concerns and suggestions. Encourage open communication channels, such as regular team meetings or suggestion boxes, to gather feedback and ideas from frontline staff. Actively listen to their input and take their suggestions into consideration when making decisions. Research by the Society for Human Resource Management indicates that organizations with a culture of trust and open communication experience a 70% increase in employee engagement and a 40% improvement in customer loyalty. (Source: Society for Human Resource Management, “Creating a Culture of Trust and Open Communication”)
  3. Offer continuous training and development: Invest in comprehensive training programs to equip frontline employees with the skills and knowledge they need to excel in their roles. Provide ongoing professional development opportunities, such as workshops or online courses, to enhance their expertise and confidence. This not only empowers employees but also ensures they deliver exceptional service to members. A study by the Corporate Leadership Council found that organizations that invest in training and development for frontline employees experience a 21% increase in customer satisfaction and a 20% improvement in sales performance. (Source: Corporate Leadership Council, “Empowering Frontline Employees Through Training and Development”)
  4. Recognize and reward achievements: Acknowledge the accomplishments and contributions of frontline employees publicly. Implement a recognition program that rewards exceptional performance, whether through monetary incentives, certificates, or other meaningful gestures. Regularly highlight success stories to inspire others and create a positive and empowering work environment. According to a study by Globoforce, companies with strategic recognition programs experience a 48% increase in employee engagement and a 41% decrease in absenteeism. (Source: Globoforce, “Strategic Recognition and Employee Engagement”)
  5. Encourage autonomy and initiative: Empower frontline employees to proactively identify and address member needs. Encourage them to suggest process improvements or innovative ideas to enhance member experiences. By trusting their judgment and encouraging autonomy, you empower employees to go above and beyond in serving members and finding solutions. Research by Harvard Business Review shows that employees who feel empowered to take initiative are 67% more likely to be engaged and report higher levels of job satisfaction. (Source: Harvard Business Review, “The Power of Empowered Employees”)

Still unsure if empowerment can lead to a more engaged workforce? Take this quote from an employee at Pinnacle Financial Services (PFS), “From my first day until now, I’ve been made to feel welcome, seen and supported. I’m encouraged to follow my passions on projects that are important to me. I’m proud to tell others I work here.” 

PFS was recently named the 24th best company in the nation to work for by FORTUNE magazine and has made the list since 2017. Pinnacle has been very intentional in creating the best culture possible as that would bring in the best, most engaged employees and thus create the best service possible for its clients. The result? They are the No. 1 bank in the Nashville-Murfreesboro-Franklin MSA and are a top 30 bank according to Forbes even though it was just founded in October 2000. 

Implementing a similar strategy will empower your frontline credit union employees, leading to increased job satisfaction, improved member experiences and a more successful credit union overall. Remember to adapt and tailor this strategy to align with the unique needs and culture of your credit union.

Take charge of your credit union's success today!

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