Do Your Community Bank and Credit Union Employees Act Like They Own the Place?

Mark Arnold
Do Your Community Bank and Credit Union Employees Act Like They Own the Place?

When you’re driving a rental car, how do you treat it? Maybe do a little off-roading, hit a few speed bumps and leave trash in the vehicle.

Contrast that with how you drive a new vehicle you just purchased with your own money. How do you treat it? Probably ease into traffic, park away from other cars so yours doesn’t get dinged and wash your vehicle diligently.

The same philosophy applies to your community bank and credit union employees.

When you think like an owner, you think differently.

You pick up the trash at the branch rather than walk by it. You watch expenses rather than slide the business credit card at every opportunity. You think proactively rather than just punch a clock.

Yet at too many financial institutions, team members have an employee’s mindset rather than an owner’s mindset. They don’t act like they own the place. That needs to change if you’re going to reach the heights of success.

Here are three ways community bank and credit union employees can act more like an owner and less like a staff member:

  • Take responsibility—Your community bank and credit union employees should act as if the consumer and financial institution’s success depends solely on them. But how many times do you see employees "passing the buck" to someone else? One credit union client we work with has the mantra, "own the member." That means you solve the member’s problem…regardless of what it is. No passing the buck. Team members should never make excuses ("that’s not my department"). Get the work done and get it done on time.

  • Come with solutions—Your community bank and credit union employees shouldn’t wait for others to solve a problem. They must roll up their sleeves and come to the table with ideas - even getting into the nitty-gritty to make things better. Get your team members to answer questions like: "If you owned our financial institution, what changes would you make?", "How would you solve this particular problem?" and "Where do you think we can save money or make money?"

  • Keep it real—Your community bank and credit union employees should be honest with each other and consumers. When they make mistakes, tell them to do three things: admit it, solve it and move on. One simple technique to ensure everyone is "keeping it real" is to use the green light, yellow light and red light approach with projects. If everything is going great, it gets a green light. If there is a crisis, it’s a red light. If there are challenges or roadblocks, then it’s a yellow light. Is everything (projects, initiatives, issues) at your credit union or bank always green? Then my guess is no one is keeping it real. There are always ways you can improve.

Ownership doesn’t come naturally to most community bank and credit union employees. You must train it and coach it. On The Mark Strategies offers training to help both your managers and frontline workers think more like owners. Book a free consultation today and revolutionize the way your staff treats your institution.

Mark Arnold
Founder and CEO
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Mark Arnold