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Many years ago, we attended Brewing Marketing Success and Sales and still find what we learned to be relevant today. There were many amazing speakers and we learned some great tactical tips and strategy ideas.
The first speaker was Bob Ruffolo, CEO of IMPACT Branding & Design. In his presentation Bob shared some critical elements to growth... we adapted his points to our niche, so here's four keys to grow your Financial Institution!
1) Nurturing a Healthy Team
Credit unions and community banks are the lifeblood of their communities, but according to Bob Ruffolo, the most critical element of growth is cultivating a healthy team. Your team is the face of your financial institution, and their well-being directly impacts member satisfaction.
An unhealthy team environment is characterized by inflated egos, political maneuvering, a lack of accountability, and constant disagreements. When employees are subjected to such conditions, their attitude towards the company inevitably sours. They lose their motivation to serve and make a positive impact.
It's crucial to foster an environment that encourages innovation, risk-taking, and a clear understanding of the organization's overarching mission. Consider engaging in fun, off-site team-building activities and implementing mandatory ongoing training that promotes both personal and professional development.
As a community-based financial institution, your number one priority is to help customers! Without a healthy team, your mission will be in jeopardy.
2) Setting Measurable Goals
"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there"
Establishing clear goals seems like a no-brainer, but these goals should be quantifiable and understood by everyone in your institution. Without clearly defined objectives and measurable metrics, you won't be able to effectively grow your financial institution.
When your entire team is familiar with your goals, their actions will be guided by these objectives. Clearly communicated goals also ensure that everyone understands their individual responsibilities and contributions to the overall success.
We often encounter staff who are unsure of the institution's larger strategic goals and objectives. Big-picture goals and smaller, incremental steps need to be regularly reviewed and shared with your staff.
When creating goals, start with the long-term vision of success, envisioning what it looks like in 3-5 years, and then break it down into actionable steps. For instance, if you aim to gain 10,000 new members in the next 5 years, that translates to 2,000 new members per year. Break it down further, setting quarterly or even monthly targets. Share these goals and the reasoning behind them with your team regularly, ensuring everyone is on the same page and working towards a shared vision in every area of the institution.
[DOWNLOAD NOW: 12 Decisive Steps to Grow Your Financial Institution]
3) Set Realistic Expectations
There's nothing more disheartening than being overwhelmed by an objective that seems insurmountable. Setting unrealistic expectations from the outset is a major setback for your team, so avoid this at all costs. Without a positive outlook, it's easy for people to lose motivation and give up.
I'm sure you've experienced this in your own life. Perhaps you joined a gym with the determination to get fit, only to stop going after a few weeks. Why do you think this is so common? Why do we expect to achieve our goals overnight?
The key lies in setting small, REALISTIC goals.
Small accomplishments, when consistently achieved, add up to something significant.
To ensure your Credit Union or Community Bank growth goals are realistic, follow these steps:
- Write down the reasons why you believe you will achieve these objectives.
- Identify the obstacles that stand in your way and work through possible solutions.
- Communicate these objectives with your team and gather their input.
By following these steps, you can set realistic expectations that will empower your team to achieve success.
4) Embrace Continuous Learning
It's easy to settle into a routine and become complacent, but the world is constantly evolving, and consumers are no exception. Their preferences, information-seeking habits, and decision-making processes have changed significantly, even in the last five years. This means your financial institution must also adapt.
Encourage your team to dedicate time each week to continuous learning. Make it a priority for staff to sign up for webinars, attend relevant events, and pursue opportunities that align with their professional development goals. Allocate a substantial budget for staff development, and consider organizing team-building outings or retreats that foster learning and growth.
Our ability to learn is a valuable asset that should be continuously nurtured and cultivated.