Posted by Mr. Marcus Cotton, VP Executive Recruiting, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 8/22/2014

There are two growing concerns in the credit union movement today.  One you hear about all time, no matter where you go; succession planning.  You cannot go to a conference, seminar or forum without succession planning being on the agenda.  Interesting enough, there is a second dilemma equally concerning – addressing the skills gap.

It is officially a fact, there are more professionals retiring than there are entering the marketplace.  As the “Baby Boomers” continue to exit, this is a shortfall that will have to be addressed for decades to come.  However, what is not always on the agenda, but compounding the problem is the gap between junior or entry level talent and senior management. 

If you look at most credit unions’ staff, employees will fall into two camps; those with 5 years of less experience and those with 20 years or more experience.  What is known as the “sweet spot” in many industries, staff with approximately 8 to 12 years of experience, is void or has many holes.  If the next level of senior management comes from within, this would be the target group to get them from.  Organizations can no longer sit and expect this dilemma to be resolved by the educational system and/or federal government.

Recent studies have revealed that with the proper training and mentoring, professionals with five to eight years of experience can get to the same level of competency as a professional with 20 plus years of experience.  Major organizations across several industries are beginning to act on this new data by launching new programs that will groom graduates right out of college.  These programs, which are three to five years in length, are structured to nurture the development process with both structured and informal educational programs.

Individuals will move from role to role in hopes of developing a diverse and well-rounded skill set.  As individuals shift from one position to another, their levels of responsibilities will be heightened and they will also be encouraged to mentor those coming into the program after them.  Technical expertise will be gained and management skills will be crafted.

This is an excellent example of how the credit union industry as a whole has to take a proactive approach to developing the talent of tomorrow!

Categories: Education & Training, Employment & Staffing, Human Resources, Strategic Planning & Consulting, Succession Planning
Posted by Brian McCue, VP Remote Transaction Resources, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 8/20/2014
If you have driven in Texas lately, you’ve seen the signs: Buc-ee’s XXX Miles. There are there billboards as far away as Florida for a Texas convenience store. Do people really plan 797 miles ahead to stop at a Buc-ee’s? Yes they do! 
To give you an idea of what is a Buc-ee’s, here is some details on their New Braunfels, Texas site:  it has over 60,000 square feet of retail space, 120 fueling stations, more than 80 restroom stalls, 80 soda dispensers, 30 point-of-sale (POS) locations, and serves over 5,000 customers per day.
So what makes Buc-ee’s such a popular place to fill-up? They live by their mission, three simple principles upheld in every store:  keep it clean, keep it friendly and keep it in stock. They’ve focused on one thing people fear the most when stopping at highway gas stations; the bathrooms. At every Buc-ee’s you’ll find HUGE bathrooms that are spotless. Their motto is “Cleanest bathrooms in America.” And they are receiving recognition from around the world.
But to the Buc-ee’s faithful, these C-stores are more than just clean, friendly & well stocked stops along Texas roadways. They have become the coolest gas station ever. Their Facebook page has 282,410 likes, hundreds of reviews on Yelp, and over 4,200 YouTube tagged videos.  Their customers blog about them, and they post pictures of Buc-ee the Beaver while they travel, they buy all types of Buc-ee Swag and drive with Buc-ee bumper stickers. Wouldn’t you like free TV plugs? An Arkansas morning show was in Texas for a segment on Schlitterbahn water park, but also included a story on Buc-ee’s.
“If you are able to develop a business plan where you focus your energy on just a few simple, basic points and put that together with a sprinkle of passion for what you do, that is the true holy grail of entrepreneurship” Buc-ee’s founder Arch “Beaver” Aplin, III
So what can Credit Unions take away from this?
The point isn’t a mega branch transformation but to look closer at their simple, basic points to their success. Are you providing the products and services your members want? Not just current members, but also your target / potential members. To meet the needs of your entire membership, you need to offer multiple delivery channels; a full range of products to be competitive. Remember, technology is not just for attracting Gen X and the Millennials, the Boomers are tech savvy too. 
The most important objective is for credit unions to learn how to turn their members into brand advocates / ambassadors. Credit unions have the passion; they have the friendly staff, now you need to give your members reasons to talk about you. What would it take to have them Blog about your great financial education seminars, to recommend your CU to a friend, to post their selfie on CUNA’s Million Member website; for them to tell their story? Tap into that member loyalty; let them be your influencers!
Categories: Business Partners, Marketing & Printing, Remote Transaction, Sales & Service
Posted by Mr. Howard Bufe, AVP, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 8/19/2014

As with any skill, a person’s learning process must include opportunities to practice.  It’s important to realize that one of the keys for success is to be clear on what you are practicing.  Remarkable leaders have many skills, and it can be overwhelming to try to work on all of them at one time.  Identify one skill and practice it, internalize that skill, and lock in the improvement gained from those new habits before beginning practice on the next skill.

Developing Remarkable Leadership come down to time, desire and focus!

Time – In today’s world one of the biggest challenges facing leaders is they have too much to do.  People say they would love to work on their leadership skills, but they don’t have time: they are too busy putting out fires or producing the work necessary to meet deadlines.  Many times people that are this busy, often compare themselves to a drowning person.  As much as a drowning person might want to be doing something else, their thought is only focused on “getting air.”  It’s important for leaders to understand that their main job is leadership and as they work on their leadership skills, the number of fires they have been dealing with will begin to decline.

Desire – As leaders wanting to develop themselves and others, it’s critical to remember that people must have the desire to learn.  When we have the internal motivation to learn something, we will do what it takes, investing the time and asking the questions to create the learning and enhancing growth.  Desire is powerful; it will propel you toward your goals.  In fact, there’s nothing else that can propel you as quickly.

Focus – Everything you do on a daily basis either takes you closer to the goals and objectives you are pursuing or they take you further away.  In today’s extremely busy and demanding world it’s easy to get distracted by the many distractions around us.  You must have focus!

Your challenge is to find ways to support the development of those around you into leaders.  Create an environment that supports the time, desire and focus people need to develop into remarkable leaders!

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Categories: Education & Training, Human Resources, Strategic Planning & Consulting, Succession Planning
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