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Organizational redesign: the importance of culture and engagement for credit unions

February 23, 2022

Organizational redesign: the importance of culture and engagement for credit unions

Synopsis
5 Minute Read

Taking a closer look at how you approach company culture, change management, and employee engagement can make a world of difference in credit unions.

The credit unions industry is in a time of upheaval. Member-owned financial institutions are looking to modernize their operations and attract new members, and at the same time the industry is undergoing consolidation and mergers.

To be a leader in the industry, you need to focus on evaluating, and possibly improving, internal metrics that can sometimes be hard to nail down: culture, employee engagement, and aligned organizational structures.

Attracting and retaining talent

To make real change in your organization, there’s no better starting place than making sure you have the right people in the right roles, and ensuring your organization fosters a sense of good culture and engagement. The war for talent has recently become a focal point for executives across industries, and financial services is no exception.

Roles within credit unions can often be highly specialized, and as a result there can be little room for employee mobility, laterally or upwards. Your job is to find ways to keep people engaged, growing, and motivated in their roles.

Redesigning you organization for attractive roles does not necessarily need to include handing out salary increases — in fact for some organizations that’s not an option.

For example, some government employees, including crown corporation employees, have been under a salary freeze for multiple years. That means they have not been able to use salary increases as a means of employee retention or engagement. Instead, they have focused on creating the best possible experience for employees: challenging work, cross-training, innovative work practices, and a strong culture of support and contribution.

Therein lies a lesson for credit unions as well. Although you may not be constrained by a salary freeze, if your organization is struggling with employee attraction, satisfaction, and retention, the solution may not be to throw money at the problem.

Managing relationships to improve organizational effectiveness

Getting the right talent in place is only half the battle; you will only reap the benefits of bringing the right people together if your organization can offer rewarding work practices, and meaningful relationship systems.

Horizontal relationship management systems:

Teams of talented and motivated people can usually make things work extremely well within their own silos. Breaking those silos means having formal mechanisms for cross-department collaboration and integration, that are not solely reliant on good relationships that may exist organically.

For example, integrated systems between member-facing services and back of house support functions can lead to significant improvements to the member experience. Systems such as digital records conversion to a platform such as SharePoint can ultimately streamline access to and reliability of information. For these improvements to be implemented, you need a high amount of trust and cooperation between teams that may not enter the process with pre-existing relationships in place.

Vertical alignment:

Employees expect management to lead the way — including when it comes to times of change and organizational review. Vertical alignment and integration between executive, management, and staff are never more important. Aligning to the strategic north star at every level is imperative to affecting change and enhancement to your organization.

Take the practical application of change management for example. If any changes are being made that affect the daily work of employees, thoughtful planning is required at the top to articulate what is changing and why, and how impacted staff will be supported. This goes beyond communication and training. Accountability for vertical alignment at all levels must be deliberately planned, implemented, and measured for effectiveness.

MNP can help

Organizational redesign is both an art and science in making sure your people and your processes are working in harmony to maximize success. Re-imagining organizational constructs, employee roles and responsibilities, and leveraging effective relationship management systems to improve embody the very fundamentals of sound organizational design.

If you want to improve overall organizational effectiveness among your employees and members, boost your corporate culture, or find a partner to assist with certain change challenges, look no further than MNP.

Contact us

To learn more, contact Melanie Fix, Senior Manager, Consulting Services at [email protected] or 780.733.8637.

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