Some credit unions have coaching rock stars in their ranks.
In these high-functioning credit unions, branch managers hold biweekly, one-on-one coaching sessions with each staff member. Staff look forward to the challenge of addressing the ideas generated during these discussions.
Between sessions, managers offer encouraging feedback to their team after casually or intentionally observing their conversations with members.
But what do you do if your credit union doesn’t operate this way? Maybe you only receive “coaching” during your annual review, and praise is as rare as a flying unicorn.
Is it a lost cause? No.
Anyone can be a coach and provide valuable feedback. You just need to understand the goals and principles of coaching, and be observant of your co-workers and boss.
At CUNA, we use the CUNA Creating Member Loyalty™ Service Strategies program. The lessons we learn empower us to better serve our members, and better serve each other as colleagues.
For instance, one of my favorite skills is “making a request for service.” Many people overlook including a deadline for their request.
If you receive a request lacking that key detail, you can provide coaching for a co-worker by politely responding, “What’s the ideal timeline for this task? Knowing that would allow me to properly prioritize my workload.”
To be a great coach, focus on making someone aware of how they come across to others, asking a lot of questions, and motivating them to improve.
When a conversation makes your ears perk up—either with excitement because of a great exchange with a member, or out of concern because of a misstep—provide valuable feedback using these four steps:
The exchange might sound like this: “Jacob, I overheard your conversation with that member. You did a great job managing all of her requests and keeping each transaction straight. That’s not easy! I noticed you gave her information on the car loan promotion that ended last week, though. Next time, consider pausing to be sure you have the details right. That way you’ll be certain you’re giving our members the most updated information. Does that sound like a plan?”
Keeping the conversation positive underscores that you truly have the best interest of your members and co-workers at heart.
ANGELA PRESTIL is CUNA’s director of business development.
This article initially appeared in Credit Union Front Line newsletter, the monthly sales and service newsletter for branch staff and their managers. Subscribe now to the print edition or PDF version.